Who we are

Members of CEDAR

Nic CheesemanNic Cheeseman 

Nic Cheeseman is the Professor of Democracy and Director of CEDAR. His research focusses in elections and their manipulation, corruption and efforts to right it, and political ideas and how they shape the world. He has published more than 10 books and 40 book chapters and journal articles, in addition to being the editor of the Encyclopaedia of African Politics and the African Politics and International Relations book series, both with Oxford University Press. Nic regularly shares his research with a wider audience via his newspaper columns, TV and radio appearances and collaborations with policy makers including the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, seeking to break down the barrier between academic research, political debate, and public knowledge.

Licia CianettiLicia Cianetti 

Licia Cianetti is Lecturer in Political Science and International Studies and Deputy Co-Director of CEDAR. Her research focusses on questions of inclusion and exclusion from democratic policymaking, institutional change, and democratic degradation. She is an area expert in Central and Eastern Europe. She is the author of The Quality of Divided Democracies: Minority Inclusion, Exclusion and Representation in the New Europe (University of Michigan Press, 2019) and co-editor of Rethinking 'Democratic Backsliding' in Central and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2019). Her work appeared, among others, in Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Democracy, Urban Studies, Journal of Common Market Studies, East European Politics, and Nationalities Papers.

Dr Tim HaughtonTim Haughton 

Tim Haughton is Professor of Comparative and European Politics and Deputy Co-Director of CEDAR. His research focuses on parties, voters and elections in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly Bulgaria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and especially Slovakia. He is the co-author of numerous publications including The New Party Challenge: Changing Cycles of Party Birth and Death in Central Europe and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2020). Tim has briefed numerous diplomats from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the US State Department on political developments in Central Europe.

Petra AldermanPetra Alderman

Petra Alderman is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Leadership for Inclusive and Democratic Politics. The central focus of her research is the question of how power is sustained and reproduced. She has examined this question on a range of issues, including elections, nation branding, environmental leadership and Southeast Asian politics. Within this remit her work has typically concerned authoritarian regimes, but more recently she has expanded her research agenda and interests to also include democracies. Petra is the author of the forthcoming book Branding Authoritarian Nations: Political Legitimation and Strategic National Myths in Military-Ruled Thailand (Routledge). Her work has been published in Geopolitics, Politics, Contemporary Southeast Asia and Asian Studies Review.

Manoel GehrkeManoel Gehrke

Manoel Gehrke is a Research Fellow at CEDAR. His research focuses on political corruption, inter-branch conflict, the role of money in politics, and on the political economy of environmental degradation, particularly in Latin America. His most recent projects examine politicians’ tactics to subvert accountability after anti-corruption investigations, the consequences of judicial punishment for corruption, and the use of nepotism in political bargaining. He collaborates with NGOs and governmental organizations in Latin America, including the Office of the Comptroller General in Brazil, the Mission of Electoral Observation and the National Electoral Council in Colombia, as part of his research.

Affiliates of CEDAR

Stephen BatesStephen Holden Bates

Stephen Holden Bates is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at POLSIS. His research is mainly concerned with parliamentary committees and parliamentary roles and careers, usually with a focus on the UK House of Commons. He is particularly interested in why particular groups of MPs find it more difficult than others to access particular committees and roles and how this affects how MPs – and Parliament as a whole – undertake their scrutiny and representation functions.

Danielle Beswick

Danielle Beswick

Danielle Beswick is a Senior Lecturer in IDD. She is currently researching contemporary UK development policy under the Conservative Party, including the role of party-supported international development volunteering in this. She has also worked on knowledge exchange between universities and legislatures, supporting parliamentary committees to improve their engagement with academic researchers as well as with the public. She has provided evidence on this topic to the Scottish, UK and Welsh Parliaments and contributed to UK parliamentary training on more inclusive scrutiny. Danielle’s work has appeared in journals including Parliamentary Affairs, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Voluntas and African Affairs.

Verena BrandleVerena K. Brändle

Verena K. Brändle is an Assistant Professor at POLSIS. Her research interests lie at the intersection of representation and democracy, European politics, social media, and border studies. Currently, she is focusing on the normative and empirical implications of the political representation of future generations. Before joining POLSIS in April 2023, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna, with the project ‘Informing to dissuade: Governments’ digital information campaigns for migrants as bordering practices’, funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. Her work as appeared in the Journal of Common Market Studies, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, among others.

Mwita ChachaMwita Chacha 

Mwita Chacha is an Associate Professor in International Relations. His research examines regionalism/regional integration and its intersection with domestic political and security outcomes. He is particularly interested in understanding public opinion towards regional organizations in the developing world, international responses to coups d’état, and the role of regional organizations in post-coup politics. Recent publications have included articles on “Public attitudes toward external democracy promotion in Africa” and “Failed coups, democratization, and authoritarian entrenchment: opening up or digging in?”.

Patricia CorreaPatricia Correa

Dr Patricia Correa is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Aston University (Birmingham, UK). Her research focuses on the internal organization and the electoral and governmental behaviour of political parties and the main characteristics of party activists, with a special focus on Spain. Recently, she has started working on youth activism in political parties and the impact of new technologies on political parties.

Jonathan FisherJonathan Fisher  

Jonathan Fisher is the Professor of Global Security at the University of Birmingham and a Research Fellow in the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies at the University of the Free State. He has a BA from University College London and a DPhil from University of Oxford. His current research is on authoritarianism and (in)security and the role of social media platforms and companies in African politics. More broadly, he has published on the international politics of aid, development and security with empirical focus on Eastern Africa, Nigeria and South Africa. He is the author of East Africa after Liberation: Conflict, Security and the State since the 1980s (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and (with Nina Wilen) African Peacekeeping (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

Nikolaos FrantzeskakisNikolaos Frantzeskakis

Nikolaos Frantzeskakis is an Assistant Professor at POLSIS. His research focuses on democratic development, elections, and legislatures, particularly in Africa. Within this context, he studies legislative institutions and the behavior of Members of Parliament. Much of his work studies the electoral connection between citizens and their representatives, and how this affects the behaviour of the latter. For example, in a book project that he is currently working on, he studies how parliamentary representation impacts the re-election prospects of MPs in Africa, and how the levels of local inter-party competition affect MPs’ focus on local representation

Julian HoernerJulian Hoerner

Julian Hoerner is a Lecturer in Politics at POLSIS. His research focuses on the interaction of electoral behaviour and political institutions in shaping representation, accountability, and the quality of democracy in Europe. He also has an interest in the politics and policies of the European Union and the impact of historical legacies on contemporary politics. He has published on topics such as electoral choice and turnout, parliamentary scrutiny of EU affairs in national parliaments, votes on democratic backsliding in the European Parliament, and the impact of mass violence on voting behaviour. His work has appeared in the European Journal of Political Research, the Journal of European Public Policy, Public Administration, European Union Politics, and Research and Politics, among others. Before joining the University of Birmingham, Julian was a Senior Research Analyst covering the European Union and Germany at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. 

Lipika KamraLipika Kamra

Lipika Kamra is an Assistant Professor in Political Science and International Studies. She researches on democratic politics in South Asia through an ethnographic perspective. Her research focuses on gender and democracy, and digital politics in India. She is currently researching on what voting means to women voters in India and, along with Philippa Williams, she is leading a project on WhatsApp's role in democratic politics in India today. More details about the project. Lipika's work has appeared in Critique of Anthropology, Antipode, Territory, Politics, and Governance, Contemporary South Asia, and the Journal of South Asian Development. 

Claire McloughlinClaire Mcloughlin 

Claire Mcloughlin is an Associate Professor of Politics and Development. Her research focuses on the politics of public goods, drivers and barriers to state accountability, authority and state legitimacy. She was the Director of Research for the Developmental Leadership Programme, which investigated these the power of leadership in driving developmental change across the Asia Pacific region. She has published widely on the politics of service delivery, education, and co-production, and is the Lead Editor of the forthcoming book, ‘The Politics of Development’ (SAGE). Claire’s work lies at the research-policy interface, and she has been in engaged in high level debates, strategic reviews, and evidence syntheses for a range of development agencies.

Emeka ThadduesEmeja Njoku 

Emeka Thaddues Njoku's research focuses on global counter-terrorism norms and their impact on the spaces and agency of civil society organizations, as well as the gendered and sexual consequences of counter-terrorism laws, policies, and practices. His research has been published in International AffairsStudies in Conflict and Terrorism, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector QuarterlyVoluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organisations, and Development Policy Review, to mention but a few. His co-authored book (with Scott N. Romaniuk), titled "Counter-terrorism and Civil Society: Post-9/11 Progress and Challenges," was published by Manchester University Press. This research has been funded by a wide range of bodies including the British Academy, UK; American Council of Learned Societies, USA; Social Science Research Council, USA; Brown International Advanced Research Institute fellowship, Brown University, and the USA; Carnegie Funds for Conference Attendance, Institute of International Education, USA.

Bizuneh YimenuBizuneh Yimenu 

Bizuneh Yimenu is a Teaching Fellow at the School of Government, University of Birmingham. He holds a PhD in Comparative Politics from the University of Kent. His research primarily delves into decentralization, federalism, political economy, authoritarianism, and ethnic politics. Bizuneh has published his research in various academic journals, including Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Public Administration and Development, and the Journal of Asian and African Studies. He has also shared his expertise with a broader audience through online platforms such as African Arguments and major international media outlets like Al-Jazeera and the BBC.