Public lecture: A post-liberal age? Brexit, Trump & the shape of Western politics


On Wednesday, 8 February, we are hosting Dr Adrian Pabst (University of Kent & Res Publica) as part of our politics open lecture series with a talk titled “A post-liberal age? Trump, Brexit & the shape of Western politics”.

The event is free of charge with no registration necessary and will take place in Room Og32 in Old Sessions House, North Holmes Road, CT11QU, Canterbury Christ Church University.

The New Prime Minister Should Appear Before The House Commons Liaison Committee As Soon As Possible Say Researchers

Dr Mark Bennister (Canterbury Christ Church University), Dr Alexandra Kelso (University of Southampton) and Dr Phil Larkin (University of Canberra) have published a report on the House of Commons Liaison Committee and its role in guaranteeing prime ministerial accountability. While most public attention is focused on Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQ), Liaison Committee sessions with the Prime Minister have remained mostly under the radar. These sessions have operated since 2002, questioning three successive Prime Ministers. The research focuses on the process of significant institutional learning the Committee has undergone over the course of these sessions. The report comes after a yearlong research project led by Dr Bennister and funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The publication of the report was supported by Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Southampton.

The report made several recommendations including:

  • The sessions should occur more often than 3 times a year and produce a report on the sessions.
  • The Prime Minister should be called before the Committee at the start of each session to answer questions on the programme for government as set out in the Queen’s Speech.
  • A new mid-term Prime Minister should appear before the Committee as early as possible after becoming prime minister.
  • Members of the Committee should be encouraged to ask shorter more succinct questions to the Prime Minister.
  • The Committee should shape the substance of the sessions on decision-making at the heart of government. If the sessions are to shed light on areas of prime ministerial responsibility, a stronger focus on how decisions were formulated would be illuminating.

The full report is available for download here:
Questioning the Prime Minister:
How effective is the Liaison Committee?


The research was the subject of a workshop at the Institute for Government in July. The event included a panel discussion with Lord Beith (Chair of Liaison Committee 2010-2015), Andrew Dismore AM Greater London Assembly (Former MP and Liaison Committee member 2005-2010) and Hannah White (Institute for Government). Dr Ben Worthy (Birkbeck) chaired the discussion.

The research was featured in BBC Radio 4 Today in Westminster broadcast on 8 July and available at


EcoPeace in Jordan on the agenda in Parliament


Dr Mark Bennister, Reader in Politics at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), met with Khalifeh Ad-Dayyet, Mayor of the Deir Alla region of Jordan on 15 September. Dr Bennister arranged for the Mayor to visit Parliament, aided by the CCCU Politics alumna Bronwen Edwards in the office of Barry Gardiner MP. The Mayor is travelling to the UK to raise awareness of sustainable development peace building initiatives he is leading in the Jordan Valley as part of EcoPeace (formerly Friends of the Earth Middle East). Continue reading “EcoPeace in Jordan on the agenda in Parliament”

House of Commons Publishes Evidence by CEFEUS Director

Written evidence examining the implications and opportunities of leaving the EU for science and research by Dr. Amelia Hadfield, Director of the Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS) within the Politics/IR team at Canterbury Christ Church University has been published by the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee. Continue reading “House of Commons Publishes Evidence by CEFEUS Director”

5th Summer School on Federalism, Multinationalism and the Future of Europe

By Simon Bransden, PhD candidate in Politics and IR, CCCU

For the fifth successive year, CCCU’s Politics, in conjunction with the Centre International de Formation Européene (CIFE) organised a Summer School at which undergraduate and postgraduate students could develop their knowledge and understanding of federal studies, the European Union and institutional design in divided societies. Continue reading “5th Summer School on Federalism, Multinationalism and the Future of Europe”