Thomas Stocks

Exploring the Support for Different Human Rights Contextualisations in the United Kingdom

ICCS PhD spotlight: Thomas Stocks

Supervisors: Dr Tereza Capelos and Dr Harriet Tenenbaum

In my dissertation, I want to examine systematically how people make up their minds about human rights. Extending the work of studies that show low levels of knowledge about human rights, I ask whether knowledge is related to the consistency of attitudes towards different human rights contextualizations. I will also explore the impact of media frames on people’s perceptions about human rights and examine differences in perceptions on the basis of individual authoritarianism scores. Borrowing insights from studies in political psychology, social psychology, and political communication, my research more broadly aims to assess if people that indicate support for human rights recognise and support the indivisibility, interdependence, and interrelation of the rights of all people, and if not, why not?


I began studying politics at Manchester Metropolitan University, where I focused mainly on political theory, human rights, and the politics of ecology. During my MA at the University of Sheffield, I began focusing more directly on human rights, while also completing modules on international law and research methods training. Here, I completed an independent research project on the rights experiences of LGBT+ people in the United Kingdom which was recently published.

After this project, I received ESRC funding to complete a PhD at the University of Birmingham, which explores differences in perceptions of human rights relating to different specific groups in the United Kingdom.


  • University of Sheffield, MA Politics, Distinction
  • Oxford Brookes University, PGCE Post-Compulsory Education
  • Manchester Metropolitan University, BA (hons.) Politics, First Class

Research interests

  • Human Rights
  • LGBT+ Rights
  • Gender
  • Political Psychology


T. Stocks (2015) “To What Extent Have The Rights of Transgender People Been Under-realized in Comparison to The Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer/Questioning People in the United Kingdom” in The International Journal of Transgenderism, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 1-35

Contact details:

Twitter: @thomasvastocks