Associate Professor
Political and Cultural Studies
Telephone: (01792) 602987
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Room: Office - 027
Ground Floor
James Callaghan
Singleton Campus

I’m Dr Matt Wall, a Senior Lecturer in Politics at Swansea University’s Department of Political and Cultural Studies (PCS). My research centres on the intersection of the digital and the political, particularly with regard to elections. I do research on digital election campaigns; Vote Advice Application websites; the effects of digital technologies on public opinion and political participation and Welsh, British and Irish politics. I have published articles in: The British Journal of Political Science; Public Opinion Quarterly; Party Politics; Electoral Studies; The Journal of Electronic Governance; Information Polity; Parliamentary Affairs; the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties and the Journal of Information Technology and Politics. I am a contributor and editor of the academic blog site: www.politicalreform.ie. 

Areas of Expertise

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

Publications

  1. & The ties that bind: How the dominance of WeChat combines with guanxi to inhibit and constrain China’s contentious politics. New Media & Society, 146144481983007
  2. The Impact of Voting Advice Applications on Vote Choice. In Matching Voters with Parties and Candidates: Voting Advice Applications in a Comparative Perspective. (pp. 115-129). Colchester: ECPR Press.
  3. & Voting Advice Applications and Campaign Actors: Mapping VAAs' Interactions With Parties, Media and Voters. In Matching Voters with Parties and Candidates: Voting Advice Applications in a Comparative Perspective. (pp. 67-79). Colchester: ECPR Press.
  4. & Seeking Evidence for a Welsh Progressive Consensus: Party Positioning in the 2016 National Assembly for Wales Election. Parliamentary Affairs
  5. & 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.

See more...

Teaching

  • PO-124 Introduction to political methodology

    In this module, we will examine how scholars come to `know¿ about important trends and dynamics in the contemporary political world, relating key political questions to the methods used to investigate them. Drawing on the research specialisms of different members of the Department of Political and Cultural Studies, as well as invited speakers, students will be familiarised with key methodological approaches that are used by scholars to generate knowledge about politics and International Relations. The methodologies covered in the module will include quantitative approaches, with a focus on how scholars seek to measure the political world, as well as qualitative approaches including interviews, focus groups, archival research and ethnographic research. The goal of the module is to give students the conceptual and practical skills needed to become informed, critical consumers of research in politics and international relations so that they can draw intelligently on such research as their degree progresses.

  • PO-241 Approaches to Politics

    Politics is a subject that can be approached from a wide array of theoretical and analytical perspectives. Each approach has its own central tenets ¿ which have implications for how political issues are perceived, analysed, explained and understood. Each approach, therefore, constitutes a shorthand that allows politics scholars to engage in meaningful discussion and allows students to engage more deeply with scholarly work. In this module, we will consider a selection of the major approaches to the study of politics, including traditional approaches; new institutionalism; behaviouralism; rational choice theory; political economy; critical approaches; feminism; interpretive theory and post-modernism. Students will be familiarised with the core assumptions and ideas that drive each approach and will be encouraged to explore their implications for how we understand and study politics.

  • PO-3121 Parliamentary Studies

    Parliamentary Studies is delivered in partnership between academic staff in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies and Parliamentary officials from the Westminster Parliament Education Outreach Team. Swansea is one of only thirteen universities in the UK sanctioned to provide this module, with the support of the Clerks of the House of Commons and House of Lords. The module combines coverage of theoretical, historical and contemporary research on the role and operation of the UK Parliament with detailed insights of the workings of Parliament and its relations with other parliamentary institutions. This includes coverage of such issues as the role of select committees and House of Lords reform, as well as the relationships between the UK Parliament, the European Parliament and the devolved Parliaments and Assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The module includes tuition both by lecturers in the department and officials from the Parliament Education Outreach Team. It also includes a field trip to the UK Parliament.

  • PO-3318 Elections, Campaigns and Voting

    This module introduces students to one of the central concerns of politics scholars: the systematic study of elections, with a focus on elections in the United Kingdom. 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 complemented by analyses of contemporary election campaigns in the United Kingdom, where recent developments in the media environment have transformed voter-party communications.

  • PO-3319 Researching Politics 1

    Researching Politics (RP) provides students with the skills that underlie the process of conducting and communicating cutting-edge research in Politics and International Relations. RP works by creating topic groups, each comprised of 8-10 students. Each group will follow a bespoke course set out by their topic tutor, guiding them through the literature in a substantive research area. Students are invited to select a list of preferred options in the first teaching week of the term. This list is then used to assign students to topics and group sessions run from the second week of teaching onwards. Alongside the topic-specific teaching, there is a general lecture series focusing on discovering, analysing and presenting complex information. The lecture series also focuses on dealing with the ups and downs of working as part of a team.

  • PO-3320 Researching Politics 2

    Researching Politics 2 (RP2) is the follow-on module from RP1 and it acts as the culmination for the subject knowledge and transferable skills developed in that module. RP2 puts the creative emphasis in the hands of the students, with the module convenor and topic tutors giving guidance and feedback to facilitate the realisation of research conceived, developed, executed and presented by students. In this way, it tries to approximate the worlds of further study and work into which students will be progressing following the completion of their degree schemes. It is a module where all of the summative assessments are comprised of group work, although individual marks can be varied depending on each student¿s performance. Students are also required to submit an individual self-assessment, detailing what they have learned about their own strengths and weaknesses on the basis of the sustained group work. In RP2, you will extend and deepen the research undertaken in RP1 and continue to meet regularly in order to share ideas, opinions and sources in your groups. These meetings will include several where the topic tutor provides guidance and feedback as well as those where the meetings are student-led.

  • 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.

  • POA301 Parliamentary Studies project

    The Dissertation in Parliamentary Studies provides an opportunity for students who have undertaken the module, Parliamentary Studies, to do further sustained study on one aspect of parliamentary studies. Students will receive academic supervision and feedback from within the Department of Political and Cultural Studies, and will receive advice on accessing primary and printed sources from members of the Houses of Parliament Education Outreach Team.

Supervision

  • The thesis title remains the same (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Yan Wu
  • Oswald Spengler and Jordan Peterson: Revolutionary Conservatism and the Misunderstood Superstars of Ideology«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» «br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» Case studies into the interpretation of conservative figures and their far-right support«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» (current)

    Student name:
    MA
    Other supervisor: Prof Roland Axtmann
  • Cultural and social dimensions of the 'conspiracism' phenomenon in America during the 1960s-The JFK Myth. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Sheehan
  • A critical exploration of the development, form and effects of corporate digital surveillance upon users and consumers (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Mr William Merrin
  • Understanding electoral memes within democratic discourse and political campaigns (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ekaterina Kolpinskaya
  • Electoral Context is King: Uncertainty Surrounding the Prediction of Elections (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ekaterina Kolpinskaya
  • '''''Wrestling with Rebellion: Professional Wrestling, Oppression and Rebellion.' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Luca Trenta
  • 'The Role of China''''s Post 90s and Millennial Generation in the Development of Public Environmentalism.' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    MA
    Other supervisor: Prof Roland Axtmann

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Postgraduate Research Officer - Political and Cultural Studies

    2016 - 2020

  • Admissions tutor - Political and Cultural Studies

    2013 - Present

  • Undergraduate Admissions Tutor - Political and Cultural Studies, Swansea University

    2012 - 2016

  • Admissions tutor - Politics and International Relations

    2012 - 2013

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2012 Present Senior Lecturer in Politics Swansea University
2011 2012 Postdoctoral Researcher Université Libre de Bruxelles
2010 2011 Marie Curie Fellow – Experienced Researcher VU University, Amsterdam

External Responsibilities

  • Member of Peer Review College, Arts and Humanities Research Council

    2016 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

  • What are the odds? Capturing and exploring data created by online political gambling markets 2014 - 2015

    Dr Stephen Lindsay – Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Swansea University and Dr Rory Costello – Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick , £76,001

Research Groups

  • Digital Politics Research Group (DPRG)

    One of the research groups in Political and Cultural Studies, but including colleagues from Media and Computer Science, looking at the intersection of digital technology and politics.