The Commons Select Committee System in the 2015–2020 Parliament
The House of Commons select committees witnessed some of the most constructive political theatre of the 2010-2015 Parliament. Recall Rupert Murdoch’s public contrition, Margaret Hodge’s assault on MNC tax evasion, and Keith Vaz’s timely interrogations of G4S etc. All of these represented the public face of a newly empowered system.
Two disturbing stories in late 2015 - the
Volkswagen emissions testing scandal and the news that some NHS trusts had been
giving general practitioners financial incentives not to send patients to
hospitals for tests - seemed to come from quite different parts of the human
capacity for wickedness. But both are products of the same neoliberal
insistence that financial knowledge should trump all other kinds. You can see the lecture in full here.
Political Quarterly welcomes proposals for special issues and special sections of the journal, and for events which promote the journal and publicise recent or forthcoming articles. PQ aims to promote debate and publish articles on issues of politics and public policy that are authoritative, informed by expertise and academic insight, challenging, intellectually demanding and innovative. Proposals should indicate how they will conform to these aims.
Funding is available for workshops, seminars and small conferences related to special issues and sections. Amounts between £500 and £3000 may be applied for, to cover travel costs, room bookings and hospitality, and speaker honoraria. Applicants should note that fees of £200-£400 are also paid to authors of accepted articles and editors of special issues.
After many capable and successful years of Tony Wright at the PQ helm, Tony has left his role as co-editor for pastures new and we wish him well for his "retirement".
We are delighted to welcome Ben Jackson as new co-editor. Ben will be working with Deborah Mabbett and will continue the sterling work carried out by Tony, Andrew Gamble and Michael Jacobs.
Ben is Associate Professor of Modern History at
Oxford University and a Fellow of University College. He is a historian of modern
Britain, with particular interests in labour history, political thought, and
the history of social and economic policy. He is the author of Equality and
the British Left (Manchester, 2007) and co-editor of Making Thatcher's
Britain (Cambridge, 2012). His current research focuses on the rise of the
neo-liberal right and Thatcherism; on the political thought of British
socialism and liberalism; and on the history and politics of Scottish
nationalism. Prior to becoming the Co-Editor of Political Quarterly, he was the
Editor of Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy between 2012 and 2015.
The success of the right in the 2015 UK General Election and the subsequent realignment of the UK Labour Party underline the need for a period of profound reflection on the purpose and electoral offer of progressive politics in the 21st century.
This event will offer a key platform for political and academic reflection on the challenges a centre-left politics faces in Britain. Topics and areas covered will include: changing values, societal trends and political fragmentation; territorial diversities and changing electoral geography; what it means to be ‘progressive’ in a 21st century open, global world; and prospects for new political alliances and realignments. For a full speakers' list and to read more about the symposium see here.
Although once a classic democratic ideal, rotation in office is nowadays seen more as a natural consequence of competitive elections than a goal in its own right. The Political Quarterly has published a small collection with the lead article by Bob Goodin and Chiara Lepora, proposing that a strict rota, with each group taking a turn in office, might be preferable to ordinary electoral democracy in certain sorts of countries: nascent democracies, divided societies with persistent minorities and failed one-party democracies. Ways are suggested of combining intraparty democracy with interparty rotation.
In this quarter’s issue, you can read an article written by
Robert Goodin and Chiara Lepora entitled “Guaranteed Rotation in Office: a ‘New’
Model of Democracy” and four responses from Alan Ware, Jason Edwards, Ben
Saunders and Peter Stone. You will be able to read Goodin and Lepora’s response
to those pieces in issue 86 4.
We also have articles on voter engagement and electoral
inequality from Sarah Birch and Guy Lodge; press regulation by John Lloyd; the
Committee on Standards in Public Life by Paul Bew; the growing power and
autonomy of House of Commons Select Committees by Lucy Fisher; reports and
surveys from Prem Sikka (tax avoidance) and Greg Power (parliamentary
strengthening) as well as our book reviews. You can find the articles and reviews here.