- Public policy
- Public opinion
- Political trust
I am currently engaged in a number of on-going research projects and collaborations. The ‘TrustGov’ project – with Pippa Norris (Harvard and Sydney University) and Gerry Stoker (Southampton) – funded through a large grant from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), investigates worldwide patterns of trust and trustworthiness of national and global governance agencies. Also funded by the ESRC, I am working with Peter Enns (Cornell University) and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research in a project that will digitise the individual level data of hundreds of historical opinion polls undertaken by the Gallup UK between the 1950s and 1990s. In ongoing research with Christopher Wlezien (University of Texas at Austin), I have been exploring cross-national trends in polling accuracy and the evolution of voters’ preferences over the election cycle. The ‘Media as a Missing Link?’ project funded by the University of Stavanger (with Gunnar Thesen, University of Stavanger, Christoffer Green-Pedersen and Peter Bjerre Mortensen, Aarhus University, Rens Vliegenthart, University of Amsterdam, and Stefaan Walgrave, University of Antwerp) is exploring how news media influences party popularity – in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK.
My work with Gerry Stoker on Britain’s new geographical political divides led to founding of a think tank, The Centre for Towns, with Ian Warren and Lisa Nandy, Shadow Foreign Secretary and MP for Wigan, which has made a significant contribution to debates over the issues facing towns and declining areas in the UK (and the impact on electoral politics).
Other recent projects have investigated how voters evaluate the competence of political parties and how this impacts on vote choice (with Jane Green, Nuffield College, University of Oxford) and have undertaken cross-national analysis of policy blunders (with Martin Lodge, London School of Economics and Political Science). I also have recently been working on the rise of anti-politics and trends in public discontent with politicians (with Nick Clarke and Gerry Stoker, University of Southampton and Jonathan Moss, University of Sussex). In a collaboration with Alan Renwick (UCL), Graham Smith (Westminster), Matthew Flinders (University of Sheffield), and others, I have been involved in projects organising citizens' assemblies on the topics of Brexit and devolution.