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Past events

Man standing on a stage in front of a podium
Sir Tom Devine giving the Annual Lecture 2016 at the Pierhead Building.

We have hosted a number of key politicians, academics and commentators.

Here is just a selection of our previous events.

Adam Price

Adam Price: Remaking Welsh Democracy

CalendarThursday 12 October 2023, 18:00

Dafydd Wigley

In Conversation with Dafydd Wigley

CalendarTuesday 3 October 2023, 18:00

Aneurin Bevan

This is My Truth: Senedd book launch

CalendarThursday 6 July 2023, 18:00

Radicals and Realists: Political Parties in Ireland Book Cover

Radicals and Realists

CalendarTuesday 16 May 2023, 17:00

The event title, 'What is happening in Scotland and Wales?', and the names of the two authors, Gerry Hassan and Will Hayward

What is happening in Scotland and Wales?

CalendarWednesday 7 December 2022, 18:00

Pound Sterling notes and coins

Welsh Budget Outlook 2022: Breakfast Briefing

CalendarMonday 5 December 2022, 09:00

The Welsh Criminal Justice System by Robert Jones and Richard Wyn Jones

The Welsh Criminal Justice System: On the Jagged Edge

CalendarWednesday 26 October 2022, 17:30

Bloody Sunday webinar flyer

50 Years after Bloody Sunday: The Quest for Truth and Justice

CalendarWednesday 23 February 2022, 15:00

Cathays Park

Welsh Budget Outlook 2021: Briefing Event

CalendarTuesday 7 December 2021, 10:00

Brigid Laffan

Annual Lecture: Brexit and the island of Ireland

CalendarThursday 21 October 2021, 17:00


How Scotland and Wales voted: WES & SES 2021

CalendarWednesday 9 June 2021, 09:00

Events from 2018

Switzerland and the EU: Reflections for the UK

Date: 16 October 2018
Location: Kathleen Ede Room, Aberdare Hall, Cardiff University

We were pleased to host a lecture and Q&A session with Alexandre Fasel, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Kingdom.

As the negotiations for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union reach a critical stage, the experience of Switzerland as a state dealing bilaterally with the EU is of crucial interest to audiences in Wales and the UK.

As part of his visit to Wales, the Ambassador will outline the nature of Switzerland’s relationship with the European Union and EFTA, and will reflect on possible scenarios for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Mr Fasel has served as Ambassador to the UK since September 2017. He has a wealth of experience at the international level including representing Switzerland at the United Nations Office, the Human Rights Council and other international organisations.

He has also had postings at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, including as Deputy State Secretary. Mr Fasel is also a lawyer. He has studied at the University of Fribourg and Oxford University.

In Conversation with Ron Davies

Date: 5 July 2018
Location: Pierhead building, National Assembly

Ron Davies is a former Secretary of State for Wales, Member of Parliament and Assembly Member, and is widely credited as being the architect of devolution.

Ron Davies steered the Government of Wales Act 1998 through parliament, implementing the result of the 1997 referendum and creating the National Assembly for Wales.

Twenty years on from the first Government of Wales Act, Ron gave his verdict on the past, present and future of Welsh democratic devolution.

Nye Bevan and the Creation of the NHS

Date: 22 June 2018
Location: Pierhead Building, National Assembly

Seventy years on since its formation, the NHS remains a cherished institution in the United Kingdom. It continues to be revered as one of the most important achievements in British political history.

Aneurin Bevan has achieved a significant legacy due to his role as the Minister of Health and Housing responsible for overseeing its creation. He has since been held up as a giant in both Welsh and British politics.

In this special lecture to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Bevan’s biographer, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, discussed Bevan’s role in its creation and the importance of both Bevan and the institution itself.

The End of British Party Politics?

Date: 6 June 2018
Location: Main Building Council Chamber

Professor Roger Awan-Scully and the BBC’s Felicity Evans launched his new book, 'The End of British Party Politics?'

The packed audience heard how electoral choices across Britain have become increasingly differentiated along national lines over much of the last half-century. In 2017, for the second general election in a row, four different parties came first in the UK’s four nations.

The prominent political scientist outlined how UK voters now face fundamentally different, and largely disconnected sets of political choices, and the implications of this for the future of Wales and the UK.

More information about the book.

Imprisonment in Wales: A Factfile

Date: 5 June 2018

Together with Julie Morgan AM, Dr Rob Jones and Professor Richard Wyn Jones launched Imprisonment in Wales: A Factfile.

This ground-breaking report brings together a range of data on imprisonment in Wales, published as a single compendium for the first time ever.

It examines who is imprisoned in Wales and where, and provides data on sentencing, prison safety, and how groups such as women and Welsh-speakers interact with the prison system.

The factfile will form a vital evidence base for policymakers, against the backdrop of the Commission on Justice in Wales’s examination of justice in Wales, and a significant inquiry by the House of Commons’ Welsh Affairs Committee.

Watch a video of the launch.

Elmar Brok MEP – Brexit and the European Parliament

Date: 26 April 2018
Location: Pierhead building, National Assembly

The Centre’s Dr Rachel Minto hosted Elmar Brok MEP for a lunchtime lecture and Q&A on Brexit.

Watch a video of the lecture.

The Independent Commission on Referendums: Who, what, why and how

Date: April 2018
Location: Senedd

In October, the Constitution Unit launched an independent commission on referendums to review the role of referendums in British democracy and consider how their rules and practice could be improved.

The commission is meeting monthly, and intends to report in the summer of 2018. At this seminar, the chair and members of the commission discussed their task, how they are setting about it, and the input they need from other experts and the public to ensure the commission draws on the widest possible evidence base. They made particular reference to recent Welsh experience of referendums.

Professor Roger Awan-Scully chaired the event.


  • Sir Joe Pilling, Chair of the Commission
  • Dr Alan Renwick, Research Director for the Commission
  • Professor Laura McAllister, Professor of Public Policy at the Wales Governance Centre

Brexit: An Irish perspective

Date: 21 February 2018
Location: Pierhead building, National Assembly

A lecture by Daithi O’Ceallaigh, former Irish Ambassador to the UK and Director at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin.

In partnership with Wales for Europe.

Watch a video of the lecture.

Notable events from 2012-2016

Title Speaker, chair or hostDate
Jurisdiction in Practice seminar Various October 2016
Restless Nation: Scotland 1999-2016 and beyond (Annual Lecture 2016) Professor Sir Tom Devine October 2016
Ministering to Education Leighton Andrews AM October 2014
Launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Reform, Devolution, and De-centralisation in the United Kingdom 

Chair: Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield

July 2014
What will be the impact of the Scottish independence referendum on Wales?  Chair: David Melding AM. Panel included Lee Waters (Director, Institute of Welsh Affairs), Valerie Livingstone ( Newsdirect Wales ) and Adam Price (former Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr). July 2014
Book launch for David Marquand's Mammon's Kingdom Hosted by the Innovation and Engagement Unit in association with the Wales Governance Centre and the Institute of Welsh Affairs June 2014
Book launch for Richard Wyn Jones's The Fascist Party in Wales? Plaid Cymru, Welsh Nationalism and the Accusation of FascismChair: Helgard Krause (UWP)
Discussants: Adam Price and Richard Wyn Jones 
4 June 2014
Lecture on engagement with politics and 21st century volunteering

John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons. Chaired by Professor Richard Wyn Jones and sponsored by Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, Dame Rosemary Butler AM.

5 June 2014
Towards Scottish independence? Evaluating the prospects and implications of the Scottish referendum Dr Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh. Sponsored by David Melding AM 14 May 2014
In Conversation with...  The Rt Hon. the Lord Heseltine CH May 2014
Wales Governance Centre Annual Lecture 2014 Nicola Sturgeon MSP Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party. Sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM March 2014
In Conversation With...  Professor Linda Colley, Princeton University

Watch a video of the lecture.
March 2014
A Titanic mistake? The case against a super-prison for Wales 

In partnership with the Howard League for Penal Reform. Sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM

February 2014
Constitutional conventions and the changing union

Professor David Farrell, University College Dublin. Sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM. Hosted by the UK’s Changing Union project

February 2014
A talk on Scotland Professor James Mitchell, Edinburgh University) and the National Assembly Research Service December 2013
Leaders speech Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh National Democrats September 2013
Lecture Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon David Jones MP June 2013
Wales Governance Centre Annual Lecture 2013 Sir David Lloyd Jones April 2013
Leaders Speech Leanne Wood, Leader of Plaid Cymru the Party of Wales March 2013
Leaders Speech Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives February 2013
In conversation with... The Rt. Hon Peter Hain MP. Sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM

Watch a video of the lecture.
December 2012
Wales Governance Centre Annual Lecture 2012

Deputy Prime Minister the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP

Watch a video of the lecture.

14 June 2012