Justin Fisher**



Head of the Department of Politics, History and the Brunel Law School and Professor of Political Science

Room: Marie Jahoda Room 208

Email: justin.fisher@brunel.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)1895 266309

After nearly three years working in market research, I took my first degree and then moved on to a PhD, which was funded by the ESRC. After nine years as a lecturer at London Guildhall University, I moved to Brunel in 2000, where I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2003 and then to Professor of Political Science in 2006. After serving as Head of Politics & History (2004-2007), I was appointed Director of the Magna Carta Institute in 2009 and combined that role with being Deputy Head of School of Social Sciences (Research). I was Head of the School of Social Sciences between 2012 and 2014 and was appointed Head of the Department of Politics, History & the Brunel Law School in August 2014.


  • PhD Government (Brunel)
  • BA (Hons) Politics &
    Government (City of London Polytechnic)

Research area(s)

  • Political parties & elections
  • Political finance
  • Political trust
  • British and comparative politics

Membership and affiliation

  • Academician, Academy of Social Sciences (2008 - )
  • Visiting Professor in Political Science, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (2009)
  • President, British Politics Group of the American Political Science Association (2008 - 2010)
  • Elected Member of Executive Committee, British Politics Group of the American Political Science Association (2011-13)
  • Editor of Journal of Elections, Parties & Public Opinion, 2004 - 2011
  • Review of Party Finance Legislation in Georgia, Project Commissioned by the Council of Europe, March - June 2013
  • Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Parliamentary Affairs (2012 - 2015)
  • Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties (2012 - 2017)
  • Academic Advisor, Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (2010 - 2016)
  • Member of Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee and Chair of the Academic Sub-Committee
  • External Reviewer, Department of Politics, University of Newcastle (2008)
  • External Examiner (Undergraduate), Department of Political Science, University College London (2010 - 2012)
  • External Examiner (PhD), School of Law & Social Science, University of Plymouth (2008)
  • External Examiner (PhD), Department of Government, University of Essex (2008 & 2010)
  • Witness to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee hearing on the referendum on separation for Scotland, July 2012
  • Advisor the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s in its response to the government’s proposals on a statutory register of lobbyists, February 2012
  • Witness to the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee hearing on the government’s proposals on a statutory register of lobbyists, February 2012
  • Advisor the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s inquiry into Party Political Funding, (2010 - 11)
  • Witness to the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee hearing on the government’s proposals for voting and parliamentary reform, July 2010
  • Witness to the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s hearing on Party Political Funding, July 2010
  • Director of Project. Attitudes of Agents on the Administration of the 2010 General Election. Report completed on behalf of the Electoral Commission (2010)
  • Witness to the Speaker’s Conference on Parliamentary Representation, July 2009
  • Member of the Public Affairs Council Working Party (2009)
  • Witness to the Political Parties and Election Bill Committee, November, 2008
  • Scientific Expert, 3rd Evaluation Round of the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) on the transparency of party funding (2008 - 2011)
  • Senior Policy Advisor to the Electoral Commission (2008)
  • Specialist Advisor to the Public Administration Select Committee for its inquiry into Lobbying (2007 - 2008)


Research interests

My research is broadly based on British and comparative politics. Using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, I focus on several inter-related themes: how parties fight election campaigns; the effectiveness of election campaigning; how parties are financed; the regulation of political activity, including party funding and lobbying; and how political parties function more broadly. This research has influenced policy and practice through comparative analyses of the effects of regulations in political life and the desirability of pursuing statutory or self-regulation. My current research focuses on a new theme: how political trust is generated and why trust judgements vary from institution to institution.

Director, Magna Carta Institute

Research project(s) and grant(s)

Political Studies Association Special Projects Fund
Teaching Materials for Schools on the Continuing Importance of Magna Carta Contract
January 2014 - June 2015
Justin Fisher (PI)

Trust in Political Institutions
2008 -
Justin Fisher, Jennifer van-Heerde Hudson (UCL) & Andrew Tucker (Brunel)

Comparative Political Finance
2009 -
Justin Fisher & Jennifer van-Heerde Hudson (UCL)

Constituency Level Campaigning
2010 -
Justin Fisher, Edward Fieldhouse (Manchester), David Cutts (Manchester), Ron Johnston (Bristol) & Charles Pattie (Sheffield)


Council of Europe
Review of Party Finance Legislation in Georgia
March – June 2013
Justin Fisher (PI)

Economic & Social Research Council
Constituency Campaigning in the 2010 General Election
February 2010 - January 2011
Justin Fisher (PI)

Electoral Commission
Attitudes of Electoral Agents on the Administration of the General Election
April 2010 - August 2010
Justin Fisher (PI)

Special Research Institute(s)



Undergraduate Programmes

Module convenor

  • Parties and Voters in the UK (Yr 3)

Postgraduate Programmes

Programme convenor

  • MSc Public Affairs & Lobbying

Module convenor

  • Parties and Voters in the UK


Research supervision

Harun Muratogullari: Legislation on Political Parties; 2013-

Dana Humaid Al-Marzooqi: Consultation of citizens during policy development: consultation in the United Arab Emirates; 2012 -

Elisabetta Mocca: Multi-level governance and environmental policy: the role of transnational municipal networks in the definition of local policy-making; 2012 -

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Fisher, JT.   (2015)   'Party Finance: The Death of the National Campaign?'. Parliamentary Affairs: devoted to all aspects of parliamentary democracy, 68 pp. 133 - 153. doi: 10.1093/pa/gsv032 Download publication 

Fisher, JT. , Fieldhouse, E. , Johnston, R. , Pattie, C.  and Cutts, D.   (2015)   'Is All Campaigning Equally Positive? The Impact of District Level Campaigning on Voter Turnout at the 2010 British General Election'. Party Politics: international journal for the study of political parties and political organizations. doi: 10.1177/1354068815605672 Download publication 

Fisher, J. , Johnston, R. , Cutts, D. , Pattie, C.  and Fieldhouse, E.   (2014)   'You get what you (don’t) pay for: The impact of volunteer labour and candidate spending at the 2010 British General Election'. Parliamentary Affairs, 67 (4).  pp. 804 - 824. doi: 10.1093/pa/gst006 Download publication 

Fisher, JT. , Fieldhouse, E.  and Cutts, D.   (2013)   'Members Are Not the Only Fruit: Volunteer Activity in British Political Parties at the 2010 General Election'. British Journal of Politics & International Relations. doi: 10.1111/1467-856X.12011 Download publication 

Johnston, R. , Cutts, D. , Pattie, C.  and Fisher, J.   (2012)   'We've got them on the list: contacting, canvassing and voting in a British general election campaign'. ELECTORAL STUDIES, 31 (2).  pp. 317 - 329. doi: 10.1016/j.electstud.2011.11.002 

Fisher, JT. , Cutts, D. , Johnston, RJ.  and Pattie, C.   (2012)   'Laying the foundations for electoral success: Conservative pre-campaign canvassing before the 2010 UK general election'. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties, 22 (3).  pp. 359 - 375. doi: 10.1080/17457289.2012.694888 

Johnston, R. , Pattie, C. , Cutts, D.  and Fisher, JT.   (2012)   'Spending, contacting and voting: The 2010 British general election in the constituencies'. Environment and Planning A: international journal of urban and regional research, 44 (5).  pp. 1165 - 1184. doi: 10.1068/a44382 

Fisher, JT. , Johnston, RJ. , Pattie, C. , Cutts, D.  and Fieldhouse, E.   (2011)   'The Long and the Short of it: Local Campaigning at the British 2010 General Election'. Political Studies. doi: 10.1111/1467-9248.12011 

Fisher, J. , Cutts, D.  and Fieldhouse, E.   (2011)   'The electoral effectiveness of constituency campaigning in the 2010 British General Election: The ‘triumph’ of labour?'. Electoral Studies, 30 (4).  pp. 816 - 828. doi: 10.1016/j.electstud.2011.08.002 Download publication 

Johnston, R. , Pattie, C. , Cutts, D. , Fieldhouse, E.  and Fisher, JT.   (2011)   'Local campaign spending at the 2010 General Election and its impact:Exploring what wider regulation has revealed'. Political Quarterly, 82 (2).  pp. 169 - 192. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-923X.2011.02183.x 

VanHeerde-Hudson, J.  and Fisher, JT.   (2011)   'Parties heed (with caution): Public knowledge of and attitudes towards party finance in Britain'. Party Politics, 19 (1).  pp. 41 - 60. doi: 10.1177/1354068810393268 

Fisher, J. , van Heerde-Hudson, J.  and Tucker, A.   (2011)   'Why Both Theory and Empirics Suggest There is More than One Form of Trust: A Response to Hooghe'. BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICS & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, 13 (2).  pp. 276 - 281. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2010.00448.x 

Fisher, JT.  and Hough, D.   (2010)   'Wird alles anders? Oder viel Lärm um nichts? Die britischen Parlamentswahlen vom 6. Mai 2010'. Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, 41 (4).  pp. 725 - 739. 

Fisher, J.   (2010)   'Party Finance: Normal Service Resumed?'. PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, 63 (4).  pp. 778 - 801. doi: 10.1093/pa/gsq033 

Fisher, J. , van Heerde, J.  and Tucker, A.   (2010)   'Does one trust judgement fit all? Linking theory and empirics'. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 12 (2).  pp. 161 - 188. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2009.00401.x Download publication 

Fisher, J.  and Denver, D.   (2009)   'Evaluating the electoral effects of traditional and modern modes of constituency campaigning in Britain 1992-2005'. Parliamentary Affairs, 62 (2).  pp. 196 - 210. doi: 10.1093/pa/gsn051 Download publication 

Fisher, J.   (2009)   'Hayden Phillips and Jack Straw: The continuation of British exceptionalism in party finance?'. Parliamentary Affairs, 62 (2).  pp. 298 - 317. doi: 10.1093/pa/gsn047 Download publication 

Fisher, J.   (2008)   'Party funding: back to square one (and a half) or every cloud has a silver lining?'. Political Quarterly, 79 (1).  pp. 119 - 125. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-923X.2008.00909.x Download publication 

Fisher, J.  and Denver, D.   (2008)   'From foot-slogging to call centres and direct mail: a framework for analysing the development of district-level campaigning'. European Journal of Political Research, 47 (6).  pp. 794 - 826. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6765.2008.00785.x Download publication 

Fisher, J. , Denver, D.  and Hands, G.   (2006)   'Unsung heroes: Constituency election agents in British general elections'. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 8 (4).  pp. 569 - 586. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2006.00238.x Download publication 

Fisher, J. , Denver, D.  and Hands, G.   (2006)   'The relative electoral impact of central party co-ordination and size of party membership at constituency level'. Electoral Studies, 25 (4).  pp. 664 - 676. doi: 10.1016/j.electstud.2005.10.001 Download publication 

Fisher, J. , Denver, D.  and Hands, G.   (2006)   'Party membership and campaign activity in Britain: the impact of electoral performance'. Party Politics, 12 (4).  pp. 505 - 519. doi: 10.1177/1354068806064731 Download publication 

Clift, B.  and Fisher, J.   (2005)   'Party finance reform as constitutional engineering? The effectiveness and unintended consequences of party finance reform in France and Britain'. French Politics, 3 pp. 234 - 257. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200082 Download publication 

Clift, B.  and Fisher, J.   (2004)   'Comparative party finance reform: the cases of France and Britain'. Party Politics, 10 (6).  pp. 677 - 699. doi: 10.1177/1354068804046913 

Fisher, J.  and Webb, P.   (2003)   'Political participation: the vocational motivations of Labour party employees'. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 5 (2).  pp. 166 - 187. doi: 10.1111/1467-856X.00102 Download publication 

Fisher, J.   (2001)   'Campaign finance: Elections under new rules'. Parliamentary Affairs, 54 (4).  pp. 689 - 700. doi: 10.1093/parlij/54.4.689 


Fisher, JT.  and Wlezien, C.   (2011) The UK General Election of 2010: Explaing the Outcome. Abingdon:  Routlrdge 

Cowley, P.   (2004) British elections & parties review.  Frank Cass 

Fisher, J. , Denver, DT.  and Benyon, J.   (2003) Central debates in British politics.  Longman 

Fisher, J. , Cowley, P. , Denver, D.  and Russell, A.   (1999) British elections & parties review.  Frank Cass 

Cowley, P. , Denver, D. , Fisher, J.  and Pattie, C.   (1998) British elections & parties review.   

Pattie, C. , Denver, D. , Fisher, J.  and Ludlam, S.   (1997) British elections & parties review.  Frank Cass 

Fisher, J.   (1996) British political parties.  Prentice Hall 

Farrell, D. , Broughton, D. , Denver, D.  and Fisher, J.   (1996) British elections & parties yearbook 1996.  Frank Cass 

Book chapters

Fisher, J. (Accepted)   'Britain', in Norris, P.  and Abel van Es, A. (eds.) Checkbook Elections: Political Finance in Comparative Perspective.  Oxford University Press 

Fisher, J.  (2015)   'Conclusions: Deregulating Party Finance: Is the US an Outlier or a Pioneer?', in Boatright, R. (ed.) The Deregulatory Moment? A Comparative Perspective on Changing Campaign Finance Laws.  Michegan University of Michegan Press pp. 220 - 225. 

Fisher, J.  (2015)   'Britain’s Stop-Go Approach to Party Finance Reform', in Boatright, R. (ed.) The Deregulatory Moment? A Comparative Perspective on Changing Campaign Finance Laws.  Michegan University of Michegan Press pp. 152 - 174. 

Fisher, JT.  (2014)   'Can’t buy me votes (necessarily): money and elections', in Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box.  

Fisher, JT.  and VanHeerde-Hudson, J.  (2014)   'Conclusion: A Very British Episode?', in VanHeerde-Hudson, J. (ed.) The Political Costs of the 2009 British MPs' Expenses Scandal.  Palgrave Macmillan 

Fisher, JT.  (2011)   'State Funding and Political Parties: Truths Myths and Legends', in Young, L.  and Jansen, HJ. (eds.) Money, Politics, and Democracy.  Vancouver UBC Press pp. 19 - 36. 

Fisher, JT. , Cutts, D.  and Fieldhouse, E.  (2011)   'Constituency Campaigning in 2010', in Wring, D. , Mortimore, R.  and Atkinson, S. (eds.) Political Communication in Britain.  Palgrave MacMillan pp. 198 - 217. 

Fisher, JT.  (2011)   'Legal regulation and political activity at the local level in Britain', in Ewing, K. , Tham, J-C.  and Rowbottom, J. (eds.) The Funding of Political Parties.  Routledge pp. . 

Fisher, JT. , Cutts, D.  and Fieldhouse, E.  (2011)   'Constituency Campaigning in 2010', in Wring, D. , Mortimore, R.  and Atkinson, S. (eds.) Political Communication in Britain.  Palgrave MacMillan pp. . 

Denver, D.  and Fisher, J.  (2009)   'Blair’s electoral record', in The Blair Legacy: Politics, Policy, Governance, and Foreign Affairs.  Basingstoke, Hampshire Palgrave Macmillan pp. 23 - 38. 

Russell, A. , Denver, D. , Cutts, D. , Fieldhouse, E.  and Fisher, J.  (2008)   'Non-party activity in the 2005 UK general election: “Promoting or procuring electoral success”?', in Farrell, D.  and Schmitt-Beck, R. (eds.) Non-Party Actors in Electoral Politics: The Role of Interest Groups and Independent Citizens in Contemporary Election Campaigns.  Baden-Baden Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft pp. 103 - 125. 

Fisher, J.  (2008)   'Whither the parties?', in Hazell, R. (ed.) Constitutional Futures Revisited: Britain's Constitution to 2020.  Basingstoke, Hampshire Palgrave Macmillan pp. 249 - 266. 

Fisher, J. , Denver, D. , Fieldhouse, E. , Russell, A.  and Cutts, D.  (2007)   'Constituency campaigning in 2005: Ever more centralisation ?', in Wring, D. , Green, J. , Mortimore, R.  and Atkinson, S. (eds.) Political communications.  Palgrave MacMillan pp. 79 - 92. 

Fisher, J.  (2005)   'Financing party politics in Britain', in Malamud, C.  and Posada-Carbó, E. (eds.) The financing of politics: Latin Americn and European perspectives.  London: Institute of Latin American Studies pp. 104 - 121. 

Fisher, J.  (2005)   'Campaign finance', in Geddes, A.  and Tonge, J. (eds.) Britain decides: The general election of 2005.  Palgrave MacMillan pp. 170 - 186. 

Page last updated: Wednesday 14 September 2016