Centre for British Politics

Conferences and Workshops

EPOP 2017 Conference

The annual conference of the Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (EPOP) specialist group was held at the University of Nottingham from 8-10 September 2017. EPOP was hosted by the School of Politics and International Relations and the Centre for British Politics. The organiser was Caitlin Milazzo.

Breaking Boundaries: Politics, History and the wider inter-disciplinary challenge

The Breaking Boundaries conference was held at the University of Birmingham on 29 June 2016, and sponsored by Modern British Studies at University of Birmingham and the Centre for British Politics. The organisers were Dean Blackburn (Nottingham), Steven Fielding (Nottingham) and Matthew Francis (Birmingham).

The Impact of Devolution on Social Policy in Scotland

In December 2015, we were pleased to host an event together with the International Centre for Public and Social Policy (IcPSP). Paul Grice, Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament, visited the University and spoke to CBP and IcPSP on 'The Impact of Devolution on Social Policy in Scotland' on 18 December.

MPs and their constituents in contemporary democracies

The Centre for British Politics helped fund a day-long seminar at Birkbeck College, London on 'MPs and their constituents in contemporary democracies' on 7 February 2014. The seminar consisted of nine formal papers:

  • Nick Vivyan and Markus Wagner: House or Home? Constituent preferences over representative activities
  • Rosie Campbell and Philip Cowley: Designing the perfect politician: exploring desirable candidate characteristics using hypothetical biographies and survey experiments
  • Vincent Tiberj: Yes they can: An experimental approach to the eligibility of ethnic minority candidates in France
  • Michael Marsh: Parish pump and the preferential vote in Ireland
  • Jocelyn Evans and Kai Arzheimer: Living in the wrong part of town: voter-candidate distance effects in the 2013 English local elections
  • Caitlin Milazzo: Attractiveness and candidate popularity
  • Andy Eggers, Markus Wagner and Nick Vivyan: Partisanship and punishment for MP misconduct
  • Wolfgang Müller and Marcelo Jenny: Who MPs think their principals are
  • Rosie Campbell and Joni Lovenduski: What characterises a good MP? Public and Parliamentarians views compared

Other funders included Political Quarterly (who will be publishing some of the papers from the event).

Some of the more striking findings included: candidate attractiveness can be worth up to 2.3% in vote share (and this in proper grown up Westminster elections, not Mickey Mouse ones like Police Commissioners); that British MPs basically spend their time doing the things that voters say they want them to do, and in roughly the right proportions; and that, out of an 18-country study, the country in which MPs were most likely to say that their primary representative role was to represent their constituents - as opposed to their party, or their country, or a particular social group - was Britain. That last finding was from the Müller and Jenny paper. One might quibble with the interpretation of this - MPs may say that, but do they mean it? - but even so it is still revealing as the thing that they think they must say. The country with the most party-centred representatives was Denmark; that with the most country-focussed was Estonia.

White Heat Conference

5 July 2013

The Centre for British Politics hosted a conference to mark the 50th anniversary of Harold Wilson's iconic 'white heat' speech, at the People's History Museum, Manchester. The conference analysed the speech from a variety of perspectives, combining papers from both established and emerging academics from a range of disciplines. The speech's political, cultural, economic and scientific contexts were explored to assess its wider significance within recent British history and to invite parallels with other ‘modernising’ moments, such as that embodied by Tony Blair.

Cambo Chained

Experts in the Centre for British Politics released their latest findings on backbench rebellion in May 2013.

The launch event was held at the British Academy and attended by a mixture of journalists, politicians and think-tankers.

The pamphlet is the latest in a line of end-of-session reports produced by Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart over the last decade, and it showed that despite a drop in the level of backbench dissent during the last session, largely as a result of what they called the ‘House of Lords-shaped hole in the government’s legislative programme’– the Parliament remained on course to be the most rebellious of the post war era.

The timing of the pamphlet launch could not have been any better, as later that day saw MPs vote on the Queen’s Speech, with more than 100 voting for an amendment regretting the absence of a EU referendum Bill in the Queen’s speech.

The launch resulted in the pamphlet being reported on the BBC’s Daily Politics as well as Radio 4’s World At One and Channel 4 News, along with articles in almost all of the broadsheets. Cowley was most pleased with an article in The Sun given that ‘people actually read that’.


Progressivism: Past and Present Conference

3 July 2012

The Centre for British Politics hosted a conference on the meanings of Progressivism: Past and Present, at Senate House, London. The aim was to bring together academics, politicians, journalists and policy makers, to discuss the ways in which the word ‘progressive’ has been used and understood in British politics over the past century.

Parties, People and Elections: Political Communication since 1900

14 June 2012

The Centre for British Politics hosted a conference on Parties, People and Elections: Political Communication since 1900, at People’s History Museum, Manchester. The way politicians talk to the people has undergone a dramatic change since 1900. The demise of the mass platform, the birth of radio, cinema and television, and the advent of social media, has radically reshaped how parties and people interact. This conference brought together academics, advertising executives and journalists to examine the, past, present, and future of political communication.

A Permanent Revolution?: Neo-Liberalism and British Politics

15 June 2011

The Centre for British Politics (Nottingham) and the Centre for Political Ideologies (Oxford) organised a workshop which took place on Wednesday 15th June, 2011 at Oxford University. The aim of the workshop was to explore the impact of neo-liberalism, and to examine the ways in which the challenges it posed has driven ideological change and policy reform across the political landscape.

Governance and Public Policy in the United Kingdom

10 December 2010

The Centre for British Politics (CBP) hosted its 3rd annual conference at the University of Nottingham. The overall aim was to explain and assess recent and current developments in UK governance and public policy, examining both institutional reforms and changes in key areas of public policy under 'New Labour' and the present Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

The 2010 General Election Workshop: how we got hung

4 June 2010

The Centre for British Politics hosted a special workshop to help make sense of what was the most extraordinary election in recent history. This workshop brought together leading experts in the field of British politics who will be contributing to a special edition of Parliamentary Affairs and a book to be published by Oxford University Press in the autumn of 2010.

Fiction and British Politics

11 December 2009

On 11 December 2009, The University of Nottingham's Centre for British Politics held a conference at the British Academy that drew together politicians, writers and academics to explore the interaction of British politics and fiction. More details including full conference report, abstracts, transcriptions, photos and podcasts.

Camerons Conservatives

12 December 2008

Do the Conservatives have what it takes to return to power? Has David Cameron taken too many liberties with the party's traditional members? Does he have the policies to back up his rhetoric? What impact has the economic crisis had on the party's prospects?

These crucial questions - and many more - were tackled by some of the country's leading politicians, academics and political journalists at Cameron's Conservatives: Approaching Government? - the inaugural conference of the Centre for British Politics at The University of Nottingham in December 2008. 

  • Paper/Abstracts
  • Photos
  • Podcast - Andrew Burden speaks to Professor Steven Fielding (Centre Director), David Willetts MP and Peter Riddell of The Times about issues raised by the conference. (Uploaded 22 December 2008)  Format: mp3, 12.9MB, 13.39 mins
  • Report


Centre for British Politics

School of Politics and International Relations
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University of Nottingham
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