The Petitions Committee: Developing a New Style of Public Engagement

This Knowledge Exchange Fellowship entailed research on the effectiveness of the UK Parliament’s new e-petitions system, namely in terms of public engagement. Professor Leston-Bandeira shadowed the Petitions Committee for about six months, carrying out interviews with staff, MPs and petitioners, as well as observations of parliamentary sessions and analysis of data on petitions. Her research identified the key strengths and weaknesses of the system, uncovering a unique system of a parliament engaging with public.


This research was co-developed with the Petitions Committee and Professor Leston-Bandeira produced several reports for the Committee, which would then inform its practice. It also informed some of the evidence she has submitted the UK Parliament, as well as to other parliaments such the Parliament of Australia and the Senate of Brazil.

Publications and outputs

Leston-Bandeira, C. ‘Parliamentary petitions and public engagement: an empirical analysis of the role of e-petitions’, Policy & Politics, vol. 47, (3), (2019) pp. 415-436 -

Asher, Leston-Bandeira and Spaiser ‘Do Parliamentary Debates of e-Petitions Enhance Public Engagement with Parliament? An Analysis of Twitter Conversations’, Policy & Internet, vol.11, 2, 2019, pp.149-171,

Blog posts:

Project website