‘Mediating democracy’   UNIVERSITY OF CHESTER CH1 4BJ


KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Professor Ivor Gaber (University of Sussex), Dr Dominic Wring (Loughborough University) and Dr Mercy Ette (University of Huddersfield)

2015 has seen a much-anticipated parliamentary election in the UK, at a time in which previously marginalized political parties and movements have caught the public imagination, but an election that resulted in the most unexpectedly predictable of results. These seem to be radically interesting times in British politics: Scotland has stayed in Britain, but will Britain be set to leave Europe…?

2015 is also the 750th anniversary of the first election of parliamentary representatives in England, and the 800th anniversary of that nation’s key constitutional document, Magna Carta. (It also, incidentally, happens to be the year in which the University of Chester has celebrated its own 175th anniversary.)

2015 has also witnessed significant national elections with broad international impacts in such places as Greece, Turkey and Nigeria - elections which have prompted uncertainty over Greece's future in the Eurozone, undermined planned constitutional changes in Turkey, and seen the peaceful transfer of power in Africa's most populous and most economically successful nation. It is also a year in which Denmark, Finland, Egypt, Poland, Tanzania, Spain, and Israel - amongst others - all go to the polls. Nor can we forget that we are now less than a year away from the start of the U.S. presidential primaries.

Thus the theme of this year’s annual conference of the Political Studies Association’s Media & Politics Group is the mediation of democracy in action through public, journalistic and political communication. The conference will feature papers which relate to this theme, in the context of both British and international cases and situations.

Keynote speakers Ivor Gaber and Dominic Wring will be talking about the reporting of British elections, while Mercy Ette will be looking at this year’s election in Nigeria, a poll which witnessed the peaceful transfer of governmental power in Africa’s most populous and prosperous nation.

In addition, the conference is set to feature more than 50 speakers from universities across the UK and Europe, and from as far afield as Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

The topics of the conference’s papers range from discussions of Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg to Boko Haram and Russell Brand; from Netflix to the BBC; from press ethics to social media; from Gay Pride to Syriza; from surveillance societies to slacktivism; from celebrity politics to Al-Quaeda; from political communication to journalistic representation; from the European Union to Islamic State. These presentations are set to offer a geographical scope which encompasses, among other places, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Cameroon, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Egypt, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Serbia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syria, the United States and Wales.

The conference is open to both members and non-members of the Political Studies Association.

Full papers submitted by postgraduate students will be entered into the James Thomas Memorial Prize. This annual award is presented to the most outstanding paper by a postgraduate student at the Media and Politics Group Annual Conference. Postgraduate students whose abstracts have been accepted for the conference and who further wish to be considered for this prize should submit a written version of their paper (2000-3000 words) to the conference organizers by 1 October 2015.

It is intended that a selection of papers from the conference will be published in book form.





The Political Studies Association is the UK’s leading association in the study and research of politics. The Media & Politics Group is one of the Political Studies Association’s largest specialist groups. More information about the PSA Media and Politics Group can be found at:

Famed for its renaissance architecture and Roman ruins (and for its shopping, bars and restaurants) the City of Chester is a historic jewel in the north-west of England, easily accessible by road and rail from the nearby cities of Liverpool and Manchester, and just a couple of hours by direct train from central London. More information about Chester can be found at:

More information about the University of Chester Department of Media can be found at:

The early bird conference registration fee is £110 standard fee, £55 student fee. The early bird registration fee for PSA members is £100 standard and £50 student discount. This fee includes refreshments and lunches both days, but does not include accommodation or the formal conference dinner (which will be available as an additional opt-in). The early bird fee will apply to registrations prior to 1 October 2015.

The conference programme is available here.

As a popular tourist destination, Chester boasts a wide range of accommodation, from Michelin-starred hotels to many small bed-and-breakfast establishments. For more information on accommodation in the city, please visit the tourism information website.

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