Crick Centre research associate James Weinberg has been invited to join the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Democratic Participation as a ‘Lead Fellow’ for the year 2016-17. James will contribute to the collabroative work done by this group in the area of participatory politics in general, and in citizenship education/voter engagement in particular. The group brings together parliamentarians from all political parties, academics, and NGOs such as Bite the Ballot, to look closely at how we can better engage young citizens in politics.
James previously contributed to the APPG’s Missing Millions’ report (released April 2016), which identified 25 recommendations to help ensure that the eight million citizens missing off the electoral register were effectively engaged and informed about the benefits and responsibilities related to electoral registration. Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for the Constitution, hailed the report this September and said that it will “go down in history as helping to evolve the UK’s electoral registration system”.
Last year the Group was unmatched in its cross-party appeal, with a co-chair from every major political party and existing as a space where young citizens were part of the process and the solution, not just the outcomes. James said after the meeting: ‘It is a pleasure to be involved with this group and to see such an enthusiastic mix of professionals working together who recognise that democratic renewal depends on supply and demand-side reforms. This means revisiting the ways in which our nation educates for democracy and prepares young people to critically engage with political processes and to assume ‘political responsibilities.’
If you would like to know more about James’ involvement with this APPG or his wider research in this area, please contact the Crick Centre.