Portrait of Professor Matthew Goodwin

Professor Matthew Goodwin

Professor of Politics and International Relations


Matthew joined the School in 2015 and is known for his work on British and European politics, populism, immigration and Euroscepticism. Matthew holds a B.A. (First Class Hons), M.A. and PhD. He started his academic career working for a self-funded research institute at the University of Manchester. He was then awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Economic and Social Research Council. In 2010, he was appointed lecturer at the University of Nottingham, where he completed projects funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Nuffield Foundation, British Academy and others. He was also the recipient of an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship and spent twelve months on a full-time secondment in a central government department. In 2015 he was appointed Professor of Politics at the University of Kent.

Matthew has several other roles and responsibilities. Since 2008 he has been co-editor of the Routledge book series on Extremism and Democracy. Between 2011 and 2015 he served as a member of the UK government's working group on anti-Muslim hatred. Between 2013 and 2016 he was a Trustee and member of the executive committee of the Political Studies Association, a leading association for the study of politics that was founded in 1950. Matthew is an outward-facing researcher who shares the view that social science should be as much about contributing to wider society as to the social sciences. He frequently appears in broadcast and print media and has engaged with more than 200 non-academic organizations, from the European Parliament and U.S. State Department to the Prime Minister’s Office and Deutsche Bank.

Research interests





Showing 50 of 61 total publications in the Kent Academic Repository. View all publications.


  • Whiteley, P., Larsen, E., Goodwin, M. and Clarke, H. (2019). Party activism in the populist radical right: The case of the UK Independence Party. Party Politics [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068819880142.
    Recent decades have seen an upsurge of interest in populist radical right (PRR) parties. Yet despite a large body of research on PRR voters, there are few studies of the internal life of these parties. In particular, there is a dearth of research about why people are active in them. This article uses data from a unique large-scale survey of United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) members to investigate if drivers of voting support for these parties are also important for explaining party activism. Analyses show that traditional models of party activism are important for understanding engagement in UKIP, but macro-level forces captured in an expanded relative deprivation model also stimulate participation in the party. That said macro-level forces are not the dominant driver of activism.
  • Larsen, E., Cutts, D. and Goodwin, M. (2019). Do Terrorist Attacks Feed Populist Eurosceptics? Evidence from Two Comparative Quasi-Experiments. European Journal of Political Research [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12342.
    Over the recent years, Europe has experienced a series of Islamic terrorist attacks. We derive conflicting theoretical expectations on whether such attacks increase populist Euroscepticism in the form of anti-immigration, anti-refugee and anti-EU sentiment. Empirically, we exploit plausible exogenous variation in the exposure to the 2016 Berlin attack in two nationally representative surveys covering multiple European countries. We find no evidence for a populist response to the terrorist attack in any of the surveyed countries. On the contrary, people in Germany became more positive towards the EU in the wake of the Berlin attack. Moreover, we find little evidence that ideology shaped the response to the attack. Our findings suggest that terrorist attacks are not met by an immediate public populist response.
  • Kaufmann, E. and Goodwin, M. (2018). The diversity Wave: A meta-analysis of the native-born white response to ethnic diversity. Social Science Research [Online] 76:120-131. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2018.07.008.
    Does ethnic diversity increase or reduce white threat perceptions? Meta-analyses help orient a ?eld and communicate ?ndings to policymakers. We
    report the results of a meta-analysis of studies measuring the relationship between ethnic context and both opposition to immigration and support
    for anti-immigration parties. Our analysis attempts to be exhaustive, and is based on 171 post-1995 studies averaging 25,000 observations each, a
    knowledge base of over 4 million data points. We ? nd a linear association between ethnic change and elevated threat. However, for diversity levels,
    the relationship between ethnic context and threat is nonlinear. This takes the form of a 'wave', with higher diversity predicting threat responses at
    the smallest and largest scales, whereas in units of 5000–10,000 people (such as tracts or neighbourhoods), diversity is associated with reduced
  • Goodwin, M., Hix, S. and Pickup, M. (2018). For and Against Brexit: A Survey Experiment of the Impact of Campaign Effects on Public Attitudes toward EU Membership. British Journal of Political Science [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007123417000667.
    What are the lessons of the 2016 referendum on UK membership of the European Union (EU) regarding the effects of message framing? This article reports findings from an innovative online survey experiment based on a two-wave panel design. The findings show that, despite the expectation that campaign effects are generally small for high-salience issues – such as Brexit – the potential for campaign effects was high for the pro-EU frames. This suggests that within an asymmetrical information environment – in which the arguments for one side of an issue (anti-EU) are ‘priced in’, while arguments for the other side (pro-EU) have been understated – the potential for campaign effects in a single direction are substantial. To the extent that this environment is reflected in other referendum campaigns, the potential effect of pro-EU frames may be substantial.
  • De Rooij, E., Goodwin, M. and Pickup, M. (2017). A Research Note: The Differential Impact of Threats on Ethnic Prejudice Toward Three Minority Groups in Britain. Political Science Research and Methods [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2017.24.
    In this research note we replicate, update and expand innovative research by Sniderman et al. conducted in the Netherlands in the late 1990s, and ask whether the relative primacy of cultural compared with economic and safety threats in explaining ethnic prejudice remains true under markedly different national, economic and political contexts. Using two national British surveys conducted in 2011 and 2016, we examine the impact of threat on hostility toward three minority groups. Our results confirm the primacy of cultural threat as the strongest and most consistent predictor of hostility, while demonstrating the more context-specific effects of safety and economic concerns, with safety threats playing an overall more prominent role and increased economic concerns being related to less hostility post-Brexit.
  • Heath, O. and Goodwin, M. (2017). The 2017 General Election, Brexit and the Return to Two-Party Politics: An Aggregate- Level Analysis of the Result. Political Quarterly [Online] 88:345-358. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12405.
    The outcome of the 2017 general election—a hung parliament—defied most predictions. In this article, we draw on aggregate-level data to conduct an initial exploration of the vote. What was the impact of Brexit on the 2017 general election result? What difference did the collapse of UKIP make? And what was the relative importance of factors such as turnout, education, age and ethnic diversity on support for the two main parties? First, we find that turnout was generally higher in more pro-remain areas, and places with high concentrations of young people, ethnic minorities and university graduates. Second, we find that the Conservatives made gains in the sort of places that had previously backed Brexit and previously voted for UKIP. But, third, we find that the gains the Conservatives made from the electoral decline of UKIP were offset by losses in the sort of places that had previously supported the Conservatives, particularly areas in southern England with larger numbers of graduates. The implication of these findings is that while a Brexit effect contributed to a ‘realignment on the right’, with the Conservative strategy appealing to people in places that had previously voted for UKIP, this strategy was not without an electoral cost, and appears to have hurt the party in more middle class areas.
  • Goodwin, M. and Milazzo, C. (2017). Taking back control? Investigating the role of immigration in the 2016 vote for Brexit. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations [Online] 19:450-464. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117710799.
    The 2016 referendum marked a watershed moment in the history of the United Kingdom. The public vote to leave the European Union (EU)—for a ‘Brexit’—brought an end to the country’s membership of the EU and set it on a fundamentally different course. Recent academic research on the vote for Brexit points to the importance of immigration as a key driver, although how immigration influenced the vote remains unclear. In this article, we draw on aggregate-level data and individual-level survey data from the British Election Study (BES) to explore how immigration shaped public support for Brexit. Our findings suggest that, specifically, increases in the rate of immigration at the local level and sentiments regarding control over immigration were key predictors of the vote for Brexit, even after accounting for factors stressed by established theories of Eurosceptic voting. Our findings suggest that a large reservoir of support for leaving the EU, and perhaps anti-immigration populism more widely, will remain in Britain, so long as immigration remains a salient issue.
  • Clarke, H., Goodwin, M. and Whiteley, P. (2017). Why Britain Voted for Brexit: An Individual-Level Analysis of the 2016 Referendum Vote. Parliamentary Affairs [Online] 70:439-464. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsx005.
    This paper investigates forces that shaped the decisions voters made in the June 23, 2016 referendum on the UK's continued membership in the European Union. Using data gathered in a national panel survey conducted before and after the referendum, multivariate models informed by previous research on voting in major 'polity-shaping' referendums are used to assess factors affecting the choices voters made. Analyses document that both economic- and immigration-focused benefit-cost calculations strongly influenced voters' decisions. Combined with risk assessments, emotional reactions to EU membership and leader image cues, these calculations were major proximate forces driving referendum voting. National identities were at work too, operating further back in the set of forces affecting attitudes towards the EU. Taken together, the findings indicate that the narrow Brexit decision voters made on June 23rd reflected a complex mixture of calculations, emotions and cues
  • Goodwin, M., Cutts, D. and Milazzo, C. (2017). Defeat of the People’s Army? The 2015 British General Election and the UK Independence Party (UKIP). Electoral Studies [Online] 48:70-83. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2017.03.002.
    The 2015 general election in Britain saw a major attempt by a relatively new party - the UK Independence Party (UKIP)- to secure elected representation. While UKIP received nearly four million votes, the party left the 2015 general election with just one Member of Parliament. Our evidence, drawn from analysis of British Election survey data and in-depth qualitative interviews with activists, suggests that UKIP's campaign was a major factor in its inability to translate widespread support into elected representation. While the party pursued a targeted campaign, this had only a modest impact on its own vote. UKIP's lack of resources, inexperience and inability to operationalize highly effective, targeted local campaigns severely hamstrung the party and prevented it from converting support into MPs at Westminster.
  • Goodwin, M. and Ford, R. (2017). Britain After Brexit: A Nation Divided. Journal of Democracy [Online] 28:17-30. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jod.2017.0002.
  • Goodwin, M. and Heath, O. (2016). The 2016 Referendum, Brexit and the Left Behind: An Aggregate-level Analysis of the Result. The Political Quarterly [Online] 87:323-332. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12285.
    Why did Britain vote for Brexit? What was the relative importance of factors such as education, age, immigration and ethnic diversity? And to what extent did the pattern of public support for Brexit across the country match the pattern of public support in earlier years for eurosceptic parties, notably the UK Independence Party (UKIP)? In this article we draw on aggregate-level data to conduct an initial exploration of the 2016 referendum vote. First, we find that turnout was generally higher in more pro-Leave areas. Second, we find that public support for Leave closely mapped past support for UKIP. And third, we find that support for Leave was more polarised along education lines than support for UKIP ever was. The implication of this finding is that support for euroscepticism has both widened and narrowed—it is now more widespread across Britain but it is also more socially distinctive
  • De Rooij, E., Goodwin, M. and Pickup, M. (2015). Threat, prejudice and the impacts of the riots in England. Social Science Research [Online] 51:369-383. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2014.09.003.
    This paper examines how a major outbreak of rioting in England in 2011 impacted on prejudice toward three minority groups in Britain: Muslims, Black British and East Europeans. We test whether the riots mobilized individuals by increasing feelings of realistic and symbolic threat and ultimately prejudice, or whether the riots galvanized those already concerned about minorities, thus strengthening the relationship between threat and prejudice. We conducted three national surveys – before, after and one year on from the riots – and show that after the riots individuals were more likely to perceive threats to society’s security and culture, and by extension express increased prejudice toward Black British and East European minorities. We find little evidence of a galvanizing impact. One year later, threat and prejudice had returned to pre-riots levels; however, results from a survey experiment show that priming memories of the riots can raise levels of prejudice.
  • Goodwin, M. and Ford, R. (2015). Different Class? UKIP’s Social Base and Political Impact: A Reply to Evans and Mellon. Parliamentary Affairs [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsv012.
    Evans and Mellon's ‘Working class votes and Conservative losses: solving the UKIP puzzle’ seeks to resolve a puzzle: how substantial levels of UKIP support among traditional working class voters, and in Labour-held constituencies, can be reconciled with evidence that a majority of current UKIP supporters recall voting for the Conservatives in 2010. Evans and Mellon (2015, Journal of Parliamentary Affairs, doi:10.1093/pa/gsv005). advance two arguments to resolve this puzzle. First, that the political impact of UKIP has been misunderstood due to a failure to consider long-term political shifts. Second, that the class basis of support for UKIP has been misunderstood due to poor measures of class. We find much to agree with on both of these points. This reply focuses on clarifying our arguments on three issues: the social basis of UKIP support; the role of value divisions and the importance of geography and the electoral system for understanding UKIP's longer-term prospects.
  • Dennison, J. and Goodwin, M. (2015). Immigration, Issue Ownership and the Rise of UKIP. Parliamentary Affairs [Online] 68:168-187. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsv034.
  • Goodwin, M., Cutts, D. and Janta-Lipinski, L. (2014). Economic Losers, Protestors, Islamophobes or Xenophobes? Predicting Public Support for a Counter-Jihad Movement. Political Studies [Online]:1-23. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9248.12159.
    In recent years several European states have seen the emergence of ‘counter-Jihad’ movements, which in contrast to the established populist radical right eschew electoral politics and put stronger emphasis on mobilising opposition to Islam and Muslims. Despite attracting attention, counter-Jihad movements and the predictors of their support are under-researched. Drawing on a new survey and sample of self-identified supporters, this article investigates the predictors of public support for the English Defence League (EDL), the inaugural ‘defence league’ in Europe. Contrary to accounts that stress unemployment, apathy or single issues, it is found that support is concentrated among male workers, citizens with school-level education, who read tabloid newspapers and vote for right-wing parties, but who are not more likely to be unemployed, in social housing, have no qualifications or be politically apathetic. Foremost, regression analysis confirms that the strongest predictor of their support is xenophobic hostility toward Muslims, and ethnic minorities more generally.
  • Ford, R. and Goodwin, M. (2014). Understanding UKIP: Identity, Social Change and the Left Behind. Political Quarterly [Online] 85:277-284. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12099.
    In this article we explore the structural shifts which help explain the emergence of UKIP as a major radical-right political force in Britain. There are two distinct, but related, aspects to this story. The first is the changes to Britain's economic and social structure that have pushed to the margins a class of voters who we describe as the ‘left behind’: older, working-class, white voters with few educational qualifications. The second is long-term generational changes in the values that guide British society and shape the outlook of voters. These value shifts have also left older white working-class voters behind, as a worldview which was once seen as mainstream has become regarded as parochial and intolerant by the younger, university-educated, more socially liberal elites who define the political consensus of twenty-first-century Britain. We then move to consider the political changes that have further marginalised these voters, as first Labour and then the Conservatives focused their energies on recruiting and retaining support from middle-class, moderate swing voters. Finally, we show how UKIP has developed into an effective electoral machine which looks to win and retain the loyalties of these voters. Finally, we discuss the longer-term implications of the radical-right revolt, which has the potential to change the nature of party competition in Britain in the 2015 election and beyond.
  • Cutts, D. and Goodwin, M. (2014). Getting out the right-wing extremist vote: extreme right party support and campaign effects at a recent British general election. European Political Science Review [Online] 6:93-114. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1017/S1755773912000288.
    Despite strong evidence in the wider study of electoral behaviour that party campaigning can have important effects on performance, and a large pan-European literature on populist radical right and extreme right campaigns, we know very little about the impact of the latter on electoral performance. Drawing on a range of innovative campaign-related data at the aggregate and individual level, we examine the electoral impact of the British National Party (BNP) at the 2010 British general election. Our analysis reveals that whereas the extreme right polled strongest in working class manufacturing areas, support for the extreme right was significantly higher in areas where it ran intensive local campaigns, recruited larger numbers of members, has achieved local electoral success, and where local politics has historically been dominated by the centre-left. However, we find little evidence that the extreme right has benefited electorally in areas where the English Defence League social movement had previously demonstrated. Our aggregate level findings are also confirmed at the individual level after controlling for a battery of established attitudinal predictors of extreme right voting. Those contacted by the BNP campaign were significantly more likely to vote for the party, while campaigning by all other political parties was ineffective in reducing the probability of voting BNP.
  • Goodwin, M. and Harris, G. (2013). Rallying intolerance in the valleys: Explaining support for the extreme right in Wales. British Politics [Online] 8:433-456. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1057/bp.2013.7.
    Until its decline at the 2012 elections, the British National Party (BNP) was the most electorally successful extreme right party in the United Kingdom. Yet, although the party’s electoral growth in England has attracted attention, individual and contextual drivers of BNP support in other areas – namely, Wales – have been ignored. The lack of research is puzzling, given that the party has actively campaigned beyond England and attracted some support for its ethnic nationalism amidst a resurgence of support for Welsh nationalism. Drawing on a range of data, we examine the socio-economic, political and demographic drivers of BNP support in Wales. At the aggregate level, we find the party performs strongest in economically insecure and urban areas that have large social housing sectors, high deprivation rates, low education levels, large numbers of residents in precarious occupations, and which have experienced the largest increases in unemployment rates since the onset of the financial crisis. Politically, our findings suggest that the BNP has also rallied votes in areas where turnout is low, and where support for Labour has traditionally been strong. Individual-level analysis of ‘core’ and ‘soft’ supporters reveals that although they share a similar profile – less-well educated and middle-aged men who tend to be skilled workers – soft sympathy appears more widespread among women and younger citizens. Foremost, and despite a broader context of comparatively low migration and ethnic diversity rates in Wales, both groups of supporters are driven to the extreme right by concerns over immigration, which appear to be tied strongly to broader feelings of political abandonment. In contrast to results in England, our findings suggest that immigration-related concerns do not stem from the actual presence or proximity of immigrant and/or minority groups. Rather, it appears that structural economic disadvantage, political disenchantment and the perceived negative impact of immigration provide a more convincing explanation for the limited electoral appeal of the extreme right in Wales.
  • Goodwin, M., Ford, R. and Cutts, D. (2013). Extreme right foot soldiers, legacy effects and deprivation: A contextual analysis of the leaked British National Party (BNP) membership list. Party Politics [Online] 19:887-906. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1177/1354068811436034.
    Despite a vast pan-European literature on extreme right parties (ERPs), few studies speak convincingly to questions of party membership and activism. This article draws on a unique membership dataset to examine contextual predictors of membership of the British National Party (BNP), currently the dominant representative of the extreme right in British politics. We operationalize and test for the impact of both demand-side and supply-side factors, including the seldom examined effects of historical legacies, and of party activism and electoral success on membership levels. Aside from congregating in urban areas that are more deprived and have low education levels, we also find evidence of a ‘legacy effect’, whereby membership levels are higher in areas with a historic tradition of extreme right activism. This research is the first ever systematic investigation of national extreme right party membership.
  • Goodwin, M. (2013). Forever a False Dawn? Explaining the Electoral Collapse of the British National Party (BNP). Parliamentary Affairs [Online] 67:887-906. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gss062.
    On 3 May 2012, voters went to the polls to elect councillors in 131 local authorities in England, members of the Greater London Assembly and mayors in London, Liverpool and Salford. Coverage of the elections focused on the performance of an increasingly unpopular coalition government and an upsurge of support in the polls for the radical right UK Independence Party. One quieter story of the campaign concerned the extreme right British National Party (BNP), and the question of whether the 30-year old party would prove able to stem an electoral decline that followed a failed breakthrough attempt at the 2010 general election.1 Assessing the performance of the BNP at the 2012 elections, and the extreme right more generally, this article charts the decline of the former and examines the increasing fragmentation of the latter. After providing an agency-based explanation for why the BNP—once the most successful extreme right party in British history—returned to the electoral wildness and changed strategy, the article concludes by considering the implications of the party's decline for an increasingly chaotic and diverse extreme right scene.
  • Ford, R., Goodwin, M. and Cutts, D. (2012). Strategic Eurosceptics and polite xenophobes: Support for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in the 2009 European Parliament elections. European Journal of Political Research [Online] 51:204-234. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6765.2011.01994.x.
    While Euroscepticism is the most important driver of United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) support, other attitudinal drivers – namely dissatisfaction towards mainstream parties and xenophobia – are also important. Examining vote-switching between first- and second-order elections evidence is found of a distinction between two types of supporter: more affluent and middle-class ‘strategic defectors’ from the mainstream Conservative Party who support UKIP to register their Euroscepticism, and more economically marginal and politically disaffected ‘core loyalists’ who are attracted to UKIP by its anti-immigration rhetoric and populist anti-establishment strategy. UKIP also succeeds in attracting core support from groups such as women who have traditionally rejected extreme right parties such as the British National Party (BNP). This suggests that UKIP is well positioned to recruit a broader and more enduring base of support than the BNP.
  • Cutts, D., Ford, R. and Goodwin, M. (2011). Anti-immigrant, politically disaffected or still racist after all? Examining the attitudinal drivers of extreme right support in Britain in the 2009 European elections. European Journal of Political Research [Online] 50:418-440. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6765.2010.01936.x.
    The elections to the European Parliament (EP) held in June 2009 marked a breakthrough for the extreme right British National Party (BNP), while in other European states extreme right parties (ERPs) similarly made gains. However, the attitudinal drivers of support for the BNP and ERPs more generally remain under-researched. This article draws on unique data that allow unprecedented insight into the attitudinal profile of ERP voters in Britain – an often neglected case in the wider literature. A series of possible motivational drivers of extreme right support are separated out: racial prejudice, anti-immigrant sentiment, protest against political elites, Euroscepticism, homophobia and Islamophobia. It is found that BNP support in the 2009 EP elections was motivationally diverse, with racist hostility, xenophobia and protest voting all contributing significantly to BNP voting. The analysis suggests that the BNP, which has long been a party stigmatised by associations with racism and violent extremism, made a key breakthrough in 2009. While racist motivations remain the strongest driver of support for the party, it has also begun to win over a broader coalition of anti-immigrant and anti-elite voters.
  • Goodwin, M., Greasley, S., John, P. and Richardson, L. (2010). Can we make environmental citizens? A randomised control trial of the effects of a school-based intervention on the attitudes and knowledge of young people. Environmental Politics [Online] 19:392-412. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1080/09644011003690807.
    The aim of this study was to determine whether school-based intervention can help in making environmental citizens. A randomised control trial of 448 primary school students and their families in 27 primary schools located in Vale Royal, North West England was carried out between January and July 2008. The interventions were two types of class-based instruction on environmental issues, one long and the other short, which were designed to increase environmental awareness. Environmental attitudes and behaviours were measured by surveys completed by the students in their classes and in their homes before and after the interventions. The analysis reports school averages of the questionnaire responses, followed by regression analysis using robust clustered standard errors. The results show no statistically significant differences between schools in the intervention groups compared to the control group schools. The rising environmental awareness of the control group during the intervention may partly explain the positive results of existing non-experimental studies.

Book section

  • Goodwin, M. (2015). The great recession and the rise of populist Euroscepticism in the United Kingdom. In: European Populism in the Shadow of the Great Recession. ECPR Press.
  • Goodwin, M. (2014). A breakthrough moment or false dawn? The great recession and the radical right in Europe. In: Sandelind, C. ed. European Populism and Winning the Immigration Debate. European Liberal Forum, pp. 15-40.
    Followers of radical and extreme right parties often believe that a crisis will bring them to power. As the old economic and political order breaks down they will be propelled into office by insecure and anxious voters, who are looking for parties that project discipline, strength and a nationalist ethos. In 2009, the onset of the Great Recession and a wider financial crisis seemed to present Europe’s radical right with the much anticipated moment of opportunity. While academics have long argued that latent support for these parties exists in most (if not all) Western democracies, largely because some voters will always feel ‘left behind’ by rapid social and economic change and angry toward perceived out-groups, the sudden economic downturn seemed to present a perfect storm for these parties in three ways...
  • Goodwin, M. (2012). Mobilizing the workers? Extreme right party support and campaign effects at the 2010 British General Election. In: Rydgren, J. ed. Class Politics and the Radical Right. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Goodwin, M. (2012). Backlash in the ‘hood: Exploring Support for the British National Party at the Local Level. In: Mammone, A., Godin, E. and Jenkins, B. eds. Mapping the Far Right in Contemporary Europe: From Local to Transnational. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 17-32. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415502658.
  • Goodwin, M. (2010). In search of the winning formula: Nick Griffin and the ‘modernization’ of the British National Party. In: Eatwell, R. and Goodwin, M. J. eds. The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, pp. 169-190. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415494359.
  • Eatwell, R. and Goodwin, M. (2010). Introduction. In: Eatwell, R. and Goodwin, M. J. eds. The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, pp. 1-20. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415494359.
  • Eatwell, R. and Goodwin, M. (2010). Conclusions. In: Eatwell, R. and Goodwin, M. J. eds. The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, pp. 231-248. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415494359.


  • Goodwin, M. and Heath, O. (2017). The UK 2017 General Election Examined: Income, Poverty and Brexit. Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Goodwin, M. (2016). Britain’s EU Referendum - A Plausible Pathway to Brexit. Redburn. Available at: http://www.matthewjgoodwin.org/uploads/6/4/0/2/64026337/platform_matthew_goodwin2.pdf.
  • Goodwin, M. (2013). The Roots of Extremism: The English Defence League and the Counter-Jihad Challenge. Chatham House. Available at: https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/papers/view/189767.
    Summary points
    - While right-wing extremism and populist extremist parties have been the subject
    of growing attention in Europe and North America, the emergence of ‘counter-
    Jihad’ groups has been relatively neglected. Campaigning amid fiscal austerity and
    ongoing public concerns over immigration, these groups are more confrontational,
    chaotic and unpredictable than established populist extremist political parties, yet
    not enough is known about who supports them – and why.
    - Widely held assumptions about their supporters – which often stress economic
    austerity, political protest and Islamophobia as the key drivers – are challenged
    by new survey data on public attitudes towards the ideas of one leading counter-
    Jihad group, the English Defence League.
    - The data indicate that supporters of such groups are not necessarily young,
    uneducated, economically insecure or politically apathetic. They are not simply
    anti-Muslim or overtly racist, but xenophobic and profoundly hostile towards
    immigration. They are more likely than others in society to expect inter-communal
    conflict and to believe that violence is justifiable. And their beliefs about the
    threatening nature of Islam have wider public support.
    - Few mainstream voices in Europe are actively challenging counter-Jihad narratives,
    or the surrounding reservoir of anti-Muslim prejudice among the general public,
    but this is an essential part of any successful counter-strategy.
  • Goodwin, M. (2013). How Might Changes in Political Allegiances Affect Notions of Identity in the Next Ten Years? Report for the Future of Identity Foresight Project, UK Government Office for Science. UK Government Office for Science. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/275765/13-511-changes-in-political-allegiances-affect-identity.pdf.
    This evidence review considers how changes in political allegiances - mainly the rise of minor political parties since 2001 and declining political trust - might affect notions of identity, and impact on public behaviour over the next ten years. The review subscribes to the working definition of identity set out by the broader project, and considers both the impact of longer-term and deeper trends within the party system as well as more recent developments in the arena of party politics.1 To ensure methodological quality, the review draws on peer-reviewed academic research from political science, political sociology and social psychology, gathered via the International Bibliography for the Social Sciences (IBSS).
  • Goodwin, M., Roberts, C. and Harris, G. (2013). Far Right Groups and Public Attitudes in Wales: A Community-Based Study. Welsh Government.
  • Goodwin, M. (2013). Preventing and Countering Far-Right Extremism and Radicalisation: The United Kingdom and Germany. Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Ministry of Justice, Sweden.
  • Goodwin, M. (2012). The New Radical Right: Violent and Non-Violent Movements in Europe. Institute for Strategic Dialogue & Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice.
  • Goodwin, M. (2011). Right Response: Understanding and Countering Populist Extremism. The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House. Available at: https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/papers/view/178301.
    Populist extremist parties (PEPs) present one of the most pressing challenges to European democracies. These parties share two core features: they fiercely oppose immigration
    and rising ethnic and cultural diversity; and they pursue a populist ‘anti-establishment’ strategy that attacks mainstream parties and is ambivalent if not hostile towards
    liberal representative democracy. These parties and their supporters remain poorly understood. What drives some citizens to abandon the mainstream in favour of populist
    extremists? What message are these parties offering, and how receptive are European electorates to this message? How, if at all, can mainstream parties counter the rise of PEPs? This report examines what is causing citizens across Europe to shift behind populist extremists, and how mainstream elites might respond to this challenge. It puts popular stereotypes to one side and adopts an objective and evidence-based approach to investigate the characteristics and concerns of PEP supporters, the message and the wider potential of populist extremism, and possible response strategies.
  • Goodwin, M. (2011). Recruiting to Right-Wing Extremism: What Do We Know?. Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism.


  • Eatwell, R. and Goodwin, M. (2018). National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. [Online]. Pelican. Available at: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/306/306038/national-populism/9780241312001.html.
  • Clarke, H., Goodwin, M. and Whiteley, P. (2017). Brexit! Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union. [Online]. Cambridge University Press. Available at: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/british-government-politics-and-policy/brexit-why-britain-voted-leave-european-union?format=PB#HeGxvQGOpBUgLSBk.97.
    In June 2016, the United Kingdom shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. As this book reveals, the historic vote for Brexit marked the culmination of trends in domestic politics and in the UK's relationship with the EU that have been building over many years. Drawing on a wealth of survey evidence collected over more than ten years, this book explains why most people decided to ignore much of the national and international community and vote for Brexit. Drawing on past research on voting in major referendums in Europe and elsewhere, a team of leading academic experts analyse changes in the UK's party system that were catalysts for the referendum vote, including the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), the dynamics of public opinion during an unforgettable and divisive referendum campaign, the factors that influenced how people voted and the likely economic and political impact of this historic decision.
    Read more at http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/british-government-politics-and-policy/brexit-why-britain-voted-leave-european-union#iPxjOpJ62cZzrO0Z.99
  • Goodwin, M. and Milazzo, C. (2015). Ukip: Inside the Campaign to Redraw British Politics. Oxford University Press.
  • Ford, R. and Goodwin, M. (2014). Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain. [Online]. London, UK: Routledge. Available at: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315859057.
    The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is the most significant new party in British politics for a generation. In recent years UKIP and their charismatic leader Nigel Farage have captivated British politics, media and voters. Yet both the party and the roots of its support remain poorly understood. Where has this political revolt come from? Who is supporting them, and why? How are UKIP attempting to win over voters? And how far can their insurgency against the main parties go? Drawing on a wealth of new data – from surveys of UKIP voters to extensive interviews with party insiders – in this book prominent political scientists Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin put UKIP's revolt under the microscope and show how many conventional wisdoms about the party and the radical right are wrong. Along the way they provide unprecedented insight into this new revolt, and deliver some crucial messages for those with an interest in the state of British politics, the radical right in Europe and political behaviour more generally.
  • Goodwin, M. (2011). New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
    The British National Party (BNP) is the most successful far right party in British political history. Based on unprecedented access to the party and its members, this book examines the rise of the BNP and explains what drives some citizens to support far right politics. It is essential reading for all those with an interest in British politics, extremism, voting, race relations and community cohesion. The book helps us understand:

    - how wider trends in society have created a favourable climate for the far right;
    - how the far right has presented a ‘modernised’ ideology and image;
    - how the movement is organized, and has evolved over time;
    - who votes for the far right and why;
    - why people join, become and remain actively involved in far right parties.


  • McCann, C. (2017). How Did the U.K. Government’s Decision to Include Right Wing Extremism Within Its Counter Terrorism "Prevent" Strategy in 2011 Impact on Local Responses to the English Defence League?.
    Since the U.K. Government reviewed its counter terrorism Prevent Strategy in 2011 to include "all forms of extremism" with an emphasis on right wing extremism, there has been no empirical research undertaken to explore the impact of this decision on local responses to the phenomenon.

    Furthermore, the international literature on responses to right wing extremism has thus far focussed on its various political manifestations, particularly in relation to both right wing extremist and populist political parties and the ideology that underpins them. From a U.K. perspective, the emphasis over the last thirty years has been very much on attempting to understand the causal factors underpinning the extreme right wing, the composition of these groups and how they compare with similar groups throughout Europe.

    It is striking that there is very little material available which provides a platform for debate as to how the state should actually respond to movements such as the English Defence League who do not seek legitimacy through the ballot box. As a movement at the zenith of its power and influence in 2011 the English Defence League mobilised thousands of people through its street protests, and although its ability to galvanise large numbers of people to turn out to protest has waned, the sentiment from which it gained its legitimacy has not.

    As the first study of this subject matter, through data yielded from 80 qualitative interviews based on unique access to frontline practitioners in the three case study areas of Luton, Newcastle and Waltham Forest boroughs, conducted by a serving counter terrorism police officer specialising in the Prevent Strategy, it will explore the ways in which this shift in the strategy played out at a local level among statutory actors interpreting and implementing it against the backdrop of central government imposed austerity measures.

    The major conclusions of this research are that; (1) the impact of the decision to explicitly include right wing extremism within the Prevent Strategy has been minimal. With the exception of the Channel intervention programme, there are for instance no specific counter narratives that have been created as a response to the expansion of the policy to include "all forms of extremism". Instead, this has led to a generalised approach to countering extremism without a clear understanding of right wing extremism as a distinct phenomenon, (2). The EDL is understood by local actors as a threat to the public order and community cohesion, but not as a terrorism threat. Notwithstanding this position, the case studies highlight the continued role of counter terrorism Prevent Officers in the pre, during and post phases of EDL attendance in maintaining community cohesion and providing reassurance with reference in particular to Muslim communities, and (3). Right wing extremism is poorly understood and articulated at a national policy level. There is a lack of synergy on this issue between the integration, cohesion, hate crime, Prevent and extremism policy areas, the interpretation of which at a local level has led to inter-agency tensions that have been further negatively impacted by Government imposed austerity measures on public sector resourcing since 2010.


  • Goodwin, M. and Milazzo, C. (2015). Britain, the European Union and the Referendum: What drives Euroscepticism?. [pdf]. Available at: https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/publications/research/20151209EuroscepticismGoodwinMilazzo.pdf.
  • Goodwin, M. (2014). Using evidence-based understanding to refine policy responses to right-wing extremism. [REF submission].
    Based on knowledge exchange with international agencies and think-tanks, briefings to politicians, workshops with local government and police authorities, and a full-time secondment within central (UK) government, Dr Matthew Goodwin's distinctive work has become a crucial part of changing attitudes and influencing policy for dealing with the rise of right-wing extremism in the UK, and elsewhere. As one of the most-followed political scientists in the UK, Goodwin has used extensive social and traditional media engagement to bring this ground-breaking work to the attention of the wider public. One senior Government Minister reflects that Goodwin has `helped to develop government policy to counter the far right', and `provided government with a substantial evidence base which continues to change and inform policy'.
  • Goodwin, M. (2012). Submission of oral evidence on the roots of radicalisation, Home Affairs Committee. [oral evidence]. Available at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmhaff/1446/1446.pdf.

Edited book

  • Goodwin, M. (2010). The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain. [Online]. Eatwell, R. and Goodwin, M. J. eds. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415494359.
    Since the 1990s, there has been a growing concern about the resurgence of extremist and radical movements in the Western world. Although a variety of challenges to the liberal democratic order have emerged, the main focus of concern among academics, policy-makers and practitioners within Europe and beyond has been on the growth and activities of Islamists and to a lesser extent the extreme right. However, these forms of extremism are seldom placed alongside each other, and in a manner that is sensitive to both the causes and consequences of extremist mobilization. This book presents new empirical research on the causes of these two ‘new’ extremisms in 21st Century Britain and the appropriate responses to it by both the state and civil society.

    Both forms of extremism pose vital questions for those concerned with the development of a more cohesive and stable society. Unlike many studies, this volume adopts a holistic approach, bringing together experts from a variety of disciplines to examine the factors that cause support and the potential policy responses, including key questions such as:

    •What is the current level of support for Islamism and right-wing extremism?

    •Who votes for extreme right parties such as the BNP in modern Britain and, despite its recent gains, why has the extreme right achieved only limited success?

    •What are the steps of recruitment into radical violent takfiri jihadism?

    •How effective are current responses to Islamism and the extreme right, such as those offered by Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), wider public policy and policing?

    •What is the potential role of political actors, media and civil society in responding to the extremist challenge?

    Challenging broad assumptions and bringing together leading scholars in this rapidly developing field, this work is essential reading for all those with an interest in terrorism, fascism, political extremism, social cohesion and the future of race relations.

Internet publication

  • Goodwin, M. and Heath, O. (2016). Brexit Vote Explained: Poverty, Low Skills and Lack of Opportunities [Web article]. Available at: https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/brexit-vote-explained-poverty-low-skills-and-lack-opportunities.
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