Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, University of Exeter
I am a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Exeter. My research focuses on political engagement and behaviour, and particularly that of young people. I am interested in how the ways that people express their political voices and try to influence power in their societies is evolving, and what some of the consequences of that evolution are for both individuals and democratic society. I am particularly interested in what is an understudied and too often overlooked aspect of that evolution, which sees a growing number of young people not engaging with democratic political processes – of which elections are only one example – and particularly those young people from poorer backgrounds and communities. The final strand of my research focuses on what we can do to ameliorate some of the negative consequeces of the evolution of political behaviour, and particularly how we can encourage and support more young people from poorer backgrounds to engage with electoral politics. My current priority is a project called ‘Social Action as a Route to the Ballot Box’, in which I am examining the potential of volunteering to help engage young people from poor backgrounds with elections. I am also examining the effects of volunteering on non-electoral political activity (such as protesting), and the contribution that volunteering can make to reducing the gender gap in political participation within young generations.
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