My research studies the role and place of the moderate faction within the US Republican Party from the 1980s to the present day. Such research aims to provide an insight into the political development of the Republican Party from the perspective of moderates rather than the more habitual framing focussed on the party’s conservative wing. While other studies have focussed on moderate Republicans from the period of 1960 to 1980, there has been comparatively little attention paid to moderates from 1980 to the present day. Furthermore, there is a general lack of understanding in the current scholarship as to why moderates continue to identify and stand for elected office as Republicans – albeit, admittedly, in reduced numbers than in the past – and the basis for such Republicans being considered moderates, whether this is a result of ideology or for other possible reasons.
This research project fits neatly into my wider research focus on comparative party politics, in particular mainstream right parties. This includes my undergraduate studies at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), which culminated in my dissertation focussed on ideological cohesion of the member parties in the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament, and also my Master’s research project conducted at the Institute of the Americas that looked at Republican governors in the predominantly Democratic states of Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey.