Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Politics: Is This the End of Politics? by Dr Peter Kerr, The University of Birmingham

26th November 2013 @ 12:30 - 13:30

In recent years, there has been a steady decline in the number of people taking part in ‘politics’. Not only are fewer people turning out to vote in elections, there are also fewer numbers of people joining political parties and other political organisations such as Trades Unions. In 2001 for example, it was noted that more votes had been registered for the Big Brother competition than in the UK General Election of that year. In addition, surveys show us that the level of ‘trust’ for politicians has been declining steadily over a number of years. This problem, of higher numbers of people distrusting politicians has not been helped in recent years by such things as the MPs’ expenses scandal and the Banking crisis. The overall effect of such events has been a growing tendency for people to show less interest in participating in politics. This seminar will ask whether this means that we are seeing ‘the end of politics’ as we know it. We will look at some of the reasons why people are ‘switching off’ from politics as well as the rise in new forms of political participation such as protests and internet politics.


I did an undergraduate degree in Politics and Sociology at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. I then moved to the University of Birmingham to study for my PhD on the Thatcher governments and their impact on political change in postwar Britain. After graduating with my PhD, I gained a post at Birmingham as a full-time lecturer in 2000. I am now a senior lecturer and Director of Admissions and Recruitment for the Department of Political Science and International Studies at Birmingham. My main research interests lie in British politics. I specialise in political parties and, particularly in the Conservative Party. I have recently published research on David Cameron’s leadership of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition. My current research focusses on the question ‘is there such a thing as Cameronism?’ Previously, I have published research on the Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown governments respectively. I teach the history of postwar British politics, from 1945 to the current coalition government. I also teach Foundations of Politics, which is an introduction to the study of politics for First Year students. In 2005, I created and launched an academic journal called British Politics and have been an Executive Editor of the journal since then. Although I am very passionate about politics, I am one of the many people in Britain who are not a member of any political party!

Suitable for: Year 12/Year 13

Preparation/Pre-reading: There is no specific preparation or pre-reading required. However it would be helpful for students to consider questions in advance relating to studying this subject at university. These questions may cover, for example, the application process, course structure, and university lifestyle.



26th November 2013
12:30 - 13:30
Event Category: