What role does the House of Lords play in scrutinising the executive? How has the scrutiny capacity of the Lords changed or evolved over time? What impact have recent reforms to the select committee system in the House of Lords made, and how does that scrutiny complement the work of select committees in the House of Commons?
These are the key questions that this ‘Shifting Scrutiny Structures’ three-year PhD studentship will explore as part of a broader project to underline the potential role of history, in general, and archival resources, in particular, in supporting contemporary policy-making processes and scrutiny structures. This project is co-funded by the House of Lords and the Special Collections, Heritage, and Archives Department within the University of Sheffield library. Starting in February 2023, this studentship provides a rare opportunity to gain research experience in a legislative context, and as part of a larger and inter-disciplinary team.
With Professor Matthew Flinders (University of Sheffield) as the Primary Supervisor and Professor the Lord Blunkett (University of Sheffield), Professor Felicity Matthews (University of Sheffield), Christopher Clarke (Committee Office, House of Lords) and Angela Haighton (Head of Special Collections, Heritage, and Archives, University of Sheffield) forming the full supervisory team, this studentship will shed light on the role the House of Lords plays in relation to parliamentary accountability.
In doing so it will fill a significant gap in the existing knowledge base. A huge and significant seam of scholarship exists on the reform, modernisation and effectiveness of select committees in the House of Commons but only recently have select committees in the Lords begun to attract academic interest. The Blunkett Archives, housed in the University of Sheffield library, also provide an unexplored resource dating back almost forty years through which to explore institutional change at Westminster. This studentship will be linked to the Blunkett Archives.
Although the studentship is based at the University of Sheffield the successful applicant will be expected to spend some time being based on secondment in the House of Lords.
Deadline to apply: 30 November 2022
Start date: February 2023.
Find out more and apply
For further details, please contact Professor Matthew Flinders ([Email Address Removed]).