Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira

Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira


I work on parliament and public engagement and I joined POLIS in 2015, having previously been Professor at the University of Hull and having worked on parliaments for nearly 30 years.

I am Chair of IPEN, the International Parliament Engagement Network, an network that brings together academics and practitioners from across the world to share practices on public engagement and discuss ways to enhance it. I am also Deputy Chair of the UK Study of Parliament Group, having acted as its Chair between and 2019 and 2022. I am also a Constitution Unit Fellow.

Besides my research, I have a strong interest for student-centred approaches to teaching politics. Amongst other prizes in recognition of the quality and innovation of my teaching, I have been awarded a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship (2012) and the Political Studies Association Bernard Crick Main Prize for Outstanding Teaching (2010).


  • Chair of IPEN - the International Parliament Engagement Network

Research interests

My research focuses on the relationship between parliament and citizens, particularly public and digital engagement. I am interested in understanding the methods parliaments have developed to engage with the public, having focused particularly on petitions in recent years.

I am currently involved in two main research projects. One funded by the EU and led by Professor Emma Crewe (SOAS) on ‘A Global Comparative Ethnography of Parliaments, Politicians and People: representation, relationships and ruptures’; and the other funded by the AHRC & ESRC and led by Dr Richard Huzzey (Durham University), on ‘Petitioning and People Power in Twentieth-Century Britain’.

I was recently part of an AHRC GRCF funded project on Parliaments and People, led by SOAS, and also co-led a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust grant on how the UK Parliament has engaged the public in the legislative process, having before led an ESRC study on how parliaments manage their image and public engagement.

I also regularly give evidence to parliaments in the area of public engagement, having been one of eight Commissioners of the Digital Democracy Commission set up by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, University of Hull
  • Licenciatura, ISCTE, University of Lisbon

Professional memberships

  • Political Studies Association
  • Study of Parliament Group
  • European Consortium for Political Research
  • Research Committee for Legislative Scholars

Student education

My main area of teaching is Parliament, particularly on issues relating to its relationship with the public and engagement.

I am also personal tutor to students, often from the degree courses of Politics and Parliamentary Studies and Politics.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Democratic Engagement

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>