Research highlights

The research undertaken by members of the Centre for Democratic Engagement examines different forms of democratic engagement, participation and activism at local, national and global levels. Researchers at the Centre study and comment on current democratic challenges such as growing political polarisation, incivility, populism and disinformation, but we are also interested in potential opportunities and solutions, including new forms of citizen engagement, democratic reform of political parties, and innovative tools for online citizen engagement. In so doing, we seek to analyse and interpret the complex and contradictory developments that currently shape the terrain of democratic politics, in what for many is a turbulent and confusing political moment.

Projects

A selection of some of our current funded projects:

Petitioning and People Power in Twentieth-Century Britain
"Petitioning and People Power in Twentieth-Century Britain",  AHRC, 2020-2023. This project aims to explore how petitioning developed throughout the twentieth century, exploring the relationship between direct, participatory and representative democracy. CDE Co-Director Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira is Co-Investigator on this project led by PI Professor Richard Huzzey (History, Durham University).
"A Global Comparative Ethnography of Parliaments, Politicians and People: representation, relationships and ruptures", European Research Council, 2019-24. This project will develop an ethnography of five parliaments (Brazil, Fiji, India, UK and US), with a focus on communication between institution and Members, and public(s). Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira is Co-Investigator on this project led by PI Professor Emma Crewe (Anthropology, SOAS).
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"Inclusivity and Engagement: children and the democratic process"
"Inclusivity and Engagement: children and the democratic process", ESRC WRDTP Collaborative PhD with the UK Parliament, 2020-24. This interdisciplinary project, between politics and education, explores whether institutional political engagement programmes aimed at young people promote inclusivity in the way children are introduced to democratic rights and processes. Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira is Supervisor, together with Dr Paula Clarke (Education, University of Leeds).
"Prime Ministerial Leadership in Japan and the UK: Source of Power and Influence", ESRC. This project aims to address questions surrounding Prime Ministerial leadership in two leading parliamentary systems, the UK and Japan, that have often been overlooked in the comparative literature. It aims to explore the changing nature and role of UK and Japanese Prime Ministers since the turn of the millennium as each country has faced the challenges of the global financial crisis, domestic political and economic problems, and rising traditional and non-traditional security threats.  Dr Timothy Heppell is involved in the project to provide expertise on the UK Prime Minister. The main publication output from this project will be a special issue of Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, in which Dr Heppell will contribute two papers.
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Blog, News and Events

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Belén Alvarez Werth from the University of Queensland, Australia, and CDE member Daniel Valdenegro Ibarra  outline some of results to...

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Most of the national coverage of the May 2021 elections focused on the successes and failures of the two main...

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Dr Richard Axelby (SOAS) draws from his ethnographic research into the politics of communication in Sheffield, to outline the uncertain...

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CDE member Sara Kaizuka reflects on the implications of the election of the West Yorkshire Mayor to Labour’s vote in...

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We’re very pleased to announce that Dante Junior Solano Silva has been awarded the first Politics of Global Challenges International Scholarship...

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CDE member Dr Charlie Dannreuther will present findings at an exclusive policy roundtable to MEPs and other key stakeholders as part of the MAX project - maximising migrants' contribution to society.

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Dr Victoria Honeyman, Associate Professor of British Politics, has written an article for UK in a Changing Europe on what the 2021 local elections mean for the UK Labour Party.

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CDE has been successful in bringing the PSA’s British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR) to POLIS from 1 August 2021....

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Anti-racism campaigner Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE is to give the latest public lecture in a University of Leeds series honouring...

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This workshop will focus on the use of social media to support academic work. The CDE postgraduate workshops are informal...

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CDE Associate Member Andy Mycock will speak to us about his latest project, on votes at 16. The UK is...

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Regional MPs and University of Leeds researchers will come together to discuss opportunities for partnerships on climate action and implementing the COP26 agenda in Yorkshire and the Humber. This event is hosted by The Priestley Centre and organised by Postgraduate Researcher and CDE member Ruth Bookbinder.

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