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About us

Empirical research, using a range of sophisticated methods is vital for the detailed understanding of political and social change. But, with developments in empirical research come important questions, such as data ethics, open data, data collection, and data management.


The wide range of expertise in this groups promotes detailed discussion of these key questions and of methodological techniques, generating greater shared knowledge and understanding, and development of best practice.

Open Data Analysis in Social and Political Science is about using quantitative and qualitative data to better understand how political and society functions, and using this understanding to help improve public life. We have research strengths in a wide range of techniques, including: individual-level survey analysis, aggregate-level analysis, survey and fieldwork experiments and qualitative techniques in social and political enquiry.

We work on a wide range of topics using these methodologies, including public opinion, the dynamics of political alliances, the impact of prompts on social and political behaviour, trust between groups, the effects of initiatives like volunteering on subsequent political attitudes, and the analysis of elections and election campaigns.

We run:

  • A seminar series designed to address key issues in empirical research in social and political science.

  • A series of methods masterclasses to enhance the skills not only of research group members, but also other University colleagues

  • A peer review college to assist group members prior to submission of papers and grant applications.

Our research is used by governments, parliaments, political parties, civil servants, regulators, volunteer groups, local authorities, journalists and many more. The rigorous application of our empirical methods ensure that our research is a reliable resource for a wide range of users.

We have worked with a range of partners around the world. This has led to joint research both with other Universities as well as government, parliaments, political parties, regulators, local authorities and volunteer organisations.