Comparative politics

We are a leading centre for the study of comparative politics, policy-making, and institutions.

Our research expertise addresses some of the key normative challenges of the 21st century, such as understanding how states can become more responsive to citizens, how best to alleviate gender and ethnic inequalities, and how to address issues stemming from the rise of modern nationalism.

Particular specialisms include the comparative politics of the UK, the EU and Europe, and East Asia, comparative public policy, gender politics, and the analysis of institutions and institutional change. As a cluster we strive for methodological pluralism, exploring and defending different modes of enquiry.

Current projects

Paul Tobin’s ESRC New Investigator Award “Polycentric pioneers? Explaining variations in governance models and their impacts on local climate change policy” which involves multi-level analysis of climate policy in Germany, Sweden and the UK. The project runs for three years from January 2020 until December 2022.

Ola Onuch’s project “Determinants of ‘Mobilisation’ at Home and Abroad: Analysing the Micro-Foundations of Out-Migration and Mass Protest (MOBILISE)” is a collaborative project comprising four teams from the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands. It asks the question – When there is discontent why do some people protest while others cross borders? The project runs from January 2019 to December 2021 and is funded through the Open Research Area (ORA) scheme (ESRC in the UK, DfG in Germany, ANR in France and NOW in the Netherlands).

Dave Richards’ Nuffield Funded Project “Public Expenditure Planning and Control in Complex Times: A Study of Whitehall Departments Relationship to the Treasury (1993-present)” examines public expenditure coordination, control and delivery between HM Treasury, Whitehall government departments and their delivery agents from 1993 to the present day, exploring the challenges to achieving effective financial control of public expenditure.

People 

Academic staff

 Professor Francesca Gains

Francesca Gains is Professor of Public Policy and the Co-Director of Policy at Manchester. Before becoming an academic she worked in local government & the probation service and has both government-funded and Parliamentary research experience. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Policy, Local Government Studies and the International Review of Administrative Sciences. Her research explores the relationship between political management arrangements and policy outcomes.  Current projects investigate of the politics of regulatory decisions examining Impact assessments across Whitehall Departments (Leverhulme funded), and new arrangements to support Police and Crime Commissioners (with Vivien Lowndes) linked with ERC funded Understanding Institutional Change research.

Professor Yoram Gorlizki 

Yoram has been at the University of Manchester since 1994, as a Professor since 2006. He has been the sole principal investigator on two ESRC grants, the outputs of both of which were rated "outstanding" by ESRC assessors, and the recipient of numerous small grants from the British Academy and other bodies. In 2005 his co-authored book Cold Peace won the Alec Nove Prize of the British Association of Slavic and East European Studies for its "outstanding contribution to the field" and was selected as a CHOICE "Outstanding Academic Title." He is on the Editorial Board of the journal Government and Opposition. He has been a member of the ESRC Politics, Economics and Geography Research College and was, from 2000-2005, Chair of the Validation Panel for the Moscow School of Social Sciences.

Professor Peter Gries

Peter Gries 葛小伟 joined the University of Manchester as Professor of Chinese Politics in August 2017. After a fall of fundraising and a £5M donation endowing a new Manchester China Institute, in December 2017 he became the Lee Kai Hung Chair and MCI Director. Peter was born in Singapore and grew up in Hong Kong, Washington, DC, Tokyo, and Beijing. He is the author of The Politics of American Foreign Policy: How Ideology Divides Liberals and Conservatives over Foreign Affairs (Stanford, 2014) and China’s New Nationalism: Pride, Politics, and Diplomacy (California, 2005), and dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles. 

Dr Nicole Martin

Nicole is a political scientist who researches the politics of ethnic minority and immigrant voters in Europe, and the topic of ethnicity and immigration in politics more broadly. She welcomes enquiries about collaboration and PhD supervision in these areas, especially those interested in using quantitative methods (e.g. surveys, experiments). Nicole works frequently with Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, which has large ethnic minority and immigrant boost samples. With Neema Begum and Aurelien Mondon she is a co-convenor of the UK Political Studies Association's specialist group on Race, Migration and Intersectionality

Professor Kevin Morgan

Kevin is Professor of Politics and Contemporary History and has research interests in comparative labour and social movements and the history and ideas of the European left. He’s worked extensively on the history of communism and is founding editor of the journal Twentieth Century Communism. He has published several biographical studies, including figures like Harry Pollitt, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and Ramsay MacDonald, and is an editor of the Dictionary of Labour Biography. He has been an avid oral historian and recorded life-histories of large numbers of political activists including many publicly available in the UK National Sound Archive.

Dr Olga Onuch

Olga is a leading expert in Ukrainian and Argentine politics. Her work includes the comparative study of protest politics, political behaviour and institutions, and good governance in democratizing states in Latin American and Eastern Europe. Onuch is an Associate Fellow at Nuffield College at the University of Oxford and in 2017 she is a Visiting Fellow at the Davis Centre at Harvard University. She is available for media interviews on topics of protest, elections in Eastern Europe and Latin America and her research has appeared in the Washington Post, The Guardian,  The Times, BBC World, ITV, Sky News, Al Jazeera, AFP, Radio France, HromadskeTV, among others. 

Professor Dimitris Papadimitriou

Dimitris’ research interests revolve around two main themes: contemporary Greek politics and the European Union's relations with Eastern Europe. He is the Director of the Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (JMCE), the Co-Convenor of the ECPR Standing Group on Southeast Europe and the Co-Editor of the book series on European Policy (Manchester University Press) and Contemporary Greece (Hurst Publishers).

Professor Dave Richards 

Dave’s main research interests are in British politics, Australian politics, public policy, governance, globalisation, state theory and political biography.  He is currently researching: the changing role of the state through a critique of the literatures on governance, democracy and accountability, the regulatory state and implementation; leaks and whistleblowing in government; a multi-theoretical study on diffuse water pollution; UK institutions and crisis in the 21st century; and finally the role of political biography in political analysis.

Professor Liz Richardson 

Liz is a Professor of Public Administration at the University of Manchester. Her research interests are in civic participation, urban governance, public sector reform, and methodological innovation. Liz welcomes applications for PhD study in those areas. Her work has appeared in journals such as Governance, Environment and Planning, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Social Policy and Administration, and Policy & Politics.

Dr Rosalind Shorrocks

Rosie has been a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester since September 2017. Her research is in the area of gender and politics in Britain and comparatively, with a particular focus on electoral politics, political behaviour, and social attitudes. Rosie is particularly interested in how gender shapes public opinion and vote choice, as well as public attitudes towards gender, gender-roles, and feminism. She is also interested in the impact of socialisation experiences and generations on political behaviour.  Rosie is a co-convenor of the Political Methodology Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association. 

Dr Dan Silver

Dan has been a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester since September 2020. Dan’s research brings together three areas: social transformation, municipal governance, and critical participatory research. Dan is particularly interested in collaborative research that documents injustice and highlights autonomous practices of social change. His current research is based on experimentation in municipal politics and developing new participatory approaches to learn about social justice.

Dr David Stroup

David Stroup arrived at the University of Manchester in August 2019. He is a specialist in Chinese politics. His first monograph project, drawn from fieldwork conducted in China as a 2015-2016 US Fulbright grantee, examines China's everyday ethnic politics in Chinese Islamic (Hui) communities. He is also interested in everyday nationalism, state-society relations, the politics of authoritarian states, and ethnographic and qualitative research methods.

Dr Louise Thompson

Louise Thompson is Senior Lecturer in Politics and specialises in parliamentary politics, especially the legislative process, political parties and engagement with parliament. She is currently leading an ESRC project examining the work of small political parties in the UK’s legislatures. Louise is Co-Convenor of the PSA’s Parliaments specialist group and Academic Secretary of the Study of Parliament Group.

Dr Paul Tobin

Paul Tobin is a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester, where he researches comparative, European, and environmental politics. Currently, he is researching the impacts of the economic crisis on environmental policy across Europe, as well as comparative European climate politics. Paul’s PhD thesis won was named Best Thesis in Contemporary European Studies, and he is available for media interviews related to his fields of expertise.

Dr Nick Turnbull

Nick’s research is in two intersecting areas, public policy and political rhetoric. He is interested in how new philosophical approaches can help rethink major questions in both fields. His public policy research centres on how policy theory incorporates uncertainty, practice and complexity, especially as they are expressed in the politics of policymaking. He is currently working on the rhetoric and policy formation of modern slavery policy in the UK. His research on political rhetoric primarily concerns the philosophy of rhetoric, investigating how rhetorical concepts can be integrated into political studies.

Professor Georgina Waylen 

Georgina’s main research interests lie in the fields of comparative politics/political economy with a focus on gender and politics, international political economy, transitions to democracy, and governance and institutions.  She is a co-director of the Feminism and Institutionalism International Network (FIIN) and a member of the Academy of Social Sciences.  She is currently the PI for a five year European Research Council Advanced Grant 'Understanding Institutional Change: A Gender Perspective'

Professor Angelia Wilson

Angie’s current research project is entitled "Constructing social values as a political strategy: What are the strategies and mechanism by which the US Christian Right builds political constituencies?". This research includes original empirical research, interviews with Tea Party members and participant observation in over a dozen 'grassroots' gatherings such as the Values Voters Washington Briefing, the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, Exodus International and the Conservative Political Action Committee.

Current PhD students

Christian Scholz <christian.scholz@manchester.ac.uk>;

Franco Galdini <franco.galdini@manchester.ac.uk>;

Connell Beggs <connell.beggs@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Christopher Terry <christopher.terry@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Alina Nychyk <alina.nychyk@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Craig Proctor <craig.proctor@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Kenneth Rushworth <kenneth.rushworth@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Daniel Silver <Daniel.Silver@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Temidayo Eseonu <temidayo.eseonu@manchester.ac.uk>;

Marion Greziller <marion.greziller@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Blanca Merino Casallo <blanca.merinocasallo@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Christopher Butler <christopher.butler-6@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Anna Sanders <anna.sanders@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Konstantinos Kanellopoulous <konstantinos.kanellopoulos@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Louise Wylie <Louise.Wylie@manchester.ac.uk>;

Ana Sanchez Santana <ana.sanchezsantana@manchester.ac.uk>;

Abdulghani Alkindi <abdulghani.alkidni@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Joanna Wilson <joanna.wilson@manchester.ac.uk>;

Tao Wang <tao.wang-3@manchester.ac.uk>;

Andrew Barclay <andrew.barclay@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>;

Sofia Doyle <sofia.doyle@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk >;

Ana Martinez Fernandez <ana.martinezfernandez@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>

Ralph Scott <ralph.scott@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>

Cressida Arkwright <cressida.arkwright@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>

Elisa Mendes Vasconcelos <elisa.vasconcelos@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>

Beatriz Buarque <beatriz.buarque@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>

James Griffiths <james.griffiths-7@manchester.ac.uk>;

Alexander Hartland <alexander.hartland@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk>