The new British Politics Election Year Seminar series, which launched in January 2024, focuses on major themes relevant to the upcoming UK general election.
The new seminars are hosted by the Nuffield Politics Research Centre and organised by Dr Leonardo Carella, Dr Zack Grant and Professor Jane Green, at Nuffield College, Oxford. They are inspired by the late Sir David Butler, who used to run weekly seminars for many years in Oxford where the real world of politics met academic research.
Professor Jane Green, Director of the Nuffield Politics Research Centre, Nuffield College, said:
‘At Nuffield, we understand the complexities of elections. But also, how leading scholars can explain things in a way that anyone can understand and engage with. We hope these seminars provide an enjoyable experience for speakers; questions they might not usually get; and perhaps a chance to think afresh. We also know that students and colleagues gain an unparalleled insight and understanding as we approach the all-important UK general election.’
Dr Leonardo Carella, Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Politics, said:
‘When we first had the idea for this seminar series, we wanted to make sure it could appeal to anyone with an interest in the next election, from undergraduates to senior faculty and even beyond the Oxford community. It's been fantastic to have speakers who struck the right balance between accessibility and expertise, and to have Q&A sessions with such an engaged and diverse audience.’
Dr Zack Grant, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Nuffield Politics Research Centre, said:
‘We are very grateful to our first-class mix of presenters for sharing their time and expertise with us in this new seminar series. How they break down findings from their many years of high-quality political science research into accessible and practical insights on the present state of British politics is inspiring. The scale and engagement of our audiences each week has been remarkable, and you can clearly see the positive impact that our speakers are having on our academic community as we build up to the next election. This is really what the Nuffield Politics Research Centre is all about, and it is wonderful to see.'
These new seminars address topical questions in UK politics in an applied way. Open to faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, they offer an insight into how cutting-edge research applied to a current election can be delivered in accessible ways, and a chance to ask questions to leading academics.
Anneliese Dodds MP (Labour MP for Oxford East and Shadow Women and Equalities Minister in Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet), and Professor Lucy Barnes, University College London, opened the seminar series with a discussion on the state of public opinion on the economy, and how it will shape the next UK general election.
In week 2 Professor Gerry Stoker, University of Southampton gave a masterclass on how to think about the importance of ‘place’ in British elections and what that might mean in the upcoming general election, followed by an engaging Q&A.
In week 3 Professor Rob Ford, University of Manchester, will talk about the politics of immigration, how that has changed, and what that means for the UK general election.
For more information about the series and how to join online follow British Politics Election Year Seminar. All seminars are held on Fridays at 15:30. Please come early to get a seat, audiences have been standing room-only.
Thank you to all of our speakers for giving up their valuable time to take part.