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Personal profile

Area of academic 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. Since summer 2016, I have been based on the Paisley Campus while I teach also on the University's Ayr and Lanarkshire campues.

I am pursuing different research strands. My research focus lies on the role of knowledge and expertise in policy-making - in social and economic policy mainly. Institutions at the centre of this research interest are think tanks, broadly defined. Further research interests are centred on e-democracy, political parties of the centre-left, extra-parliamentary political and social movements on the far left and far right, and 'decent work'.

Current research activities

My work on the role of experts and expertise in policy-making is central with regards to my current research activities. I have published work on think tanks and their role as "idea makers" during the Global Financial Crisis and the Great Recession. Furthermore, I have published on e-democracy and have led work of the UWS-Oxfam Partnership on the topic of "decent work" and on how Scotland progresses towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Lastly, I am conducting research on the "well-being agenda" in Scotland, taking me to scrutiny of social policy and economic policy and I am working on "newcomer" or "competitor parties" in Germany.

Desired research direction

My research will continue to develop within the broad field of the study of policy, politics and expertise. Also, I will continue to lead work by the UWS-Oxfam Partnership which seeks to develop policy ideas and to influence the debate in Scotland in line with the objectives of the Partnership - to create a "more sustainable and equitable Scotland". Currently, I am developing a research interest in artificial intelligence and big data and how they are becoming used in policy-making.

Target collaborative organisations

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.

Current teaching activities and interests

I teach both on the undergraduate and on the postgraduate level. I contribute to modules which cover the disciplines of sociology, politics and policy studies. Whenever possible, I incorporate practitioner input into modules to enrich the student experience.


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


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