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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

ESRC research grant to examine the nation’s lack of engagement with politics

Published: 8 April 2014 Origin:  Geography and Environmental Science

A new grant will enable an interdisciplinary University team from Geography and Politics make a significant contribution to understanding and addressing what is a major concern in contemporary British society.

Led by Dr Nick Clarke , Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, along with Professor Gerry Stoker and Dr Will Jennings from Politics and International Relations, the research builds on their previous  work on the topic of ‘anti-politics' - understood as disenchantment with and disengagement from formal politics by ordinary people, but also as modes of policy-making that disengage themselves from ordinary people.

Nick comments, "We have realised that hypotheses regarding explanations for the prevalence of anti-politics in contemporary society - articulated especially in Gerry's book, Why Politics Matters - can be further tested using historical data from polling organisations and the Mass Observation Archive."

The research will build on Nick's area of expertise of political and cultural geography alongside Gerry and Will's expertise of polling data, voter turnout, party membership, and broader citizen engagement.

The research, due to start in October 2014, aims to explain current disenchantment with and disengagement from formal politics in Britain and in turn help inform attempts by politicians and policy-makers to address these problems. Results will be published in 2016.

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