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Associate Professor, Politics and International Relations, University of Reading

I teach and convene the Part One module on Modern Government, the Part Two module on British Government and Politics and the Part Three module on the Politics of Electoral Systems. I also teach Part Two Comparative Government and Politics. I convene our Postgraduate Seminars in Politics and give part of the University Graduate School's Researcher Development Programme. From January 2012, I shall be Director of Postgraduate Research Studies in Politics and International Relations.

Areas of Interest:
My work lies in the area of comparative politics and is nested within the School's research theme on Applied Political Theory. My current research focuses on political and electoral reform in the UK and around the world. My first book, The Politics of Electoral Reform: Changing the Rules of Democracy, was published by Cambridge University Press in early 2010. My second book, A Citizen's Guide to Electoral Reform was published by Biteback in 2011.

I am now extending my existing research in two directions. With the generous support of the Nuffield Foundation, I am analysing change in debates over political reform in the UK since the 1960s. And with the support of the McDougall Trust, I am exploring electoral system change across Europe since 1945. I am particularly interested in understanding how changing popular attitudes towards democracy and representation influence institutional choices, how values as well as self-interest influence the ways in which both politicians and mass publics approach issues of institutional reform, and how choices in new democracies differ from those in established democracies.

I also have a research stream looking into the nature of political leadership. I am particularly interested in understanding what leaders actually do and how this varies across diverse contexts.


  • –present
    Associate Professor, Politics and International Relations, University of Reading