EUGenDem workshop and book launch: Ethnography of parliaments in Europe (and beyond)

The final spring EUGenDem session on Gender, democracy and polarised politics in Europe took place on 3 June 2021 and included a workshop on ‘Ethnography of parliaments in Europe (and beyond)’ and a book launch of Cherry Miller’s  new monograph ‘Gendering the Everyday in the UK House of Commons: Beneath the Spectacle .

Parliamentary ethnography – an approach to research that uses observations, shadowing, interviews, focus groups and documentary analysis; has been at the forefront of research that captures key democratic practices such as: seeking re-election (Fenno 1978); accountability (Geddes, 2019); feelings of inclusion (Malley, 2012) and the informal institutions (Smrek, 2020) that inhibit these. Benefits of immersion in political settings include: deepening understanding of how (shallow) democracy works (Crewe, 2015; 2017, 2021) and how politicians respond to democratic disaffection (Boswell et al 2018); developing realistic recommendations (Childs 2016); and knowing who to target and support for enacting change agendas (Chappell and Mackay, 2020). This fascinating workshop convened around the methodology of parliamentary ethnography and presented cutting edge research.


Emma Crewe (SOAS, UK): The Anthropology of Parliaments: Entanglements in Democratic Politics

Sarah Childs (Royal Holloway University, UK): Building Feminist Institutions: The Making of The Good Parliament

The workshop was followed by a book launch of ‘Gendering the Everyday in the UK House of Commons: Beneath the Spectacle’, (Palgrave Macmillan) introduced first by Cherry Miller (Tampere University, Finland) and discussed by Marc Geddes (University of Edinburgh, UK). A link to the book can be found here.

Time: June 3rd 2021, 13:00-14:30 Helsinki time (11:00-12:30 London time)


In case of questions about the workshop, you can contact Barbara Gaweda (

The full program of the EUGenDem workshop series can be found here.