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Dr Gareth Dale Dr Gareth Dale
Reader in Political Economy
Gareth is Associate Head of the Department of Social and Political Sciences. He worked at Birkbeck, the LSE, and Swansea University before joining Brunel in 2005. His most recent books are the edited collections Revolutionary Rehearsals in the Neoliberal Age (Haymarket 2021) and Exploring the Thought of Karl Polanyi (Agenda 2019). In 2016 he published Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left (Columbia UP) and Reconstructing Karl Polanyi: Excavation and Critique (Pluto), and a critical appraisal of ‘Green Growth’ strategies (Zed Books). Previous publications include books on Karl Polanyi (Polity, 2010), the political economy of Eastern Europe (Pluto), migrant labour in the European Union (Berg), and a trilogy on East Germany: its economic history, protest movements, and 1989 revolution (Manchester UP). He tweets at Gareth_Dale His articles are accessible either on this page or, at greater range, here and here. His work has appeared in Arabic, Bengali, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Farsi, Hindi, Indonesian, Kazakh, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian. Gareth has supervised doctoral dissertations on topics including the decarbonisation agenda, environmental political theory, Karl Polanyi, the political economy of Hungary, European communism, the New Institutional Economic History, the geopolitics of the Arctic, and the EU's management of the Greek crisis. He has examined doctoral dissertations on topics including the ideology of economic growth, the life and work of Karl Polanyi, social democracy, migration and class conflict in post-communist Europe, Australia’s military interventions, and the ‘thought-practices’ of Plaid Cymru. Qualifications: BA (Combined Studies) University of Manchester PhD (Government) University of Manchester Gareth’s current research focuses on the growth paradigm, and the political economy of the environment, particularly technology fetishism and climate change. His previous interests include the life and work of Karl Polanyi, the history of East Germany, the political economy of Eastern Europe, social movement theory, and international migration. Undergraduate Programmes Module convenor Climate Politics (Yr 2) Empire, Imperialism, Hegemony (Yr 3) Postgraduate Programmes Module convenor International Political Economy Administration Associate Head of Department
Professor Justin Fisher Professor Justin Fisher
Director of Policy Unit / Professor of Political Science
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, Head of the Department of Politics, History & the Brunel Law School between 2014 and 2017, and Head of the Department of Social and Political Sciences between 2017 and 2020. I was appointed as Director of the University's Policy Unit - Brunel Public Policy - in September 2020. Qualifications: PhD Government (Brunel) BA (Hons) Politics & Government (City of London Polytechnic) Undergraduate Programmes Module convenor Elections, Parties and Voters in the UK (Yr 3) Parliamentary Studies (Yr 3) Postgraduate Programmes Module convenor Election Campaigning Administration Director of Brunel Public Policy Director of the Magna Carta Institute
Dr Stuart Fox Dr Stuart Fox
Senior Lecturer in British Politics
Dr Stuart Fox joined the department as a Lecturer in British Politics in 2019. Before that he worked as a Quantitative Research Associate in the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods at Cardiff University for four years, working on research in a wide range of fields, including generational trends in Euroscepticism, young people's political engagement and behaviour during the EU Referendum, the potential for volunteering to help engage young people with electoral politics, the role of the family and religion in shaping support for Brexit, the changing impact of higher education on graduates' civic engagement, and the nature of political trust in France. Stuart's PhD was funded by the ESRC and completed at the University of Nottingham in 2015. His thesis provided the most detailed analysis ever attempted of the role of political alienation in shaping the political behaviour of Britain's Millennial generation, and was awarded the Arthur McDougall Fund Prize for best dissertation in the field of Elections, Electoral Systems or Representation by the Political Studies Association. Prior to his PhD Stuart was actively involved in British politics, working for a Member of Parliament in Nottingham for several years, and holding elected office on Nottingham City Council. Stuart's current research focusses on the capacity for policies such as volunteering or a lower voting age to help engage young people with the electoral process, and the role religion has played in shaping support for Brexit in the UK since 2015. Module Convenor: Modern British Politics (PP1068) Module Convenor: Political Behaviour in Britain (PP2618) Module Convenor: Researching Contemporary Issues in British Politics (PP3614) Dissertation Supervision
Dr Martin Hansen Dr Martin Hansen
Associate Dean (QA) / Reader - Politics
Dr Martin Ejnar Hansen is a political scientist specialising in Comparative European Politics and Public Policy with specific focus on parliaments, governments and parties. Before joining Brunel he was employed at the University of Southern Denmark, University of Aarhus and the University of Vienna. Qualifications: PhD Political Science (Aarhus) cand.scient.pol. (MSc Political Science) (Southern Denmark) BSc Political Science (Southern Denmark) My research is focused on parliaments and political parties in Western Europe. Primarily, it is based on quantitative methods. My recent research has focused on committee assignments in parliaments and on roll call voting in constitutional assemblies and pre-WW2 legislatures. I also have a continued interest in party manifestos and speeches and applied quantitative text analysis. Special Research Institute(s) The Magna Carta Institute Undergraduate Programmes Module convenor Explaining Politics: Quantitative Political Science in Practice (Yr 2) Public Policy Analysis (Yr 3) Advanced Applied Quantitative Methods (Yr 3)
Professor Jeffrey Karp Professor Jeffrey Karp
Professor - Comparative Politics
Jeffrey Karp is a political scientist specialising in research on public opinion, elections, and political behaviour with over 20 years of experience in survey research. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Calfornia, Santa Barbara in 1995. His research addresses questions about how institutions influence political attitudes and behaviour and examines such topics as electoral reform, political mobilization, gender and political leadership, popular support for direct democracy, and attitudes about European integration. He has published in nearly all of the major international journals in the discipline, including the British Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, and Political Psychology. In the late 1990s he served as a co-investigator on the New Zealand Election Study (NZES) to gather data to examine the effects of electoral system change after New Zealand replaced its first past the post (FPP) electoral system with a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system in 1996. Since then he has designed and carried out surveys in the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, and Australia. He is a member of the advisory board of the British Election Study. In 2015-16, he was a visiting fellow with the Electoral Integrity Project, based at the University of Sydney and carried out a three wave panel survey for the Australian Electoral Commission. Results from the survey are helping to inform the debate about how to modernise the electoral process and improve the voter experience in Australia. Recent research focuses on gender and political leadership and ways to improve the democratic process focusing on the conduct of elections and support for electoral reform. Module convenor PP1609: Introduction to World Politics PP1602: Introduction to Comparative Politics PP2611: Explaining Politics: Quantitative Political Science in Practice PP2623: Comparative Electoral Systems Office Hours Tuesdays 1:15-3:15 and by appointment
Professor Mark Neocleous Professor Mark Neocleous
Professor - Critique of Political Economy
My current role is Professor of the Critique of Political Economy in the Department of Social and Political Sciences, having joined Brunel in 1994 in what was then a Department of Government. I am a critical theorist who focuses on questions of state and capital, especially as they pertain to police, security and war. I also have an interest in the political imagination, especially concerning bodies, monstrosity, subjectivity and death. My most recent book is The Politics of Immunity (Verso, 2022). I am currently working on two projects: the first is a book called Pacification, and the second is a book called The Most Beautiful Suicide. More detail of my research is given in the links above called 'Research' and 'Selected Publications'. The 'Selected Publications' section lists only my books. Most of my published work is available for free either here: or here: If there is a publication of mine that you can't find on those sites, email me and if I can then I will provide it. Qualifications: PhD Philosophy (Middlesex) MSc Politics and Sociology (Birkbeck) BSc Philosophy and Sociology (City) Undergraduate Programmes Module convenor or co-convenor Modern Political Thought (Yr 1) Ancient Greek Political Thought: Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Politics (Yr 2) Karl Marx and the Critique of Political Economy (Yr 3) Administration REF co-ordinator Chair of the Department's Board of Examiners
Dr Katja Sarmiento-Mirwaldt Dr Katja Sarmiento-Mirwaldt
Reader
I completed my PhD in 2007 with the support of the ESRC and the University of Essex. I then joined the European Policies Research Centre at the University of Strathclyde to pursue an ESRC-funded post-doctoral and research fellowship. Having worked as a Research Officer at the London School of Economics for two years, I joined the department in August 2012. My research interests cover several aspects of contemporary European politics and policy. First, I am interested in the regional and spatial dimensions of European politics, including citizen relations across national borders, cross-border cooperation and regional development policy. Second, I have a broad interest in the way that politicians justify and communicate their ideas about political institutions and practices in party manifestos or parliamentary debates. Third, I am working on a collaborative research project that examines perceptions of politicians' ethical conduct in Britain, France and Germany. I have a special interest in Polish, German and French politics but am also interested in broader political developments in post-communist Europe. My research has been funded by the ESRC, the British Academy, the Polish-German Science Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Undergraduate Programmes Module convenor Research Design and Qualitative Methods in Politics (Yr 1) European Union Politics: Problems and Prospects (Yr 3)
Dr Manu Savani Dr Manu Savani
Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Public Policy
I am Lecturer in Public Policy, with interests in behavioural public policy and 'nudges', health behaviour change, survey and field experiments, and welfare politics. Prior to my PhD, I was an economist at the Department for International Development over 2003-2012. I held roles covering a range of countries (Afghanistan, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia) and policy issues (pro-poor growth, HIV and AIDS, conflict and development, and value for money in aid spending). More recently, I was a Global Impact Evaluation Adviser for Oxfam GB, managing evaluations for the Gendered Enterprise and Markets project in Zambia and Bangladesh using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in the field. Read about my work on Covid-19 vaccination choices across the G7 for the British Academy. Read about my work on commitment devices, and why nudges might fail, at the Policy and Politics Journal Blog. Read about my work on commitment devices and health behaviour change at the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change Digi-Hub Blog. Read about my work on whether people prefer to be nudged or shoved in a pandemic at the LSE Public Policy blog. Behavioural public policy I am interested in investigating how behavioural economics can support positive policy outcomes. I have published research on nudges for health behaviour change on obesity (read about my field experiments here and here). I am currently investigating how nudges might affect vaccination decisions, funded by a British Academy Grant on Covid-19 recovery. Our report is published here. I have reviewed what we know about the public's preferences for nudges compared to harder policy instruments. Does the Covid-19 pandemic prompt a rethink of the conventional wisdom that people prefer softer, freedom-preserving policy measures over harder, restrictive measures? Read a summary of our findings. My PhD thesis applied Thaler and Shefrin’s (1981) Planner-Doer dual-self model to health behaviours. I designed and implemented two mixed methods field experiments that evaluated the impact of commitment devices on health behavior around obesity, working in partnership with Camden Council and the private sector. The research tested new ways to measure concepts such as sophistication and myopia, critically assessed the planner-doer model using quantitative and qualitative data, and raised new policy recommendations for how commitment strategies can be designed into public health programmes. My thesis was awarded the 'Best Dissertation' prize by UCL Dept of Political Science. Experiments in political science I am interested in using survey experiments to better understand voter decision making. I am investigating how voters evaluate candidates accused of sexual harassment (with Dr Sofia Collignon at Royal Holloway University). Our study of US voters promises important insights into the role of personal values in voters' decisions (pre-registered here). I am also looking at what factors make British voters more or less likely to consider online voting (with Prof Justin Fisher, pre-registered here, forthcoming, British Journal of Politics and International Relations). Welfare policy I am interested in how behavioural public policy might apply to welfare reforms, with a focus on financial capability and decision making. I am interested in how the design of the flagship welfare programme Universal Credit interacts with the realities of budgeting and financial decisions in low-income contexts. I am also exploring the ways in which 'austerity' might affect knife crime outcomes (jointly with Ben Jeffreys), through a mixed-methods study of London's experiences. I teach Public Policy (undergraduate) and International Development (postgraduate) modules, and provide dissertation supervision.
Professor Peter Thomas Professor Peter Thomas
Head of Department / Professor - History of Political Thought
Dr Peter D. Thomas is an historian of political thought, an historian of philosophy and a political theorist. He has studied and worked at the University of Queensland, Freie Universität Berlin, L’Università “Federico II”, Naples, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Vienna. He has been a member in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a research fellow at the University of Helsinki, and the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, and a recipient of Australian, British, German, Italian and Dutch research fellowships. Qualifications: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy PhD (Amsterdam) MA (Research) BA (Hons) (UQ) BA (UQ) Dr Thomas is an historian of political thought, an historian of philosophy and a political theorist. As an historian of political thought, his major contributions have been in the history of Italian political thought in the early twentieth century, particularly the thought of Antonio Gramsci. He has also co-edited volumes on Karl Marx’s political-economic thought in historical context, and on the development of the thought of Louis Althusser. As an historian of philosophy, he has published on the history of German philosophy in the mid nineteenth century and Italian philosophy in the twentieth century, the history of Marxist philosophy, philosophies of history and theories of plural temporality. As a political theorist, his work has focused on concepts of political organization, forms of socio-political transformation, and theories of subalternity, inclusion/exclusion and citizenship. He is currently working on a study of central themes in contemporary radical political thought, including notions of the nature of politics and processes of politicization, the relationship between politics and the political, and the concept of the political subject. He is also working on a collection of documents and critical essays related to Gramsci’s time in Russia (with Professor Craig Brandist of the University of Sheffield, funded by a British Academy grant). In addition to his own research, he has also translated the work of Roberto Finelli, Antonio Negri and Massimiliano Tomba, among others. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, and co-editor of the Historical Materialism Book Series. Undergraduate Programmes Module convenor The State and Revolution (Yr 2) Crisis and Critique (Yr 3) Module contributor Central Themes in Political Thought (Yr 1) Postgraduate Programmes Module convenor Revolution and Counter-revolution in Twentieth Century Political Thought Administration Co-director of the Brunel Social and Political Thought Research Centre
Dr Varun Uberoi Dr Varun Uberoi
Reader - Political Theory and Public Policy
I did my doctoral and post-doctoral work at the University of Oxford and I am now Reader in Political Theory and Public Policy at Brunel University London. I am a political theorist of multiculturalism and my research has four related aims. First, I examine historically why political theorists began to focus on multiculturalism in the late 1980s and early 1990s; and I show how this change relates to broader changes in political thought in a number of countries. Second, I adapt, synthesise and then justify different contextual approaches to the political theory of multiculturalism so as to form my own approach. Third, I use this approach to show why and how the members of contemporary Western societies can become united enough to not fear their racial, religious and cultural differences as this will help to reduce the different forms of discrimination and exclusion that minorities often have to endure. Fourth, I use this research to inform policymakers and public debate; and promote reforms that my research justifies. A symposium of articles in the journal Ethnicities is devoted to the significance and value of the research of my co-authors and I. My work has been used by the UK Cabinet Office and the Home Office, the UK Parliament, the Canadian Department for Citizenship and Immigration and the Australian Senate Committee for Strengthening Multiculturalism. My work also features in public debate as it is referred to in parliamentary debates, by the BBC, The Independent and Gazetta and by think tank researchers at Policy Exchange, The Runnymede Trust, The Dialogue Society and the Association for Canadian Studies. I have also won grants from the ESRC, The British Academy, the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, The International Council of Canadian Studies, the Indian Council of Philosophical Research and the Indian Council of Social Scientific Research. Qualifications D.Phil (Oxford) BA Hons Politics and History (Manchester) I am a political theorist of multiculturalism and my research has four related aims. First, I examine historically why political theorists began to focus on multiculturalism in the late 1980s and early 1990s; and I show how this change relates to broader changes in political thought in a number of countries. Second, I adapt, synthesise and then justify different contextual approaches to the political theory of multiculturalism so as to form my own approach. Third, I use this approach to show why and how the members of contemporary Western societies can become united enough to not fear their racial, religious and cultural differences as this will help to reduce the different forms of discrimination and exclusion that minorities often have to endure. Fourth, I use this research to inform policymakers and public debate; and promote reforms that my research justifies. A symposium of articles in the journal Ethnicities is devoted to the significance and value of the research of my co-authors and I. My work has been used by the UK Cabinet Office and the Home Office, the UK Parliament, the Canadian Department for Citizenship and Immigration and the Australian Senate Committee for Strengthening Multiculturalism. My work also features in public debate as it is referred to in parliamentary debates, by the BBC, The Independent and Gazetta and by think tank researchers at Policy Exchange, The Runnymede Trust, The Dialogue Society and the Association for Canadian Studies. I have also won grants from the ESRC, The British Academy, the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, The International Council of Canadian Studies, the Indian Council of Philosophical Research and the Indian Council of Social Scientific Research. I welcome applications to supervise PhD students who want to work on the political theory and public policy of multiculturalism, national identity, secularism, race and ethnicity and 19th and 20th century Indian and English political thought. Undergraduate Programmes Module convenor Modern Political Thought (Yr 1) Unity and Cultural Diversity (Yr 2) Postgraduate Programmes Module convenor Political Theory and the Challenges of Diversity Administration From Sept 2022, I will be the department's 'impact' coordinator.

 

Our world-leading and international research excellence is reflected in several competitive fellowships awarded to our staff, including a Mid-career Fellowship from the British Academy (Dale), a Fellowship of the Constitution Unit at UCL (Fisher), a Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences (Fisher), and an Understanding Society Policy Fellowship (Fox). Staff from this research cluster have won prestigious prizes, including Fox’ prize for the best article published in 2018 in the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties as well as his Dillwyn Medal for Social Sciences, or Savani’s Best Dissertation Prize from UCL as well as her Green UCL Award for Excellence in Sustainability.

Our experts also regularly appear in the media, including election night coverage on Sky News or ITV, appearances on BBC Newsnight or the BBC World Service, Radio 5, or LBC Radio. Our research has also been covered in publications such as the Guardian, the New Statesman, the New European, and international publications such as the Polish Gazeta Wyborcza or the Israeli daily Maariv.