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    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of: • Democratic innovations • Civic engagement • Political behaviour and public opinion • Politics of Northern Ireland


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Political behaviour, political psychology, Northern Ireland politics, consociationalism, post-conflict democracy, deliberative democracy, legislative studies, electoral studies, comparative politics, quantitative methods.


Research Statement

My research focuses on the way citizens interact with democratic decision-making, including through elections, mini-publics and referendums. How can democratic deficits be addressed? What factors strengthen or weaken citizens' perceptions of legitimate decision-making? Can democratic innovations, such as citizens' assemblies and participatory budgeting, complement the functions of established representative institutions? I approach these questions in a comparative context, while maintaining a particular interest in the politics of Northern Ireland. Other recent projects have explored public opinion towards Brexit. 

I am affiliated with the Democratic Innovations and Legitimacy Research Group at KU Leuven, Belgium. 



I will be convening the following modules in 2021-22:

PAI2043 Studying Politics: Skills and Methods

PAI7021 Politics and Institutions of Northern Ireland

PAI7100 Engaging Citizens in Democratic Institutions


I will also be teaching on the following modules:

PAI1001 Contemporary Europe

HAP7001 Approaches to Research Design (Quantitative Methods) 

PAI7022 Politics of the Republic of Ireland



Alongside Dr Sparky Booker, I am the Erasmus & Study Abroad Programme Co-Director for the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen's. If you are a student at a partner institution and are considering spending a year or semester with us in Belfast, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

As Deputy Editor of Northern Slant, an independent media platform, I am proud to be part of a team that leads a constructive conversation on how to change Northern Ireland for the better.

I have also served on the Advisory Group of the Citizens' Assembly for Northern Ireland, a civil society initiative organised by Involve (a public participation charity) and funded by the Building Change Trust, Open Society Foundations, the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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