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insight4me Politics: Is The UK Parliament Fit For Purpose? With Goldsmiths & University of East Anglia

November 11 @ 14:00 - 15:00







insight4me is a series of subject specific webinars for current Year 12 & 13 students. The sessions support students’ current studies by giving an insight into particular curriculum areas whilst affording students the opportunity to talk to different universities and make informed comparisons about how, in this case, Politics is taught.

In this insight4me Politics webinar for schools and colleges, two universities including Goldsmiths and UEA, will each have roughly 30 minutes to deliver a punchy, topic based ‘micro’ talk. Within an overall session theme of Is The UK Parliament Fit For Purpose?, the universities have the freedom to choose their own topic and use the time to convey the key points of the case studies for the Year 12 students.

Through the discussion, the universities are encouraged to provide an insight into the teaching and learning experience of this topic at university, and compare and contrast how other subject areas across the Politics spectrum might be treated. Students will gain an insight into how these subjects continue beyond A-levels, IB, BTEC and equivalent qualifications.

By hearing from 2 unis, students will also appreciate how the further study of Politics can vary between institutions, contributing to the depth of their HE research and assisting informed decision making.

Full details of the universities and their talks will appear below when available. 

  • Goldsmiths, University of London: Parliament: An Economist’s View

    In this presentation, Dr Paul Gunn, Lecturer in Political Economy, will briefly examine the main functions of parliament before posing a question: how do we know that parliament functions effectively? This is, I show, a much harder question than it may appear, and forms the backdrop of much of our political debate in the UK. To illustrate my point, I look at one of the functions of parliament in detail, namely its role in scrutinising the executive. I show that the confusion over how to assess the functionality of parliament helps to explain two major debates in British politics (concerning representation and public debt), before showing that such debates are themselves the consequence of our fundamental uncertainty over how, and why, politicians make the choices they do.

  • University of East Anglia: Dr Eitan Tzelgov will present Is Parliament fit for purpose – Why so much Drama? In his 2018 book, ‘Nervous States’ sociologist William Davies stated ‘Feelings have taken over the world’. Things seem to become more emotional in parliament, as well. For example, during one of the Brexit debates, Labour MP Paula Sherriff screamed at Boris Johnson, telling him to change his attitude towards the parliamentary opposition, concluding with “He should be absolutely ashamed of himself!” Mr Johnson dismissed these remarks as ‘humbug’ after which parliament erupted with screaming and shouting. Do we have too much drama in parliament these days? Why? If so, does it matter? Can an emotional parliament still perform its duties? What happens in other parliaments? And does the public care? We will discuss these issues and others during this talk.


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.



Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Politics and related disciplines.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the 2 topics and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Politics at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.



November 11
14:00 - 15:00
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