Founded in 1944, the Hansard Society is the UK’s leading source of independent research and advice on Parliament and parliamentary affairs.
A research and education Society dedicated to expounding the principles and practice of parliamentary democracy and its challenges, the Hansard Society is widely recognised as the Westminster Parliament’s ‘critical friend’. It is an authoritative and rigorous source of non-partisan analysis, constructive criticism, and proposals for bold but practical reforms for Parliament. The Society’s work supports the improvement of knowledge about Parliament and the development of reforms needed to shape our democratic institutions for the 21st century.
A registered charity, the Society is a membership organisation which is governed by an independent Board of Trustees including representatives from across the political spectrum. Underpinning our commitment to non-partisanship, the Speakers of the two Houses – currently the Rt. Hon. John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, and the Lord Speaker, the Rt. Hon. the Lord Fowler – serve as honorary Co-Presidents of the Society.
In addition to producing evidence-based ideas for the reform of Parliament, we publish Parliamentary Affairs, one of the leading international political science journals dedicated to the study of representative democracy. Convening debate on topical political issues, we provide a non-partisan forum for the exchange of ideas about our democratic future, and we promote the improvement of knowledge and understanding of Parliament through a range of training programmes and services. And, since 1986, our international Scholars programme has been educating young people from around the world to serve as future leaders in civic and political life.
Our current work falls into eight key themes:
Brexit and Parliament, including legislation, scrutiny, and treaty- and trade agreement-making
Future Parliament, including the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster
Governance of Parliament, including administration, leadership, procedures and resources
Making better law, including delegated legislation and the legislative process
Parliaments around the world, including our participation in the Global Research Network for Parliaments and People
Parliamentary scrutiny, including select committees and financial scrutiny
Political engagement, including our annual Audit of Political Engagement study
Representation, including elections, parties and the role of MPs and other representatives
Dedicated pages for each of these themes are accessible from the ‘Our Work’ menu at the top of the page.