My research is about the role of parliaments and their place in democratic politics. Specifically, I'm interested in:
- How politicians interpret and enact their role, especially with respect to scrutinising government, and how this affects democratic politics;
- The role of knowledge claims in politics, especially how their use affects evidence-informed policy-making; and,
- The way we can effectively study political phenomena, particularly engaging with debates on interpretive political science.
I have completed a four-year ESRC project entitled Interpreting Parliamentary Scrutiny that explores a lot of these issues, and focused predominantly on the UK Parliament. This has now been published as an award-winning book - find out more here.
My love for parliaments extends well beyond the UK - keep abreast by following #lovinglegislatures. I am also generally interested in contemporary challenges to democracy (in the UK and further afield).
For enquiries about recent conference papers and current work-in-progress, please contact me directly.
(2020) Dramas at Westminster: Select Committees and the Quest for Accountability. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
This book was awarded the 2021 WJM Mackenzie Prize for the Best Book Published in Political Science.
The book was reviewed for LSE Review of Books by Dr Ben Worthy (Birkbeck) and for Representation by Dr Tom Caygill (Newcastle).
(2020) 'Explaining Change in Legislatures: Dilemmas of managerial reform in the UK House of Commons'. Political Studies. Early View. Co-author: A. Meakin.
(2020) 'The webs of belief around 'evidence' in legislatures: The case of select committees in the UK House of Commons'. Public Administration. Early View.
(2020) 'Opening up evidence-based policy: exploring citizen and service user engagement', Evidence & Policy 16:2, pp.199-208. Co-authors: E. Stewart, J. Smith-Merry and J. Bandola-Gill.
This article is the editorial of a fully open access guest-edited special issue of Evidence & Policy by E. Stewart, J. Smith-Merry and M. Geddes.
(2020) 'Governing under Pressure? The Mental Wellbeing of Politicians', Parliamentary Affairs 73:2, pp253-73. Co-authors: J. Weinberg, A. Weinberg, M. Flinders and R. Kwiatkowski.
(2019) 'Performing Scrutiny along the Committee Corridor of the UK House of Commons', Parliamentary Affairs 72:4, pp.821-40.
(2019) 'The Explanatory Potential of 'Dilemmas': Bridging practices and power to understand political change in interpretive political science', Political Studies Review 17:3, pp.239-54.
(2018) 'Committee Hearings of the UK Parliament: Who gives evidence and does this matter?', Parliamentary Affairs 71:2, pp.283-304.
(2018) 'A Recipe for Impact? Exploring knowledge requirements in the UK Parliament and beyond', Evidence and Policy 14:2, pp.259-76. Co-authors: K. Dommett and B. Prosser.
(2014) ‘The Silent Revolution: A political history of the politics of patronage and reform’, Contemporary British History 28:1, pp.24-55. Co-author: M. Flinders.
(2020) ‘Democracy: Problems and challenges, opportunities and design’, in K. Larres and R. Wittlinger (eds.) Understanding Global Politics: Actors and themes in international affairs, London: Routledge. Co-author: M. Flinders.
(2018) ‘Towards an Interpretive Parliamentary Studies’, in J. Brichzin, D. Krichewsky, L. Ringel and J. Schank (eds.) The Sociology of Parliaments. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Co-author: R.A.W. Rhodes.
(2018) ‘Supporting Members and Peers’, in C. Leston-Bandeira and L. Thompson (eds.) Exploring Parliament, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Co-author: J. Mulley.
Reports and policy engagement
(2020) Evaluating Academic Engagement with UK Legislatures: Exchanging knowledge on knowledge exchange. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University. Co-author: D. Beswick.
We have disseminated our findings through blogs and articles: Summary of findings for Universities Policy Engagement Unit, A 12-point plan for universities to improve parliamentary engagement and How to get into parliaments (£)
(2019) 'The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system', written submission to the House of Commons Liaison Committee. Inquiry details here.
(2018) 'Establishing select committees in a new parliament', written submission to the House of Commons Procedure Committee. Inquiry details here.
(2017) 'Enhancing Scrutiny in the Scottish Parliament', written submission to Commission on Parliamentary Reform (final report here). Co-author: J. Mitchell.
(2016) A Recipe for Parliamentary Impact? An academic guide to effective engagement. Sheffield: Sheffield Solutions Policy Briefing. Co-authors: K. Dommett and B. Prosser.
Blogs and public engagement
(2019) 'A Conservative majority means parliamentary scrutiny is in danger of being weakened', Democratic Audit, and PSA Parliaments Group blog.
(2019) 'The Shadow of John Bercow', UK in a Changing Europe Blog.
(2017) 'A Place Where MPs Try To Shine', commissioned article for Donmar Theatre production 'Committee... (A New Musical)'. More information here.
(2017) 'New parliament offers new opportunities for impact', Research Professional.
I joined Politics and International Relations in October 2016, following the completion of my PhD at the University of Sheffield (2012-16), where I also competed my BA in History and Politics (2008-11) and MA in Politics with Research Methods (2011-12).
I am currently Senior Lecturer in Politics, through which I conduct research on parliaments (research interests below) and teach on British politics courses, including Introduction to British Politics and Parliamentary Studies. I also hold the following posts:
In addition to these principal roles, I am a board member for the Journal of Legislative Studies and also hold memberships of the Study of Parliament Group, UK Political Studies Association, and American Political Science Association.