Over the past few decades the Liberal Democrats have expanded greatly as a political party across Great Britain. In Scotland and Wales the party has formed part of the government and at Westminster, local government and in the European Parliament it has become a serious political force.
As the Liberal Democrats have developed as a political party, so academic interest in both the contemporary party and its Liberal and SDP predecessors has grown. The British Liberal Political Studies Group has therefore been set up to aid, coordinate and encourage the academic study of matters of British Liberal politics, both contemporary and historical. The Group is a sub-group of the Political Studies Association and is mainly financed directly from it by an annual grant.
The British Liberal Political Studies Group aims to cover the following areas connected with the British Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats:
1. Political campaigning, in both historical and contemporary contexts.
2. Policy development.
3. The history of the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats.
4. The history of Liberal political groups associated with British Liberal politics.
5. Important historical events.
6. Analysis of leadership within the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats.
7. The study of state and regional parties in both historical and contemporary contexts.
8. The study of the Liberal Party in opposition and in government.
9. The study of past and predicted election results, opinion polling and party development at local, regional, national and European level.
10. An examination of the interrelationship between British Liberal politics and related political parties outside the United Kingdom.
The British Liberal Political Studies Group enjoys the support of, and interacts with, the Liberal Democrat History Group; together they have helped organise conferences.
1. Academic panels - the Group organises one or two panels at the annual Political Studies Association conference, and other occasional day conferences at various venues. The latest events have been in Belfast 2012, and the LSE conference in London (jointly with the History Group), 2011.
2. A biennial conference. The last conference took place at the LSE in May 2011 and the next one is planned for 2013.
3. Panels and fringe meeting at appropriate Liberal Democrat state and federal conferences.
4. Encourage contributions to the Journal of Liberal History.
5. Occasional email discussion groups on topical issues.
Dr Russell Deacon
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The co-convernors are Professor Richard Grayson (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Dr Lisa Harrison (University of the West of England).
Membership of the group is available by emailing the convenor, Professor Russell Deacon.