Dr Matthew Wall

Dr Matthew Wall
Senior Lecturer
Political and Cultural Studies
Telephone: (01792) 602987

Dr. Matthew Wall is a lecturer at Swansea University's Department of Political and Cultural Studies. He currently teaches courses on research philosophy, introduction to politics and IR, elections and voters and comparative politics.

Prior to coming to Swansea University, Wall worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Université Libre de Bruxelles as part of the Electoral System Change in Europe Since 1945 (ESCE) research project. He is a Marie Curie research fellow, having completed a year’s postdoctoral research as part of the ELECDEM initial training network at the Free University, Amsterdam. He completed his PhD thesis on African electoral and party systems at Trinity College Dublin.

His research interests include Vote Advice Application (VAA) websites; electoral campaigns; electoral system effects and reform as well as Irish politics. Dr Wall has published several research articles on these topics in journals including Electoral Studies, Party Politics, Parliamentary Affairs, Irish Political Studies, the Journal of Electronic Governance, the Journal of Information Technology and Politics and the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

Areas of Expertise

  • vote choice
  • statistical analysis
  • voter advice applications
  • Election Forecasting
  • Betting Markets
  • Campaign effectiveness


  1. & Courting but Not Always Serving: Perverted Burkeanism and the Puzzle of Irish Parliamentary Cohesion. In Richard Johnston and Campbell Sharman (Ed.), Parties and Party Systems: Structure and Context.
  2. & The miracle of the markets: Identifying key campaign events in the Scottish independence referendum using betting odds. Electoral Studies 46, 39-47.
  3. & Internet Effects in Times of Political Crisis. Public Opinion Quarterly 80(2), 411-436.
  4. & Wired Voters: The Effects of Internet Use on Voters’ Electoral Uncertainty. British Journal of Political Science 45(04), 853-881.
  5. & Why bother campaigning? Campaign effectiveness in the 2009 European Parliament elections. Electoral Studies Forthcoming, n/a

See more...


  • PO-100 How Politics and IR count

    There are many indicators in Politics and IR that try to express in numerical form some information about countries. Similar to University league tables, such indicators allow us to compare for instance how well particular countries have accomplished specific goals (Human development index, gender development index, etc.) or to judge the quality of their institutions (Varieties of Democracy, Freedom House, etc.). But what is an indicator, how are these compiled and above all, by whom? In this module you will become acquainted with the purpose of quantification, its pitfalls, and advantages. We will discuss what data is, what to watch out for in measurement, and explore public opinions surveys and the use of social media such as twitter in data generation. By the end of the module you will know how to summarize data, interpret data in tabular and graphical form and have gained a solid understanding of the most common data used by governments, international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, and scholars to analyze questions in human development, comparative politics, conflict studies and international relations. Hence, at the end of the module you will feel more comfortable around numbers and will be a knowledgeable and confident consumer of numerical information.

  • PO-234 Elections and Voting

    This module introduces students to one of the central concerns of politics scholars: the systematic study of elections. The module begins with an examination of competing theoretical conceptions of the role that elections play in a democratic political system. With this theoretical framework established, the module guides students through a rich literature that seeks to explain how elections play out in established democracies. Students are introduced to several approaches to explaining voter behaviour, including: party identification; socio-cultural explanations; rational choice theory; retrospective economic voting; issue voting/issue ownership; leadership effects; and strategic voting. Students will be encouraged to evaluate both the conceptual coherence of these theories and the evidence on which they are based. This exploration of voter behaviour is complimented by analyses of contemporary election campaigns in the United Kingdom, the United States and other established democracies, where recent developments in the media environment have transformed voter-party communications.

  • PO-395 Dissertation (PO-325)

    Subject to the approval of the Departmental Dissertations Tutor, students will choose their own area for research. They will be given guidance on research skills and techniques and supervised by a specialist research topic supervisor during the research for, and writing of, their dissertation. Dissertation word length - 8000 words.

  • PO-396 Researching Politics 1

    This module offers students a valuable experience of both individual and collective research as well as the opportunity to study in depth an important aspect of Politics and International Relations. After an introductory session students will work in small groups pursuing research into a specific topic using a wide variety of source materials under the guidance of a member of staff with appropriate specialist knowledge and expertise.

  • PO-397 Researching Politics 2 (PO-327)

    This module offers students a valuable experience of both individual and collective research - as well as the opportunity to study in depth an important aspect of Politics and International Relations. Students extend and deepen the research undertaken in PO-396 Researching Politics 1 and continue to meet regularly in order to share ideas, opinions and sources. In these meetings, students evaluate, criticise and analyse issues concerning the topic under investigation. Minutes of the meetings are kept and the meetings are conducted with a view to arriving at a common position that will serve as the basis for producing a collectively authored report and presentation. Each student in the group also produces a shorter individual report on their own experience of Researching Politics, in the course of which they reflect on their individual contribution to the groups output. This self-assessment is validated by the other members of the group.

  • PO-M25 Dissertation

    Individual research based, under the guidance of appointed supervisor.

  • PO-M32 Conceptual Issues In the Theory and Practice of Social Sciences

    This module introduces MA students to philosophical and methodological issues relating to the possibilities, purpose and conduct of the social sciences. These issues are of great importance for the development of thinking about how to study political theory, political science or international relations. The intellectual reflection demanded by this module will feed into students¿ approaches to their work in the sub-disciplinary modules and dissertation.

  • PO-M80 Governance, Globalization and Neoliberal Political Economy

    In recent decades, many theorists of governance, the state and international relations have been discussing the `de-centering¿ and `hollowing out¿ of the state, as tasks previously performed by `national¿ governments have been taken up by or shared with a wide range of other actors or tiers of governance. These have included international associations or organizations such as the European Union, NAFTA, Mercosur, the UN, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the major `international financial institutions¿ (the IMF, the World Bank, and the various regional development banks), as well as corporations and other organizations in the private and financial sectors. In addition, new forms of governance have emerged, which have greatly changed the way in which rules, institutions and democracy are understood, interpreted and implemented. What have been the reasons for these changes? Are they inevitable? What are the factors at play in the shift from `government¿ to `governance¿? And how transparent, participatory, accountable and democratic are the emerging or evolving forms of governance? These are amongst the key questions addressed in this module, which will induct students into the study of governance and political participation and accountability at four main levels: national, subnational, macro-regional, and global. It will also examine the emergence and evolution of distinctive patterns of governance in various parts of the world. Students will be familiarized with key theories, issues and debates concerning the state, political economy, and emerging or evolving forms of governance, and with various ways in which older forms and conceptions of politics and democratic participation, transparency and accountability are being challenged and/or transformed in these changing environments.


  • 'Wrestling with Hegemony: Professional Wrestling, Oppression and Rebellion' (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Luca Trenta
  • Engaging Young Voters with Vote Advice Application Technologies (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Lindsay
  • Nigeria’s political campaign practices in transition: Understanding the use of the web technologies in an unfamiliar culture. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Yan Wu
  • A critical exploration of the development, form and effects of corporate digital surveillance upon users and consumers (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Mr William Merrin
  • 'The Role of China''''s Post 90s and Millennial Generation in the Development of Public Environmentalism.' (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Roland Axtmann
  • 'That's not bloody true, I'm as Welsh as anybody' Public and Party Attitudes to National Identity in Wales and the Basque Country: a Neo-Constructivist and Qualitative Analysis.' (awarded 2016)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Jonathan Bradbury
  • 'A study of the Formation and Implementation of NEET Public policies in Scotland and Wales since Devolution.' (awarded 2015)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Jonathan Bradbury
  • 'UK Local Government and Public Participation: A Discourse on Incompatibility' (awarded 2015)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Jonathan Bradbury

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Admissions tutor - Politics and International Relations

    2012 - 2013

  • Admissions tutor - Political and Cultural Studies

    2013 - Present