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Mile End Institute

Past Events, 2015-2021

Commemorating 50 Years of 'Outcast London' Commemorating 50 Years of 'Outcast London'
Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 6:30 PM

This event from the Mile End Institute, Raphael Samuel History Centre, and Modern British History Seminar commemorated fifty years since the publication of Gareth Stedman Jones’ Outcast London.

Forty Years On: New Perspectives on the 1981 Budget Forty Years On: New Perspectives on the 1981 Budget
Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 6:30 PM

In this special History and Policy seminar, the panel of experts compared the polarised 1981 Budget debate with the current Conservative government's policies and draw lessons for today.

The Civic University The Civic University
Thursday, December 2, 2021, 1:00 PM

In this event the panel discuss the outcome of Jonathan's research and his report into civic universities in the UK.

After the Virus: Lessons from the Past for a Better Future After the Virus: Lessons from the Past for a Better Future
Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 6:30 PM

Our panel of experts have a discussion based on the themes of the book.

Celebrating the Living Wage at Queen Mary University of London Celebrating the Living Wage at Queen Mary University of London
Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 9:30 AM

This event reflected on how the Living Wage is a vital strategy in the fight to end poverty in London and the important role of higher educational institutions in creating a fairer society.

Structural and Institutional Racism in the UK - Contemporary Perspectives
20 October 2021

This event explored different perspectives and contributions to the debate about structural and institutional racism in the UK. 

Riding the Populist Wave – Europe’s Mainstream Right in Crisis
15 October 2021

Does the temptation to ‘ride the populist wave’ ultimately pose a danger to liberal democracy?

Banking Bailout Law: A Comparative Study of the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union
6 October 2021

An expert panel discussed Virág Blazsek’s book, Banking Bailout Law: A Comparative Study of the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union, which examines the different bank bailout and resolution techniques and tools through carefully selected case studies.

The Limehouse Declaration 40 Years On: Can the SDP Teach Us Anything Today?
22 September 2021

Combining the insights of a witness seminar with contemporary analysis, the panel aimed to highlight the similarities (and differences) between the 1981 schism and the contemporary moment, using this anniversary as an opportunity to gain insights into the politics of today.

The Conservative Party in London
12 July 2021

The session examined the long-term prospects for the Conservative Party in London following the recent Mayoral and London Assembly elections.

Where Next for the Liberal Democrats?
7 July 2021

In partnership with the think-tank Social Liberal Forum, we were delighted to host ‘Where Next for the Liberal Democrats?’.

A Future Well and Fair: A Post-Covid Vision of the Welfare State
23 June 2021

This event launched the report from the project, 'A Future Well and Fair: A Post-Covid Vision for the Welfare State', by Paul Copeland, Mary Daly and Alistair Leitch, supported by Research England.

Keir Starmer's Leadership: One Year On
10 May 2021

This event brought together an expert panel to discuss Keir Starmer’s first year as Leader of the Opposition in the aftermath of major elections in Scotland, Wales, and other parts of the UK.

Brexit, Digital Platforms and Algorithms: Exploring Competition Policy in the UK
27 April 2021

With investigations into large technology companies’ allegedly monopolistic behaviour across the globe, competition policy has become a central issue in economics and politics. But can more robust enforcement of our current rules tame the power of the tech giants? 

UK Constitutional Reform: What Has Worked and What Hasn’t?
25 March 2021

The past two decades have seen some of the most far-reaching changes to the UK constitution since universal suffrage. Many virtues have been ascribed to these reforms. To the extent that criticism exists, it has often been to argue that further reform is necessary. This online conference adopted a different approach. It aimed to provide a critical evaluation of recent constitutional reforms.  

Democracy and Climate Change
11 March 2021

The climate emergency is the most important issue facing governments across the world. But can Britain’s democratic institutions cope with a challenge on this scale? Do we need new forms of democratic decision-making, such as climate assemblies and citizens’ juries, or might it be necessary, as the environmentalist James Lovelock has argued, “to put democracy on hold for a while”? Are democracies capable of long-term decision-making, or of co-ordinating action across generations? What is the role of climate protest in a democratic society, and why did the issue feature so little in the 2019 General Election?

Reforming the House of Lords
24 November 2020

The House of Lords is the oldest part of the British Parliament, and has been reformed many times before. In fact, every governing party in the 20th century reformed either its powers, its composition or a combination of the two. Lords reform has been described as the Bermuda Triangle of British politics: many governments have sailed in, but very few have ended up where they intended. Today, it remains an important part of our governing system, with the power to scrutinise and amend legislation, and to delay it for up to a year. In recent times, it has been especially prominent in debates around welfare reform, detention without trial, and most recently, its opposition to parts of the Internal Market Bill, particularly those that could breach international law.  

Corruption and the British State
12 November 2020

Is the British state corrupt? The UK has traditionally scored well in global anti-corruption rankings, but concerns about corruption, cronyism, and the conduct of elections have become increasingly prominent in public debate.  

New Directions in Black British History
16 October 2020

 This live webinar brought together three emerging researchers on Black British History. The panel, chaired by Dr Rob Waters (School of History, QMUL) discussed their current research and touched on their experiences of studying Black British History in the context of Black Lives Matter and COVID-19.   

'A Hard Rain'? Reforming the Civil Service
9 October 2020

In June 2020, Dominic Cummings was reported as saying that ‘a hard rain is coming’ for the Civil Service. Over the last year, six Permanent Secretaries have left their posts, prompting warnings of a politicisation of the machinery of government. Yet calls for reform have not only come from within the government.  This webinar formed part of the Mile End Institute’s British Democracy Series.

16 years on the road to Brexit – In Conversation with Gawain Towler
3 March 2020

The result of the 2016 Brexit referendum and subsequent political developments have been unprecedented in recent UK political history. The challenges to the political system in the UK have given rise to wider discussions around the UK’s place in the world as well as its future relationship with the European Union.

Exploring the Future of the Labour Party
20 January 2020

Following the 2019 general election Labour suffered its biggest defeat since 1945 which triggered a Labour leadership contest. Debates about the future direction of the party have continued as the ballot draws closer. Queen Mary’s Mile End Institute brought together a range of stakeholders and Labour insiders to explore this topic in depth.  

Adrift? Britain's Global Role Beyond Brexit
5 December 2019

As politicians grapple over the nation’s future, and the British people prepare to vote, is there a vision of Britain’s national interest and role in the world that its diverse society can unite around? If so, what is it?

What is ‘Corbynomics’? The New Political Economy of the British Left
18 November 2019

The emerging political economy of the British left   Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party promising to break with a ‘neoliberal consensus’ that, his supporters argue, has dominated Britain for the past forty years. This topic was the source of debate at the latest Mile End Institute event which included key figures in the development of the new economic thinking pursued by the Labour leadership. the UK. This topic was debated at the latest Mile End Institute event held at Queen Mary University of London.

Data Rights: Subjects or Citizens?
12 November 2019

The exponential accumulation of data from everyday online and offline activities has raised tensions about who has the rights to produce and own such data. These issues were explored at the latest event held at the Mile End Institute. Opening the panel discussion, Professor Engin Isin from Queen Mary’s School of Politics and International Relations discussed the concept of the politics of data. Highlighting issues of privacy, access and anonymity, Professor Isin underlined the complexities of data management in a digital age.

Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats with Dr. Maya Goodfellow
4 November 2019

Immigration is often cited as a key concern for the British public, something that became apparent during the 2016 Brexit Referendum. This topic was the source of debate at the latest Mile End Institute event where author Dr. Maya Goodfellow discussed her latest book.

Rory Stewart MP 'In Conversation'
16 October 2019

Rory Stewart MP took part in a special In Conversation event at the Mile End Institute, where he discussed the UK political system, responsibilities of government and public expectations for the role of Mayor of London. Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border since 2010, served as Secretary of State for International Development, Prisons Minister and Chair of the Defence Select Committee. He was also a candidate in the Conservative leadership race in 2019 and was also named ‘GQ Politician of the Year’ in the same year.  Previously he served in the Foreign Office as well as a regional governor in Iraq. In 2002 he walked across Afghanistan, the basis for a major book, The Places In-Between. Rory Stewart now sits as an independent MP after the Conservative whip was removed in September 2019 and is set to stand as a candidate for Mayor of London in 2020.    

Debating Britain’s so-called ‘Constitutional Crisis’
2 October 2019

Debating Britain’s so-called ‘Constitutional Crisis’ The result of the Brexit referendum and the subsequent political developments are said to have plunged the UK into a constitutional crisis. The challenges to the political system has given rise to calls for constitutional reform in the UK. This topic was debated at the latest Mile End Institute event held at Queen Mary University of London.

Post-Truth Revisited with Matthew d'Ancona
24 September 2019

Post-truth debated at the Mile End Institute In 2017 journalist Matthew d’Ancona published an acclaimed book about the so-called post-truth era. Speaking at the Mile End Institute he shared his insights about the ongoing debate on misinformation in the world at large.

In conversation with Chris Skidmore MP
8 July 2019

Chris Skidmore, the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation took part in a special In Conversation event at Queen Mary’s Mile End Institute where he discussed the value of education, university funding and the implications of Brexit for higher education.

'Parents, Poverty and the State: Lessons from the Sure Start programme' with Naomi Eisenstadt, First Director of Sure Start
23 May 2019

This seminar will discuss 'the story of Sure Start, one of the flagship programmes of the last Sure Start was set up, the numerous changes it went through, and how it has changed the landscape of services for all young children in England. Offering insight into the key debates on services for young children, as well as how decisions are made in a highly political context, the seminar will be of keen interest to policy academics, senior managers of public services and all those with a keen interest in developing services for young children'.

Who represents London?: Ethnicity, gender, and party in local government
16 May 2019

A new study by Queen Mary alumna Mercy Muroki and academic Prof. Philip Cowley reports local black and Asian representation across London for the first time in over 20 years. 

Facing White Supremacy after Brexit: Politics as Usual?
24 April 2019

This panel event will hear from people who have been at the front line of acting against and thinking about white supremacy, its origins and transnational networks, including activists who have been present at major white supremacist shows of strength in London, and the ‘Unite the Right’ demonstrations in Charlottesville, USA in 2017.

Is Corbyn a populist?
10 April 2019

Drawing on their experiences with populist politics in the UK, France, Spain and Denmark, the speakers discuss what it means if Corbyn is a populist: is populism a viable electoral strategy? And, once in power, what can we expect of a Left populist government?

Referendums in the age of Brexit: Wrong Turn or the Future of British Democracy?
25 February 2019

Our speakers explored how the referendum became part of UK politics, how campaigns are and should be fought, and whether referendums revitalise democracy or risk destabilising it.

What Does Brexit Mean for Black and Asian Britain?
29 October 2018

In the 2016 Brexit referendum, Britain’s four million Black and Asian voters emerged as a crucial electoral battleground. The referendum spoke to fundamental questions about immigration, race, identity and the Commonwealth, sparking a vigorous debate in papers like The Voice and Eastern Eye. Black and Asian politicians, journalists and celebrities featured prominently in the campaign, from Rupa Huq, Sadiq Khan, Priti Patel and Chuka Umunna to June Sarpong, John Barnes and Jermain Jackman. Voting exposed significant differences within and between minority groups, while the aftermath of the vote sparked further controversies over immigration rules, hate crime and the legacies of empire.  

The Hennessy Lecture 2017: Neil Kinnock in Conversation with Peter Hennessy
3 October 2017

Brexit will be an unmitigated disaster for the UK if the government fails to ensure a substantial transition period, according to the former leader of the Labour Party Lord Kinnock. 

Left-of-Centre Parties and Trade Unions in the Twenty-First Century
1 June 2017

Just like labour in the uk, left-of-centre parties all over the world have historic ties to the trade union movement – ties aimed at helping both partners but that sometimes spark disputes between them, as well as attracting criticism from their opponents.

In Conversation with Robert Peston
11 May 2017

Robert Peston, a journalist and presenter, the Political Editor of ITV News and the host of the weekly political discussion show Peston on Sunday, joins Professor Philip Cowley in conversation to discuss Brexit Britain and general election. 

In Conversation with Nick Clegg
26 January 2017

Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg joins Professor Philip Cowley in conversation to discuss the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the rise in populist politics and the future of centrist politics.

In Conversation with Yvette Cooper
19 January 2017

Yvette Cooper, chair of the Home Affairs Committee, joins Professor Philip Cowley in conversation to discuss the future of the Labour Party, her response to the refugee crisis and politics in the age of social media. 

The Crosland Legacy: The Future of British Social Democracy
7 December 2016

To mark the 60th anniversary of Anthony Crosland's influential tract The Future of Socialism, the Mile End Institute brought together key thinkers to discuss his legacy. 

Bruce Ackerman: Britain at the Constitutional Crossroads
2 December 2016

Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University delivered a lecture Britain at the Constitutional Crossroads – Court, Parliament, and Popular Sovereignty in the Twenty-First Century.

English Votes for English Laws One Year on: a critical evaluation
28 November 2016

Mile End Institute Director Professor Michael Kenny and researcher Daniel Gover present their analysis of the new procedures to allow certain issues to be decided by English MPs alone. 

What next for English devolution?
14 November 2016

Sir Bob Kerslake, Professor Jane Wills and Councillor Colin Noble joined the Mile End Institute and LGiU to assess the future of devolution in England.

Understanding Women's Work and Family Lives
8 November 2016

This symposium, co-ordinated by the Mile End Institute's Deputy Director Dr Helen McCarthy, asked what insights humanities and social science scholars, particularly social and cultural historians, can bring to ongoing policy-oriented conversations about gender equality at work and in the home.

The 1981 Uprisings at 35 Criminal Justice, Community and the State
5 November 2016

This one day conference will bring community groups, policy makers and academics together to reflect on the 35th anniversary of the Scarman Report, authored in response to the inner-city uprisings of 1981.

In Conversation with Ken Clarke
31 October 2016

Former Chancellor Ken Clarke joined Professor Philip Cowley in conversation to discuss how politics has changed over his career, the Brexit vote and the future of the Conservative Party.

The Hennessy Lecture 2016: Lord Heseltine
19 October 2016

Each year, the Mile End Institute invites a distinguished politician to reflect on the issues of the day in honour of our patron, Peter Hennessy. The 2016 Hennessy Lecture was delivered by Michael Heseltine.

In Conversation with Gisela Stuart
17 October 2016

The Mile End Institute's new series of events brings senior figures from across the political spectrum to Queen Mary University of London for an in-depth exploration of their politics. Our first guest, co-chair of the Vote Leave campaign, Labour MP, Gisela Stuart was in conversation with Professor Philip Cowley.

The EU Referendum: Morning after briefing
24 June 2016

Instant analysis of the EU referendum result by Queen Mary University of London's top experts. 

The EU Referendum: How will UK politics change?
16 June 2016

Whatever the outcome of the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, there will be serious repercussions for British politics.  The Mile End Institute and QMUL's Centre for European Research brought together a panel of experts to consider the potential fallout of the vote. 

The Olympic Legacy: how has East London changed?
7 June 2016

As Rio prepares to host this summer's Olympics, we asked how London 2012 has changed East London.  Has the promised transformation taken place? what do East London's communities feel has been the legacy of the Games? 

The Great Sovereignty Debate
6 June 2016

The Mile End Institute brought together speakers including John Redwood, Sir Stephen Wall, Marina Wheeler and Sir Bob Worcester to explore how the issue of sovereignty shapes the UK's relationship with the EU.

The EU Referendum: What would 'Out' look like?
24 May 2016

We brought together Lord John Monks, former head of the TUC and ETUC, Barbara Cullinane from the Irish Embassy, Professor Robert Tombs of Historians for Britain and Garvan Walshe of Conservatives In to discuss what Brexit might look like.

How to advise government? Routes into the policy making process
26 April 2016

What kinds of opportunity and challenge arise from the open policy-making agenda? Which kinds of research tends to achieve impact with government departments? We heard the views of a panel of speakers with a wide range of experience in both academia and government policy making. 

Questioning Decline: Britain and the World After 1945
11 April 2016

This conference, held in association with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, debated our understanding of British political, cultural and economic life after 1945, and questioned the advantages and limitations of describing Britain as a nation in decline. Speakers included Professor David Reynolds and Lord (Peter) Hennessy.

Does Good Policy-Making Need Historians?
16 March 2016

Peter Hennessy, David Cannadine, Margaret Macmillan and Nick Pearce reflected on the relationship between history, policy and the public good.

History Beyond the Academy: Engaging Publics, Influencing Policy
16 March 2016

Leading figures in the worlds of broadcasting, publishing, journalism and politics, including Professor Pam Cox (University of Essex and presenter of BBC Two, Servants and Shop Girls), Paul Lay (editor of History Today), Phil Tinline (radio producer, BBC Radio 4) and Tristram Hunt MP discussed how academic historians can reach beyond the scholarly community.

Re-imagining the BBC: Independence
29 February 2016

Jesse Norman MP, Melvyn Bragg, Martin Moore and David Pannick discussed the future of BBC Independence in the second event co-hosted by the Mile End Institute and the BBC on the review of the BBC's Charter. 

Contemporary Political History in the Digital Age
11 February 2016

The transformation of politics in the era of the internet is a subject of endless debate and discussion, but what are its implications for political history and historians?

Book Launch: The General Election of 2015
9 February 2016

Professor Philip Cowley was joined by Spencer Livermore, Director of Labour's 2015 election campaign, Polly MacKenzie, former special advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Matthew d'Ancona, chair of Bright Blue for a discussion to mark the publication of The British General Election of 2015. 

How to Advise Parliament? Routes into the policy making process
3 December 2015

UCL and the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary, University of London, teamed up to host a public event with parliamentary insiders and evidence experts, exploring how academia could engage the world of government, particularly through select committees. 

Re-imagining the BBC: Charters Past and Present
2 December 2015

Peter Hennessy was joined by Tessa Jowell, Norman Fowler, David Levy and Tony Hall to discuss what can be learned from previous Charter review rounds. 

Oral History and the Study of Contemporary British Politics
25 November 2015

This event, hosted in partnership with the British Library, brought together early-career researchers and a small number of more established scholars to reflect on the value of oral history for the study of British politics since 1945. 

In the thick of it: what it's really like to work for an MP
24 November 2015

The Houses of Parliament's Outreach Service and Mile End Institute brought together Imran Ahmed, Political Adviser to Hilary Benn MP, Janet Walker, Chief of Staff to Tom Tugendhat MP and Patrick Diamond, Lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary University of London to discuss the realities of working for an MP.

Britain and Europe: The Lessons from History
9 November 2015

The Mile End Institute held a one-day conference, bringing together key politicians, academics and campaigners to view the current debate on Britain's relationship with Europe in its historical context, including a keynote speech from the Minister for Europe, Rt Hon David Lidington.

Weeping Britannia: Emotional Politicians Past and Present
23 October 2015

To mark the publication of Dr Thomas Dixon’s new book ‘Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears’, the Mile End Institute hosted a discussion about the way emotions have shaped the country's leading politicians.

The Inaugural Hennessy Lecture: David Owen on Referendums
8 October 2015

Lord Owen delivered the first lecture in honour of the Mile End Institute's patron, the cross-bench peer and constitutional historian, Peter Hennessy.

English Identity and Radical Politics - Jon Cruddas MP and panel discussion
22 September 2015

The Labour Party is lost in England and must federalise to survive, said Jon Cruddas, speaking at the Mile End Institute. The MP for Dagenham and Rainham called for an English Labour party to win back lost voters.

Rethinking Contemporary British Political History
7 September 2015

In the first of a series of events funded by the British Academy's Rising Star Engagement Awards, 40 early career and more established scholars at the cutting edge of the British contemporary history met for a two-day symposium at Queen Mary University of London to showcase emerging research and to map new directions in the study of British government and politics in the recent past.  

The Number 10 Policy Unit: Bernard Donoughue and Nick Pearce in conversation
9 June 2015

The Mile End Institute hosted a conversation between the first head of the Number 10 Policy Unit, Bernard Donoughue, and Nick Pearce who led the unit under Gordon Brown.

The hardest election to predict, ever: can anyone win on 7 May?
29 April 2015

As the UK headed to one of the most unpredictable elections in history, the Mile End Institute assembled some of the UK’s most senior pollsters and analysts to discuss the possible outcomes.

Women, Peace and Transnational Activism: A Century On
31 March 2015

The Mile End Institute, in partnership with History & Policy, held an event to mark the centenary of the Women’s Peace Congress, asking how far feminist perspectives have been mainstreamed into international debates about security, development and human rights over the past century.

Book Launch: Five Year Mission by Professor Tim Bale
23 March 2015

The Mile End Institute hosted the launch of QMUL Professor Tim Bale's new book Five Year Mission - The Labour Party under Ed Miliband.

Can the UK survive without changing its constitution?
2 March 2015

The Mile End Institute launch event took place on 2 March with a sold-out crowd of 350 policymakers, journalists, academics and members of the public.

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