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The Changing House of Lords, the Policy Impact of Parliament, and the Psychology of Political Elites

  • Start date: 01 October 2008
  • End date: 30 September 2011

This is an ambitious programme of research centred around parliament and the behaviour of political elites, with three key components:

  1. The changing role of the House of Lords. This continues and extends the researcher’s work under an ESRC project 2004-07. It includes continued collection of data about votes in the Lords, and interviews with peers, allowing analysis of changing party behaviour, and the chamber's de facto power. Five journal articles and a book are planned, for British and comparative politics audiences.
  2. The Policy Impact of Parliament. This looks at the real impact of both parliamentary chambers on policy, challenging the assumption that the British parliament is weak. A collaborative programme of research is planned, looking at different parliamentary functions (eg the legislative process, specialist committees), with the output being an edited journal special issue or book.
  3. The Social Psychology of Political Elites This is the most innovative part of the programme, and the most exploratory. It seeks to rethink 'behaviouralism' in legislative studies (and political science more broadly), by building links with social psychology and other disciplines. It includes an extensive literature review, an interdisciplinary seminar, and publication of at least one paper for mixed politics/psychology audiences.
Oral evidence

Speaker: Meg Russell Date: 10 October 2012 Evidence

A touch of ermine

Interviewee: Meg Russell Date: 05 October 2012 Audio/video recording

Oral evidence

Speaker: Meg Russell Date: 05 October 2012 Evidence

Lords reform

Author: Meg Russell Date: 03 October 2012 Newspaper

Lords reform

Interviewee: Meg Russell Date: 28 September 2012 Audio/video recording