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The University of Southampton
Centre for Political Ethnography

Dr John Boswell 

Associate Professor in Politics, Departmental Postgraduate Programme Lead, Deputy Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Globalisation and Governance

Dr John Boswell's photo

Dr John Boswell is an Associate Professor in Politics within the Department of Politics & International Relations at the University of Southampton.

I am an Associate Professor in Politics at the University of Southampton. My expertise is on the boundary of political theory and public policy and centres around contemporary issues and themes in democratic governance. I have a particular interest therein in: public deliberation, citizen engagement and democratic innovation; the politics of health policy (especially public health policy); policy advocacy and political rhetoric; and the role of experts in democratic debate and policymaking. My research is generally qualitative and interpretive in nature, and I also have an interest in writing and teaching on methodological matters in this tradition.

Research interests

The work I am currently doing stems largely from my recently completed PhD project, which explored the role of narrative in public deliberation on obesity. However, my current projects also include research on public engagement in relation to health spending prioritisation, the relationship between old and new media in making sense of unfolding or unexpected events, and issues and opportunities for interpretive research in politics and governance. I have previously been engaged in projects exploring the role of citizen committees in local governance, the impact of deliberation on citizen attitudes towards climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the role of the health care consumers’ movement in health system governance.

Senior Tutor, Exams Officer

Deputy Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Globalisation and Governance

Member of SSEGM ethics’ sub-committee

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Book Chapter

  • Hendriks, C. M., & Boswell, J. (Accepted/In press). Governance networks. In Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy Oxted, GB: Oxford University Press.

Journal Special Issue



For the current academic year, I am module co-ordinator for PAIR2010: Democracy and the Modern State; RESM6002: Research Design and Practice; and PAIR6009: Public Policy and Administration. These modules embrace a diversity of methods for delivering content and assessing learning, to ensure that the students (and lecturer!) remain interested, engaged and challenged.

Research supervision
I am also happy to supervise students in the fields of democratic governance and public policy broadly, and more specifically in relation to the research interests listed on my profile. Please contact me if you want to discuss a proposal for postgraduate research.

Dr John Boswell
Reception Building 58 University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom


Room Number: 58/3071

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