Conference: Questions of Accountability

Questions of Accountability: Prerogatives, Power and Politics 

1-5 November 2021, University of Worcester and University of Sheffield

Dear Colleagues,

The organisers are excited to announce two new keynote speakers for the online Questions of Accountability conference that is organised by the University of Worcester and the University of Sheffield. The new keynote speakers are Professor Alison Young (Cambridge) and Professor Jonathan Slater (King's College London and formerly the Permanent Secretary at Department for Education), who will both be delivering keynote lectures during the course of the conference. They join Professor Tom Ginsburg, Professor Margit Cohn, Professor Bruce Ackerman, Baroness Hale and other fantastic keynote speakers.

The conference takes place between 1-5 November 2021 and is free of charge to attend. It is open to everybody, so please do share my invitation with friends, family, colleagues and students.  I have included the University of Worcester's press release to give you full details of the event and how to register:


University Hosts Exploration of Power, Law and Politics

A former Home Secretary, the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court and a former head of MI5 are among a number of high profile speakers set to appear in a series of talks hosted by the University of Worcester. Academic experts from across the world and leading figures from the fields of law, politics and constitutional affairs are to feature in the week-long event exploring accountability for those in power.

The conference, titled ‘Questions of Accountability: Prerogatives, Power and Politics’, will be hosted online by the University of Worcester, and has been convened by Dr Chris Monaghan, Principal Lecturer in Law at the University of Worcester, and Professor Matthew Flinders, Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield. 

Dr Monaghan said: “We hope that the talks will lead to a greater awareness of accountability, how it operates, its purpose and degrees of effectiveness. The exhibition is designed to be interdisciplinary and allow accountability to be debated by legal academics, judges and lawyers, political scientists, public policy experts and practitioners and politicians. Above all the event is open to all and free to attend and we very much welcome involvement from students, the public and those working or researching in the area.”

The event runs from November 1 to November 5, but registration for a place has just opened.  Among those speaking are Professor Lord Blunkett, now a Professor of Politics in Practice at the University of Sheffield, but arguably best known for serving in Tony Blair’s government, including as Home Secretary from 2001 to 2004. Lady Hale of Richmond DBE, who became the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court and went on to be President of the Supreme Court, will also feature. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, who was appointed President of the Supreme Court in 2012, the second person to hold that office since it was established, will be speaking. Also featuring is Baroness Manningham-Buller, an independent, crossbench peer in the House of Lords in 2008, who has been a member of the Privileges and Conduct Committee, the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, and the Science and Technology Committee. Previously, she had a career with MI5 for more than 30 years, serving as Director General from 2002 to 2007.

There are also top experts in law and politics from universities around the world: Yale, the University of Texas, the University of Missouri, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Sydney and Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, along with King’s College London and the London School of Economics in the UK.

Other notable contributors are Karen Popp, partner at legal firm Sidley, who has previously served as Associate White House Counsel to the President of the United States, where she advised President Clinton and the White House staff on congressional and grand jury investigations and domestic policy issues. Also giving a talk, Dr Hannah White has strategic oversight of the Institute for Government’s programme of work on government, parliament and the civil service, focusing on external relationships and impact.

Professor Flinders said: “In a post-Trump, post-Brexit, some would even say 'post-political' or 'post-democratic' world, questions of accountability seem to dominate public debate and discussion. The 'Questions of Accountability' event provides an innovative arena in which to explore questions of power, control, legitimacy and corruption. Participants will be able to interact with world-leading scholars, senior members of the judiciary and former government ministers in order to cultivate a fresh debate and possibly even novel answers to increasingly urgent questions of accountability.”

The event is free to attend and registration has now opened for those wishing to take part.

To register visit https://www.worcester.ac.uk/about/academic-schools/school-of-humanities/humanities-research/international-exhibition/. For any questions, please contact the organisers at QofA2021@worc.ac.uk.

Written by Professor Matthew Flinders, co-host of Questions of Accountability.
Information and contact information:


Prof. Matthew Flinders FAcSS, FRSA
Dept. of Politics and Sir Bernard Crick Centre
University of Sheffield
Chair, Universities Policy Engagement Network
Vice-President, Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom


Tel: 07773 144 155
Research: https://matthewflinders.academia.edu/
Twitter: @politicalspike
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CrickCentre
BBC Radio 4 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03m3j7l