Research Summaries

Process Matters: Petitions Systems in Britain's Legislatures

In the twenty-first century petitioning is one of the most common forms of political participation. At the national and devolved levels petitions systems now exist in the House of Commons, the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. However, despite their popularity with the public, the introduction of such systems have not been an unalloyed success. 

Catherine Bochel

Parliament and Policy- Predicting Success and Failure

Given the challenges and uncertainties facing contemporary societies, the quality of government legislation, and consequently parliamentary scrutiny, is of great importance. Drawing on insights from a range of literatures, this research analysed the passage through Parliament, and subsequent evaluations of ‘success’ or ‘failure’ from the perspectives of those centrally involved with them, of two pieces of legislation – the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the Academies Act 2010.

Philip Begley, Catherine Bochel, Hugh Bochel, Andrew Defty, Jan Gordon, Kaisa Hinkkainen, Ben Kisby, Steve McKay, Gerry Strange

Parliament and Welfare Policy: The 2010 Intake in the House of Commons

This brief report provides a summary of research undertaken during the 2010 Parliament drawing upon interviews with 29 MPs elected at the 2010 general election. It begins with a brief discussion of the characteristics of the intake, before moving on to consider their attitudes to a variety of social policy topics, including some comparison with previous research on that area. 

Hugh Bochel and Andrew Defty 

Effective petitions systems

In the twenty-first century, petitioning is one of the most common forms of political participation. This research focused on petitions systems in the light of the increasing use of petitioning as a participatory tool. It drew upon case studies of petitions systems from the House of Commons, the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, Wolverhampton City Council, an urban unitary council in England, and Renfrewshire Council in Scotland. 

Catherine Bochel

Evaluation of Families Working Together

Families Working Together (FWT) is an intervention project designed by Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) to improve outcomes for families in Lincolnshire who are experiencing multiple, complex needs. The project aimed to explore how a broad range of public, private and voluntary sector organisations can work together more efficiently and effectively to this end. The project was one of 16 community budget pilots promoted by the government across England. 

Sue Bond-Taylor and Peter Somerville

Parliamentary scrutiny of the UK intelligence and security services

This research, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, examined the role of Parliament and parliamentarians in the scrutiny of the intelligence and security agencies as it has developed since the Security Service Act 1989. Previous research has focused overwhelmingly on the Intelligence and Security Committee, and while the work of the Committee formed an important part of this project, the study also looked more broadly at the scrutiny of intelligence and security issues within Parliament as a whole, with a particular focus on the nature and extent of parliamentary interest and understanding.

Hugh Bochel, Andrew Defty and Jane Kirkpatrick