The House of Commons Academic Fellowship Scheme is run by the House of Commons in partnership with the Political Studies Association (PSA) for senior political and social scientists currently researching or wishing to study the work of Parliament. Dr Catherine Bochel from the University of Lincoln’s School of Social & Political Sciences is one of only five researchers selected for the new role and will be granted rare access to Parliament to examine the relationship between the British public and the processes which shape political decision-making.
Her research will see her working alongside politicians and staff to explore how effectively the public are engaged in the decision-making process and to examine whether the concept of ‘procedural justice’ or ‘fair process’ has been followed.
Dr Bochel said: “Parliament is keen to encourage the public to get involved in politics, and people can now do this in a variety of ways. However, it is important that when they come into contact with Parliament their experience of the process is as positive as possible. This is for a number of reasons. In a liberal democratic system people may not get everything they ask for, so their treatment by the system and experience of it is very important; in such systems final decisions are made by elected representatives, so the public must be able to see that the decision-making process is fair and transparent. Their experience may not only affect how they feel about the individual elements of public engagement with which they have contact, but also wider political and governmental processes. If the processes underpinning participatory initiatives are clearly explained, this may contribute to improved public understanding of Parliament and enhance its work.”
Through her Fellowship, Dr Bochel hopes to improve processes through which Parliament engages the public in political decision-making, particularly in respect of managing expectations, outcomes and feedback to members of the public who get involved.
The College would like to congratulate Dr Bochel and wish her the very best of luck in her research.
You can read the full article on the University of Lincoln website
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