Specialist Subjects: Political theory, British Politics, Labour Politics, Conservatism, Northern Irish politics, rhetoric, media, communication, poststructuralism, discourse theory, democratic theory, continental political thought, asset-based welfare, cultural theory, cultural studies, interpretive methodologies.
I studied at Trinity College, Cambridge University and then at The Queen’s University of Belfast where I wrote my doctoral thesis ‘Political Ideology and the Mythic Discourse of Nationalism’. I lectured at Queen’s for several years before taking up a post at Swansea in 2000.
I am co-director of the Centre for the Study of Culture and Politics. Within the Centre we are developing research projects on topic such as financialisation, cultural theory, cultural policy and political communication.
I was responsible for the oversight of examinations and assessment in the Department from 2004-2011 and organizer and chair of the Departmental research seminar series from 2006-2011.
My research combines political/cultural theory with political analysis. I have written quite a lot about the ideology that underpinned new Labour and especially about the relationship between social policy (you can see me talking about new Labour and asset-based welfare at a conference in Montreal in 2005 here) and financialisation (you can hear me talking about the financial crisis at a conference in Warwick in 2008, here: )
I am especially interested in political rhetoric – the ways in which political actors attempt to persuade others to agree with them. I am currently running a research project with Judi Atkins funded by the Leverhulme Trust. We are archiving speeches and examining the history and development of political rhetoric in Britain. You can find out more on the project website (http://ww.britishpoliticalspeech.org). You can see me giving a public lecture in Finland, about rhetoric and ideologies here.
A third strand of my research is democratic political theory (especially the connection between theories of rhetoric and democracy) and I have written a number of essays on agonistic conceptions of politics.
MA (Cantab), PhD (Belfast)
College of Arts & Humanities
TEL: +44 (0) 1792 51 4290
FAX: +44 (0) 1792 295716