My broad research interests lie in applying theories of social and political change to explain trends in British politics. My current work focusses on examining, both theoretically and empirically, the relationship between processes of politicisation and de-politicisation within the broader context of neo-liberal governmentality in the UK. Relatedly, my work also focusses on party modernisation, with a particular focus on Conservative Party modernisation, as well as changing patterns of democracy, citizenship and political participation in the UK.
In previous work I have attempted to build upon neo-evolutionary theories of institutional development and apply these to explain the trajectory of the British state and public policy since 1945. A key element of my work in this area has been an attempt to provide a revisionist account of the postwar development of British politics. This has led to me to produce a number of publications which challenge established accounts of the postwar consensus and Thatcherism.
I am also co-Founder and co-Executive Editor (since 2005) of the Palgrave journal, British Politics
Postwar British Politics: From Conflict to Consensus, (London: Routledge/PSA, 2001).
(with D Marsh, J Buller, C Hay, J Johnston, S McAnulla, M Watson), Postwar British Politics in Perspective, (Cambridge: Polity, 1999).
Selected Journal articles:
(with E Foster & C Byrne) ‘Rolling Back to Roll Forward: De-politicisation and the Extension of Government’, Policy and Politics Forthcoming, (2014)
(with E Foster, A Hopkins, C Byrne & L Ahall) ‘The Personal is not Political: At Least in the UK’s Top Politics and IR Departments’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 15(4) (2013) pp 566
(with S Bates, C Byrne & L Stanley) ‘Questions to the Prime Minister: A Comparative Analysis of PMQs from Thatcher to Cameron’, Parliamentary Affairs (2012) Advanced Online Access
(with C Byrne & E Foster) ‘Understanding Conservative Modernisation’, in T Heppell & D Seawright (ed) Cameron and the Conservatives: The Transition to Coalition Government (Palgrave, 2012) pp 16-31
(and C Byrne & E Foster) ‘Theorising Cameronism’, Political Studies Review 9(2) (2011)
(with S Kettell) ‘One Year On: The Decline and Fall of Gordon Brown’, British Politics 3(4) (2008)
‘Cameron Chameleon and the Current State of Britain’s ‘Consensus’’, Parliamentary Affairs 60(1) (2007) pp. 46-65.
(and S Kettell) ‘In Defence of British Politics: The Past, Present and Future of the Discipline’, British Politics 1(1) (2006) pp. 3-25.
(and S Kettell) ‘In Defence of Ourselves: A Reply to Johnson’, British Politics 1(3) (2006) pp. 419-425.
‘Saved from Extinction: Evolutionary Theorising, Politics and the State’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 4 (2) (2002) pp. 330-358.
‘Keeping it Real! Evolution in Political Science: A Reply to Kay and Curry’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 5(1) (2003).
(and S McAnulla & D Marsh), ‘Shall I Compare Thee?: Evaluating the Politics of New Labour’, in S Lancaster (ed), Developments in Politics, Vol 14 (Ormskirk: Causeway, 2003) pp. 1-21.
(and S McAnulla & D Marsh), ‘Charting Late-Thatcherism: British Politics Under Major’, in S Lancaster (ed), Developments in Politics, Vol 9, (Ormskirk: Causeway, 1997), pp 1-22