Citizens, Parties and Political Action Conference 2015

On Wednesday 4 February, the Division of Politics and International Relations hosted the Citizens, parties and political action: Political participation and the UK General Election 2015 conference.

On Wednesday 4 February, the Division of Politics and International Relations hosted the Citizens, parties and political action: Political participation and the UK General Election 2015 conference.

The conference, which was organised by the newly established Citizens, Parties and Political Action research cluster, explored developments in party politics and unfolding and uneven patterns of citizens' political participation in the UK and elsewhere across Europe. 

The conference included panels that focused on changes in party politics and the emergence of new parties across the UK and Europe and the challenges of class, ethnicity, gender and age–based political participation inequalities.

The conference culminated in a roundtable session, comprising national speakers as well as representatives from political parties. This addressed a question of crucial significance for the future health of UK democracy: Should 16 and 17-year-olds be given the vote? Speakers at the roundtable event included prospective parliamentary candidates from across Nottinghamshire and individuals involved in youth citizenship and youth politics.

Professor Matt Henn, from the Division of Politics and International Relations at Nottingham Trent University said: "The Division of Politics and International Relations were delighted to host this conference which brought together colleagues from across Europe to discuss the current state of health of democratic politics across the continent.

"Three panels considered the vulnerability of traditional and mainstream political parties to challenges from newer left, right and populist parties, as well as the deepening disconnect between citizens and formal politics which seems to be a feature of many advanced democratic countries.

"The afternoon roundtable included a panel of parliamentary candidates and national speakers who offered responses to a question of increasing and considerable importance as we look toward this year's UK General Election and beyond: Should 16 and 17-year-olds be given the vote?

"This session attracted more than 50 participants and led to an exciting debate about the possibilities and prospects for bridging the persisting rift between young citizens and the state. Almost inevitably, no single position was agreed, although all were left much the wiser and more informed than they were at the outset."

Find out more about the Citizens, Parties and Political Action research cluster at NTU.

Feedback from conference participants

"A very helpful event to attend for me because it opened so many windows. Congratulations to all who planned it and organised it as much as to the many excellent contributors."

"Thank you very much for having given us the opportunity to present our paper. I enjoyed being part of this conference and the panel discussion was interesting and passionately political."

"Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to present part of my research. I hope we will keep in touch."

"Thank you so much for organising this event which really was a great opportunity to see some exciting research being done in this area."

Citizens, Parties and Political Action Conference 2015

Published on 12 February 2015
  • Category: School of Social Sciences

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