Author Archive

Christine Sheldon

Christine Sheldon is a Dutch PhD candidate at the Department of Politics and International Relations of Oxford University. Her research focuses on the life cycle of coalition governments, from formation to termination, by employing computational text analysis. She has previously completed the MPhil programme in European Politics at the DPIR writing her thesis on the interaction of coalition governments with the institutional design of the Dutch parliament.

Welcome to the OxPol Blogcast, a podcast where we will be sharing research, analysis, and experiences from members of the University of Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations. On each, episode we will talk to a guest about a piece they’ve written for the OxPol Blog. Then, we’ll discuss their larger research agenda, their insights on conducting political science, and their time at Oxford. On the inaugural episode of the OxPol BlogCast, host Chase Harrison talks to DPhil student Christine Sheldon about the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. They go on to discuss her research on coalitions and her work on natural speech processing. Read Christine’s original blog post here

In the month of November, Boris Johnson’s government will most likely instate a committee review of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act (FTPA) with the ultimate goal of fully repealing it. This Act, introduced in 2011, was supposed to fix the date of the general election to be every five years. Its planned repeal is part of a number of sweeping constitutional reforms that would empower the British executive over Parliament, which the Conservative Party vowed to push for in its 2019 electoral manifesto. With the ongoing global pandemic and the protracted Brexit talks with Brussels, the Conservative’s plan to repeal the FTPA have largely flown under the public’s radar. Yet if a repeal goes through, it would have a significant …