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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In this blog post, CDE Co-Director Prof. Cristina Leston-Bandeira reflects on the different elements entailed within the concept of public...

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CDE member, Ryan Swift, writes about his experience of undertaking interviews at a time of pandemic and how, interestingly, in...

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In our latest blog post, CDE PhD student Miranda Duffy, tells us about the DEN of ENQUIRY, a podcast she...

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In our latest blog post, PhD student Daniel Valdenegro Ibarra gives us a passionate account of the significance of last...

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Miranda Duffy, a PhD student at the Centre for Democratic Engagement, has launched a podcast, as part of her studies, entitled DEN of ENQUIRY. The podcast uses poetry to kick-start conversations about democracy and the rule of law for 9+year olds and their adults.

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Dr Eike Rinke has co-guest-edited a "Profession Symposium" (a series of 7 short articles) on the topic of "Opening Political Science" that has been published in print in the latest issue of PS: Political Science & Politics.

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Professor Leston-Bandeira's ground-breaking article on e-petitions was selected by the journal Policy & Politics, to be part of its free access virtual issue on digital, democracy and participation. Professor Leston-Bandeira's article is free to access until the 31 March.

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Professor Jocelyn Evans gave a paper, 'Existe-t-il un effet de « halo » ? Analyse multiniveaux des effets contextuels de l’immigration sur le vote Front national en 2017', to the Migrations and Society Research Unit in Paris (URMIS) on 11 January 2021.

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

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This event is part of the seminar series of IPEN (International Parliament Engagement Network) a network that brings together practitioners...

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Dr Louise Thompson (University of Manchester) will present the core findings of her recent book on small parties in Westminster....

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