Dr Andrew Knops

Dr Andrew Knops

Department of Political Science and International Studies

Contact details

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government and Society
Rm. 1239 Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Andrew lectures in Sociology. His interests lie broadly in political sociology, especially the theory and practice of democracy, although he also teaches research methods. Andrew came to Birmingham as a research fellow in 2000, and was appointed as a lecturer in 2002.


BA Law (Cantab); D/Phil Social Policy (York)


Andrew took a BA in law at Cambridge University and trained as a barrister. He then worked as a Welfare Rights Officer in Islington. During this time he was an active member of the Child Poverty Action Group and the anti-Poll Tax campaign. Andrew subsequently studied for an MA which he 'rolled over' into a D/Phil at the University of York. While completing his D/Phil Andrew did a stint as a part-time researcher with the Scottish Poverty Information Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he contributed to developing Scottish deprivation data to inform the new Scottish Executive. Andrew came to Birmingham in 2000 as a research fellow on the ESRC-funded project, 'Power, Participation and Democratic Renewal.' He was appointed to a lectureship in Sociology in 2002, and, along with colleagues from that Department, moved to POLSIS in 2010.


Andrew convenes the third year undergraduate module Public Domain, and the second year Data Analysis and Research Design module. He also oversees the third year undergraduate dissertation module for Sociology programmes.

Postgraduate supervision

Andrew is keen to supervise students on the following areas: the theory and / or practice of deliberative democracy (in specific contexts or more generally), active citizenship, political participation and open government. He is particularly keen to supervise research in these areas that focuses on groups that are seen as oppressed or marginalised.


Andrew is currently working on theories of democracy. Within this he focuses on deliberative approaches. He has worked on their relation to agonistic versions of democracy; the  potential of pragma-dialectical models of argument to develop normative and empirical aspects of deliberation, and the relation between debates on structure and agency in social theory and deliberative principles. An important dimension in all these concerns is the role that theories of language - especially pragmatic theories - can play in sharpening our conception of deliberation. 

Andrew spent the academic year 2005-6 as a visiting fellow on the Political Science Program at the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University in Canberra.


Knops, A. 2011 'Representing collective reasons for group decisions:the judgement aggregation problem revisited' Journal of Theoretical Politics 23(4): 448-462.

Knops, A. 2007 ‘Agonism as Deliberation: On Mouffe’s Theory of Democracy’ Journal of Political Philosophy 15(1): 115-126.

Knops, A. 2006 ‘Delivering Deliberation’s Emancipatory Potential’ Political Theory 34(5) October: 594-623.

Newman J., Barnes M., Sullivan H. and Knops, A. 2004 ‘Public Participation in Collaborative Governance’ Journal of Social Policy, 33(2): 203-223.

Barnes, M., Knops, A., Newman, J. and Sullivan, H. 2004 ‘The Micro-politics of Deliberation: Case Studies in Public Participation’ Contemporary Politics 10(2) June: 93-110.

Barnes, M., Sullivan, H., Knops, A. and Newman, J. 2004 ‘Power, Participation and Political Renewal: Issues from a Study of Public Participation in Two English Cities’ Institute for Development Studies Bulletin 35 (2) April: 58-66.

Barnes, M., Newman, J, Knops, A. and Sullivan, H. 2003 ‘Constituting ‘the Public’ in Public Participation’ Public Administration 81(2) June: 379-399