The Parties, Voters and Elections research group at the University of Birmingham is based in the Department of Political Science and International Studies, but welcomes colleagues and students from all departments, centres and institutes University who have research interests in political parties, party systems and elections.
In addition to a parties reading group which has been running for a number of years and which meets monthly during term time to discuss a recently published article or book, we organize a number of special events.
We are an inclusive group. Although the main focus of many members of the group is European politics, we welcome members with any geographical area of expertise and interest. Moreover, all scholars of political parties whether they use quantitative, qualitative or a mixture of methodological approaches are very welcome to join us.
Members of the Parties, Voters and Elections Research Group are working on a number of projects at the moment covering topics such as depoliticization, small parties, populist parties, party membership, national political parties and the challenges of European integration, parties and the Eurozone crisis, opposition parties in non-democratic systems, the evolution of the British party system, and similarities and differences in the development of party systems in Central and Eastern Europe.
Here is a flavour of some of the exciting research being conducted by members of the research group.
Dr Daniele Albertazzi is a Senior Lecturer in European Politics. The major strand of his work has focused on populism in Western Europe, but he has also published on Italian and Swiss politics. His monograph Populists in Power, co-written with Duncan McDonnell, was published by Routledge in February 2015. Daniele is working on a new monograph on the Italian party the Lega Nord (The Northern league) and planning a new comparative project which will analyse what members of populist parties gain from their activism and what they, in turn, give to their parties. In recent years, Daniele has developed a strong interest into what motivates party members and makes them volunteer their time (and sometimes resources) to a political organisation. Daniele’s research is mainly qualitative, based on individual and group interviews, textual analysis and questionnaires.
Dr Tim Haughton is Reader in European Politics. He is a member of POLSIS and the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (CREES). Much of his published research has focused on the party politics of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, but his current research projects have a broader geographical canvas. He is writing a book with Kevin Deegan-Krause (Wayne State University) examining the patterns of party politics across Central and Eastern Europe, in particular explaining why some party systems are more stable than others and why some parties are ‘perennials’, but others ‘live fast and die young’. In addition, with Kevin and Fernando Casal Bertoa (Nottingham University) he is examining how best to assess electoral volatility and is developing new measures of party system change. His longer-term aims are to examine the role of political marketing and campaigns in determining election outcomes.
Dr George Kyris is Lecturer in International and European Politics in POLSIS. He has researched and published on the impact of the European Union on domestic affairs, including institutions, civil society and political parties. More recently he has been interested in the politics of the Eurozone crisis and, in particular, the interplay between public opinion and party competition.
Dr David White is a lecturer in political science and is a member of POLSIS and the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies. His main research focuses on political opposition and street protest in Russia but he has a broader research interest in political parties and party systems, particularly in the former Soviet Union. In 2006 he published a monograph, The Russian Democratic Party Yabloko: Opposition in a Managed Democracy, a detailed study of the liberal Yabloko party based on extensive fieldwork. In 2012 he guest-edited a special edition of the journal, East European Politics on Russian Party Politics, also contributing an article, ‘Reconceptualising Russian party politics’.
For further information about the Parties, Voters and Elections research group, please contact Dr Tim Haughton (firstname.lastname@example.org).