- Professor Ailsa Henderson
- Professor of Political Science and Head of Politics & International Relations
- 3.10 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
- +44 (0)131 651 1618
- Research Interests
- Political behaviour, political culture, Regionalism, voting and elections, comparative territorial politics, UK, Scotland, Quebec-Scotland comparisons, European values, Public opinion and Political attitudes
Feedback and guidance hours
In term time: Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 or by appointment
Baccalauréat ès sciences sociales, science politique (Université d'Ottawa)
MSc Social Research (Edinburgh)
PhD Politics (Edinburgh)
Current Teaching and Research Interests
Professor Ailsa Henderson is Head of Politics & International Relations (PIR) She joined PIR in 2007 from the University of Toronto. She conducts research on political culture(s) in federal and multi-national states, and focuses in particular on variations in political culture at the sub-state level. Her publications explore how national identity, federalism, devolution or institutional design can affect regional variations in political attitudes and behaviours. From 2008 to 2012 she held a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship to conduct research on the constituent political cultures of Europe.
Dr Henderson currently holds research grants on the Scottish Referendum Study, attitudes to risk and constitutional change in Scotland, and on Englishness and English nationaism (all as part of the ESRC Future of the UK and Scotland programme), on political parties and voting behaviour in Scotland and Quebec (SSHRCC), as well as regional attitudes in Europe (Citizenship After the Nation State - ESRC). She is also PI on an ESRC grant "A blended learning course in quantitative methods for UK sociology, social policy and political science undergraduates". Previous grants have explored predictors of turnout in sub-state elections (SSHRCC) and compulsory volunteering and civic engagement among young people (Imagine Canada/SSHRCC). She has worked as a researcher for the Committee on Standards in Public Life, as a consultant for various departments in the Government of Nunavut and in 2007 served as working groups chair for the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. She is currently a member of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland.
Dr Henderson teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in quantitative methods, research methods and research design, and British/Scottish politics.
Dr Henderson is Head of Politics & International Relations and a member of the Elections, Public Opinion and Parties research group, the Territorial Politics research group, and the SPS-wide Quantitative Methods research group. She also serves on the Advisory Editorial Board of Regional and Federal Studies and is a Board Member of the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy.
Edinburgh Research Explorer profile can be accessed here:
Dr Henderson is able to offer PhD supervision on comparative as well as UK and Canadian topics covering 4 themes:
- electoral and referendum behaviour (voters and parties), electoral systems and electoral reform
- territorial politics and federalism, nationalism and devolution
- political culture, political attitudes and public opinion
- civic engagement, especially among young people, and mandated participation (eg compulsory voting and compulsory community service)
Current and recent PhD/ MSc by Research supervision includes:
- Alia Middleton, Constituency campaigning in UK elections
- Ibrahim Sani, Electoral governance in Nigeria
- Charlotte Snelling, Youth turnout in UK Elections
- Mor Kandlik Eltanani, Social movement organisations
- Alexandra Remond, Secession referendums in comparative perspective
- Shirley Pat Chamberlain, Citizenship in Aboriginal communities in Canada
- Francesco Bertoldi, Party competition in Northern Ireland
- Helen Searle, Political culture in Scotland and England
Dr Henderson is the author of five books including two monographs: Hierarchies of Belonging: national identity and political culture in Scotland and Quebec (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007) and Nunavut: Rethinking Political Culture (UBC Press 2007). She is the co-editor (with Charlie Jeffery and Daniel Wincott) of Citizenship After the Nation State (Palgrave 2013), editor of Why Regions Matter: Small Worlds in Comparative Perspective (Routledge 2011) and Nunavut at Ten (special issue of the Journal of Canadian Studies 43(2) 2009). In 2005 she co-edited (with Colin Coates) Scotland-Quebec: An Evolving Comparison (special issue of British Journal of Canadian Studies 18 (1/2).
She has published more than forty refereed articles or book chapters. Recent outlets include Regional Studies, Electoral Studies, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Legislative Studies, Canadian Journal of Political Science, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, National Identities, Canadian Public Policy, Journal of Canadian Studies and Bulletin d'histoire politique.
Recent Publications include:
Ailsa Henderson and NIcola McEwen (accepted) "Regions as Primary Political Communities: A multi-level comparative analysis of turnout in regional elections" Publius
Ailsa Henderson and Valentyna Romanova (accepted) "Multi-level voting and party competition in vertically simultaneous elections: the case of Ukraine" Post-Soviet Affairs
Ailsa Henderson and Graham White, "Managing the political moraine: institutional legacies, political cultures and the struggle for meaningful political change in Nunavut", in Bryan Evans and Charles Smith, Eds, The End of Expansion? The political economy of Canadian Provinces and Territories in a neo-liberal era. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Ailsa Henderson, S. Mark Pancer and Steven D. Brown (2014) "What makes for effective civic engagement policy: Analysing quantitative and qualitative evaluations of the Ontario mandatory volunteering requirement", Journal of Adolescent Research 29(1): 120-54
Ailsa Henderson, Charlie Jeffery and Daniel Wincott, Eds, Citizenship After the Nation State. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ailsa Henderson, Charlie Jeffery, Daniel Wincott and Richard Wyn Jones "Citizenship after devolution in the United Kingdom: public attitudes in Scotland and Wales" pp31-51
Ailsa Henderson "Citizenship in Europe: A comparative examination of the rescaling of political life" pp155-80
Richard Wyn Jones, Guy Lodge, Charlie Jeffery, Glenn Gottfired, Roger Scully, Ailsa Henderson and Daniel Wincott (2013) England and its two unions: The anatomy of a nation and its discontents (London: Institute for Public Policy Research)
Ailsa Henderson, Charlie Jeffery, Daniel Wincott and Richard Wyn Jones (2013), "Reflections on the Devolution Paradox: a comparative examination of multi-level citizenship", Regional Studies 47(3): 303-22
Ailsa Henderson, Steven D. Brown, S. Mark Pancer (2012), "Social and Political Dimensions of Civic Engagement: The Impact of Compulsory Community Service', Politics and Policy 40(1): 93-130.
Richard Wyn Jones, Guy Lodge, Ailsa Henderson and Daniel Wincott (2012) The Dog that Finally Barked: England as an emerging political community (London: Institute for Public Policy Research)
Ailsa Henderson, Ed (2011) , Why Regions Matter: Small Worlds in Comparative Perspective. London: Routledge. Reprint of Ailsa Henderson (2010) Why Regions Matter: Sub-state Polities as Small Worlds, Guest editor, Regional and Federal Studies 20(4/5)
Ailsa Henderson (2011) "Why Regions Matter: Sub-state Polities in Comparative Perspective" : 1-8
Ailsa Henderson (2011) "'Small Worlds' as Predictors of General Political Attitudes": 31-48
Ailsa Henderson and Nicola McEwen (2010) "A Comparative Analysis of Voter Turnout in Regional Elections" Electoral Studies 29(3): 405-16
Ailsa Henderson (2010) "Greater than the Sum of its Parts: Political Cultures and Regions in Canada" in Heather MacIvor (ed) Election. Toronto: Emond Montgomery
Ailsa Henderson (2009) Nunavut at 10, Guest editor, Journal of Canadian Studies, 43(2)
Ailsa Henderson (2009) "Lessons for Social Science in the Study of New Polities: Nunavut at 10" Journal of Canadian Studies 43(2): 5-22
Ailsa Henderson (2009) "Institutional Boundaries and Regionalism: Social, Economic and Political Regions in the Canadian Arctic" Journal of Canadian Studies 43(2): 109-36
Ailsa Henderson (2008) "Satisfaction with democracy: evidence from Westminster systems" Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 18(1): 3-26
Ailsa Henderson (2008) "Self-government in Nunavut" in Yale Belanger (ed) Aboriginal Self-government in Canada (Saskatoon: Purich) 222-239
2006-2007 (selection only)
Ailsa Henderson, Hierarchies of Belonging and Political Inclusion: national identity and political culture in Scotland and Quebec. (Montreal-Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007)
Ailsa Henderson, Nunavut: Rethinking Political Culture (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007)
Colin Coates and Ailsa Henderson, Scotland-Quebec: An Evolving Comparisonâ€ Guest editors, British Journal of Canadian Studies 18(2) 2007
Ailsa Henderson, Steven D. Brown, Kimberly Ellis-Hale and S. Mark Pancer, "The effect of mandatory volunteering in high school on civic engagement: the case of the double cohort, in Ontario, Canada", Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2007 36 (7): 849-60
Ailsa Henderson "Identity measurement in Scotland and Quebec: the meaning and salience of identity markers", British Journal of Canadian Studies 2007 18(1/2): 269-91
Ailsa Henderson "Cultural renaissance or economic emancipation: predictors of support for devolution in Nunavut" Journal of Canadian Studies 2007 41(2): 1-23
Ailsa Henderson "A Porous and Pragmatic Settlement: Asymmetrical Devolution and Democratic Constraint in Scotland and Wales", in Andrew McDonald (ed) Reinventing Britain (London: Methuen, 2007) 151-69
Ailsa Henderson "Politics without parties: citizen engagement and interest articulation in consensus systems", in Alain G. Gagnon and Brian Tanguay (eds) Canadian Parties in Transition, 3rd ed. (Peterborough: Broadview, 2007): 215-240.
Ailsa Henderson, Steven D. Brown, David Docherty, Barry Kay and Kimberly Ellis-Hale "Voter Dealignment or Campaign Effects: Accounting for Political Preferences in Ontario", American Review of Canadian Studies 2006 36 (4): 612-26.
Steven D. Brown, David Docherty, Ailsa Henderson, Barry Kay and Kimberly Ellis-Hale "Exit polling in Canada: An Experiment", Canadian Journal of Political Science 2006 39(4): 919-33
Ailsa Henderson "Consequences of Electoral Reform: lessons for Canada", Canadian Public Policy 2006 32(1): 41-58
Topics interested in supervising
political behaviour, political culture, referendums and elections, civic engagement, nationalism
If you are interested in being supervised by Ailsa Henderson, please see the links below for more information: