My primary research interests lie in the general field of party democracy, including political parties, public opinion, elections and vote behaviour. I have a long-standing interest in political party organisation and intra-party democracy, as well as political gender equality.
My research specialism is the case study of Northern Ireland (NI), a case in which I have published research on elections, party organisation, political gender equality and the dimensionality of policy space. I have also been involved in the design and analysis of Voter Advice Applications (VAAs) for elections in NI (2014 European Parliament; 2015 UK General Election; 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly election). I held the position of Research Fellow on The Northern Ireland Assembly Election Study 2016 and I am currently undertaking collaborative research on electoral campaigning, citizen attitudes to parties, partisan engagement and apathy.
My research interests centre on party competition and organisation (in Northern Ireland and comparatively) and institutional design in post-conflict societies. In 2014 I was awarded a PhD in Politics from Queen’s University Belfast. My doctoral research focused on intra-party democracy in Northern Ireland, providing a comparative longitudinal analysis of how the region’s main political parties select their leaders, candidates and policy.
From 2011-2014 I was co-editor of the leading journal, Irish Political Studies, producing an annual data issue for Northern Ireland. I have also been involved in several collaborative projects, including the development of a Voting Advice Application for the 2014 European Parliament elections (EUvox: Northern Ireland) and the administration of an election candidate survey for the 2011 Northern Ireland Assembly and Local Government elections (Comparative Candidates Survey).