PhD, Government (Manchester)
MA, Parties and Elections (Keele)
BSc, Politics and Psychology, Dual Honours (Keele)
Karin is a political scientist and has worked at INLOGOV since February 2007, formerly as a Research Fellow. Her core research areas comprise parties (particularly small and the BNP), party systems and party theory. She is particularly interested in concepts of relevance and how national level theories can be utilized at the sub-national level.
Karin is a member of the Political Studies Association’s (PSA) specialist-groups on: Elections and Public Opinion and Parties (EPOP). She co-convenes the PSA Specialist Group on Local Politics (opens in a new window) and is responsible for their panels at the annual PSA conferences.
She is also a member of the European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR) standing groups on: Political Parties; Public Opinion and Voting Behaviour in a Comparative Perspective; Extremism and Democracy. She regularly presents work at a number of national and international conferences
Research interests or specialist skill areas
All areas relating to parties elections and democracy. Her work adopts a multi-level approach also extending beyond local politics. Particular interests:
The role and impact of small parties at the local level, particularly the BNP
Party relevance; party theory; party system change
British Politics in a comparative context
Local democratic engagement
Current and recent projects
Karin remains involved in an ongoing project: The place and role of small parties, associations and independents in local government. The project was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and led by Dr Colin Copus (formerly INLOGOV, now DMU)
Karin is also researching the following areas with a view to publication:
Party theory, on-going work on this subject. This work follows on from her PhD.
The British National Party
Small parties and independent politicians
Work in progress
(with Alison Crow, INLOGOV) Unraveling the conceptual confusion: Independent politicians in British local politics
Party cartelisation: themes, concepts and evidence
A typology for all parties: multi-level representation in Europe
Bottom, K,. Copus, C (in print), ‘The BNP in local government: Support for the far-right or for community politics?, N. Copsey and G. Macklin (eds.), New Perspectives on the BNP, accepted for publication by Routledge.
With Crow, A. (forthcoming), ‘Mob rule: how two single issue groups became the ruling parties on council’, Local Government Studies.
With Copus, C. (forthcoming), ‘Motivations for serving on council: independents versus the mainstream’, Public Policy and Administration.
Clark, A., Bottom, K., Copus, C (2008) ‘More similar than they would like to admit? Contemporary political ideologies and the rise of the British National Party and Respect in Britain’, British Politics
Copus, C., Clark, A., Bottom, K (2008) ‘Multi-party politics in England: small parties, independents, and political associations in English local politics’, M Reiser, E Holtmann, Farewell to the party model? Independent local lists in east and west European countries, London Manchester: Urban and Regional Research International, 11, series editors, H Wollmann, H Baldersheim, P John, 553-276