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The impact of Parliament on legislation

Researchers: Professor Meg Russell

Project overview

Is the UK Parliament just an elaborate rubber stamp? Or does it have a significant impact on policy-making?

This project addresses these questions by taking a closer look at the passage of bills through the Commons and the Lords. Researchers will track all amendments to ten case study bills in the 2005 and 2010 parliaments, including identification of ‘policy strands’ (defined as amendments at different legislative stages, which concentrate on the same issue).

Researchers will also interview key actors involved in each bill, drawn from both chambers and from government and outside groups. This will enable conclusions to be verified and to collect evidence of less visible behind-the-scenes influence and relationships. For example, the extent to which government tailors its policy in order to avoid parliamentary dissent. These interviews will also be used to gather information and views on key changes post-2010.


  • Professor Meg Russell
    University College London

  • Director, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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