Ben Ansell talks politics with pupils at Matthew Arnold School

Professor of Comparative Democratic Institutions, Ben Ansell, has visited Matthew Arnold School in Oxford, to talk with pupils about politics. 

Pupils from Year 7 to Year 11 had signed up to come and listen to Ben talk. He spoke a lot about the history of suffrage and how, in the past, different members of his family had, or did not have, the right to vote.  

Over the last decade, there has been a surge of interest in economic inequality and its social and political consequences. With this in mind, it perhaps comes as no surprise that pupils had lots of questions for Ben about global politics, and the comparative political economy. 

Subjects included the legitimacy of the House of Lords, how constituencies work, and comparisons between the UK’s existing first-past-the-post electoral system and proportional representation. Ben and the pupils also discussed what might happen in the forthcoming general election. 

Ben’s book Why Politics Fails was published with Penguin in 2023.