Alexandra Meakin

Department of Politics and International Relations

PhD research student

Full contact details

Alexandra Meakin
Department of Politics and International Relations
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
S10 2TU

Alexandra Meakin is a Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield. She is a Research Associate within the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics, where she is working on the Designing for Democracy research and public engagement project.

Alexandra’s doctoral research is on the politics of the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster and parliamentary governance. Her research interests also include the relationship between the executive and legislature, select committees, and institutional reform.

Prior to starting her doctoral research in September 2016 Alexandra worked for over a decade for House of Committees and for MPs. Her first degree was in History and Politics from the University of Sheffield and she has a Master’s degree in British Politics (Parliamentary Studies) from the University of Leeds.

Alexandra is also the Communications Officer of the Political Studies Association Specialist Group on Parliaments, where she is the editor for the group’s blog, commissioning original articles on legislatures in the UK and across the globe.

  • BA (University of Sheffield)
  • MA (University of Leeds)
Research interests

PhD Title: The politics of the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster

Supervisors: Professor Matthew Flinders and Dr Felicity Matthews

Brief Summary: This doctoral research examines proposals to repair and rebuild the Palace of Westminster—an emblem of British democracy—and seeks to explain why these proposals have, to date, failed to be adopted despite cross-party support and recognition of the perilous state of the building. Through the use of semi-structured elite interviews and fine-grained textual analysis this research provides a “long view” of how Parliament has managed the Palace of Westminster which, in turn, uncovers the hidden politics behind the Restoration and Renewal programme.

Research interests:

  • Parliamentary reform.
  • Select committees.
  • The relationship between the executive and the legislature.
  • Reform of the civil service.
  • Political culture.
Professional activities


Co-organiser of PSA Parliaments conference Legislatures in Uncertain Times (November 2017)

Conference Papers:

Forthcoming: Explaining Change in Parliaments: Dilemmas of managerial reform in the UK House of Commons: PSA Annual International Conference 2018 (co-authored with Dr Marc Geddes,Edinburgh)

Journal Articles:

Flinders, M. McCarthy-Cotter, L. Kelso, A. Meakin, A. The Politics of Parliamentary Restoration and Renewal: Decisions, Discretion, Democracy Parliamentary Affairs, Volume 71, Issue 1, 1 January 2018, Pages 144–168.