British Politics Research


Peter Allen

My name is Peter Allen and I am a doctoral student in the Department of Politics. My research focuses on British political careers, analysing the ways in which pre-parliamentary political experience affects the career trajectories of MPs once they have been elected to the House of Commons. In the context of wider discussions of an increasing professionalization of politics, I am interested in how this links to issues of representation relating to gender, ethnicity and class amongst others, as well as the overall ideological effect on the Commons as a legislative body. I also have research interests in local government, particularly in issues relating to the recruitment and retention of councillors from traditionally underrepresented groups, and in the area of gender and politics more broadly.

Follow Peter on Twitter: @peteraallen

Peter’s website

Dr Rosie Campbell

Dr Rosie Campbell joined Birkbeck in 2003 and is now a senior lecturer in politics. She has research interests in several areas of British politics including gender and voting behaviour, political careers, participation and representation. Rosie was elected to serve a three year term as a member of the Political Studies Association’s (PSA) Executive Committee in 2012, she co-convened the Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (EPOP) specialist group of the PSA from 2007-2012 and she was a fellow of the 2010 British Election Study Fellows programme. She teaches Modern British politics and research methods. Her book ‘Gender and the Vote in Britain’ was published in 2006 and she has recently published in the British Journal of Political Science, British Politics, Political Quarterly and she has a chapter on ‘The Politics of Diversity’ in Developments in British Politics 8, she has co-authored reports for the Electoral Commission and the Hansard Society.

Follow Rosie on Twitter: @Rosiecampb

Professor Diana Coole

Diana Coole currently has two main research interests in British politics. The first concerns the development of policies designed to increase social capital and the way such policies legitimise fine-grained interventions in everyday life, sometimes at quite intimate levels. This relates to broader issues about new modes of power. The second concerns population growth and the discursive frameworks that are problematising or disavowing the issue.

Professor John Kelly

John Kelly is a Professor of Industrial Relations in the Department of Management which he joined in 2004 after working for many years at LSE. His main research interests revolve around trade unions and labour movements and recent published work has examined social pacts (Parties, Elections and Policy Reforms in Western Europe, Routledge 2011) and general strikes in Western Europe. He is currently researching trade union political activity in the UK and contemporary British Trotskyism.

Adam Leeder

Adam is researching why nonprofit providers succeed in winning contracts to deliver local authority public services, when competing with private (for-profit) providers. He intends to combine quantitative and qualitative research to test what role ‘trust’, ‘user diversity’ and ‘user power’ play in encouraging commissioners to contract with nonprofits.

With a perfect storm of reduced nonprofit grant income, squeezed local government budgets, and a plethora of central government initiatives promoting the big society, this is an important research question.

Follow Adam on Twitter: @adamleeder

Professor Joni Lovenduski

I am interested in women’s political representation in politics which I understand to be both about the presence of women in political institutions and the way in which public policies affect different groups of women and men.  In my current work I examine how the institutions of representation are masculine, how they are changing and who is responsible for change as well as what strategies best support a re-gendering of political life.   This work covers elected and appointed political representatives, political careers and the attitudes of women and men to political institutions.

Dr Danny Rye

My research is concerned with how different approaches to the concept of ‘power’ – encapsulating individual agency, strategic behaviour and structural approaches – can usefully illuminate how modern political parties procure disciplined and effective members and activists.  My approach combines original empirical research and theoretical development in demonstrating how power is not simply a property of utility-maximising agents or repressive hierarchies, but also a positive force that empowers individuals and produces capacities that parties need.

Follow Danny on Twitter: @dannyrye

Dr David Styan

I am interested in the formulation of British foreign policy, notably in a comparative context in relation to ongoing research work on French foreign policy. I teach the department’s course on Foreign Policy Analysis, and have researched both British and French policy towards Africa and the Middle East. In 2011 I organised the Centre’s conference on Soft Power and the BBC World Service.

Jenny Hansson

Jenny Hansson will soon be defending her doctoral thesis entitled “Gender Inequality among Political Elites” at the department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute, Florence, Italy.  She will be visiting the Birkbeck during the 2012/13 academic year.

Her Ph.D. thesis investigated gender/family effects on the work-life conflict and career prospects of political elites (national legislators) in Sweden and Germany. She has conducted major surveys of legislators in Sweden and Germany (and matched those to existing, large-scale survey data), as well as a series of qualitative interviews with political elites of the two countries. 

For her visiting period, Jenny plans to extend her research to include the comparative case of UK political elites (legislators). She aims to conduct in-depth interviews with British legislators, concerning their career prospects, work/life experiences and reconciliation strategies between “work” and family life spheres. She also hopes to be able to replicate her developed survey questionnaire on the case of UK political elites.

Personal webpage

Professor Eric Kaufmann

Eric Kaufmann is Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics. His current project with Gareth Harris, funded by the ESRC, examines the response of the British white working class to diversity in the form of white residential flight, anti-immigration sentiment, far right voting and white accommodation to diversity. He is the author of Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth (Profile Books, 2011). In addition, he has written The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America (Harvard University Press, 2004), The Orange Order (Oxford University Press 2007, 2009) and Unionism and Orangeism in Northern Ireland since 1945 – with Henry Patterson (Manchester University Press 2007). He has edited Rethinking Ethnicity: Majority Groups and Dominant Minorities (Routledge 2004), Political Demography, with Jack Goldstone and Monica Toft (Oxford University Press 2012), Nationalism and Conflict Management, with Eric Woods and Robert Schertzer (Routledge, 2012) and, with W. Bradford Wilcox, Whither the Child?: the Causes and Consequences of Low Fertility (Paradigm, 2012). An editor of the journal Nations & Nationalism, his work focuses on dominant ethnicity, nationalism theory, the sociology of religion and political demography. He has also written numerous journal articles and contributed to many edited books.

Dr Gareth Harris

Gareth is an Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck in Research Methods, and Research Fellow for the ESRC-funded programme, Exit, Voice or Accommodation? White working-class responses to ethnic change in Britain.  He is responsible for quantitative analysis of the impact of ethnic diversity on support for nationalist parties and residential mobility amongst the white UK-born working classes. His doctoral research was on electoral support for the British National Party.

Outside academia, Gareth has contributed to projects for Demos, and the Young Foundation, and worked for the Department of Communities and Local Government. He has completed a research into support for the far right in Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government.

His research interests lie in the study of nationalist parties and movements, extremist politics on the left and right, the impact of demographic change on political behaviour, and class. He has wider concerns in the use of spatial analysis and online media in social and political research.