Research areas

  • JA Political science (General) - German politics, British politics, European policy, Scottish politics, multi-level governance
  • JF Political institutions (General)

Area of research expertise - Outline

I studied Political Science, Modern History and English Cultural and Literary Studies at the University of Hannover (Germany) and at Liverpool John Moores University. In 2008 I earned my PhD from Glasgow Caledonian University. Following a year of post-doctoral research at GCU, I worked as a researcher in an EU-financed FP7 research project about policing in Europe. In January 2014, I started at UWS as Lecturer in Social Sciences - first based on the Dumfries Campus and, since summer 2016, on the Paisley Campus.

For my research, I am interested in the role of knowledge and expertise in policy-making. So far, my research has mostly covered social policy but I am also interested in other policy fields. Institutions at the centre of this research interest are think tanks, broadly defined.

Further research interests are e-democracy, political parties of the centre-left (European Social Democracy), extra-parliamentary political and social movements on the far left and far right, and 'decent work'.

Current research activities.

My current research interests cover a number of areas. Central is my work on the role of experts and expertise in policy making, for example during the "Global Financial Crisis" and the "Great Recession". Here, think tanks and similar organisation are of particular interest. Currently, I am taking the lead in developing a COST Action proposal on the role of expertise in social and economic policy making.

Furthermore, I have conducted research on e-democracy. In 2017, an article in Parliamentary Affairs presented my analysis of "www.WriteTo-Them" and how elected representatives in Scotland use it.

Lastly, I have been working within the UWS-Oxfam Partnership on the topic of "decent work". Here, I have been project lead, have co-authored and edited a range or reports and have presented at conferences.

Desired research direction.

My research will develop, in particular, in the field of 'policy, politics and expertise'. However, applied social science research such as my work on 'decent work' will play a larger role in my future work. Also, I will develop work in the field of e-democracy and on 'politics in the digital age'.

Target Collaborative Organisations (National, International, up to 3).

For my research, generally, academic and third sector organisations are the prime targets. My current cooperation with Oxfam through the UWS-Oxfam Partnership and my ongoing work with colleagues from universities and research institutes in the UK and Germany are evidence for such collaboration.

For my work on the COST Action application, I have over six months built a network of proposers from across Europe which will, hopefully, be of use even if the application should be unsuccessful.


  1. UWS-Oxfam Partnership Policy Forum, Scotland's Poverty and Ineqaulity Commission - A Cahnce for Progress?

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  2. UWS-Oxfam Partnership Policy Forum, Trade Unions in Economic and Social Life

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  3. UWS-Oxfam Partnership Policy Forum: The Sustainability Challenge

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

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