Politics and International Relations

Comparative Politics Group

Building on Kent’s strong tradition in comparative politics, the Comparative Politics Research Group, established in 2010, is a vibrant cluster of political scientists conducting research on some of the most pressing questions in contemporary politics, such as: What explains successful democratisation? What are the conditions for federalism? How do constitutional rules shape politicians’ behaviour? How does inequality affect politics? Does European integration lead to state restructuring? Why has trust in politics declined?  

We conduct research in the following main areas:

  • Democracy and democratisation: democratisation in post-communist countries (Sakwa, Loveless); democracy and federalism (Dardanelli); political institutions and democratic performance (Morgan-Jones); mass media and democratisation (Loveless); democracy and nationality (Dardanelli).

The Group convenes a fortnightly Comparative Politics Workshop, in which staff and doctoral researchers discuss their work in progress, and sponsors comparative politics-focussed sessions on the School-wide SPIRRS seminar series. It hosts the Centre for Federal Studies, the only research centre devoted to the study of federalism in the UK, and the Centre for Swiss Politics, a Kent-based international network of experts.

The Group co-ordinates the teaching of comparative politics at the undergraduate level and is responsible for the MA in Comparative Politics and the PhD in Comparative Politics

The Crisis of Russian Democracy

The Crisis of Russian Democracy

Over the last several years Professor Sakwa’s research has focused on the problems of Russia’s democratic development. Major outputs include the monographs The Quality of Freedom: Khodorkovsky, Putin and the Yukos Affair (Oxford University Press, 2009) and The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism and the Medvedev Succession (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
American Political Science Review

American Political Science Review

Dr Morgan-Jones has worked with Dr Petra Schleiter of the University of Oxford to investigate the impact of constitutional rules on cabinet stability and early election calling in European democracies. Among his recent publications is ‘Constitutional Power and Competing Risks: Monarchs, Presidents, Prime Ministers, and the Termination of East and West European Cabinets’, American Political Science Review, 103/3: 496-512, 2009.
European Journal of Political Research

European Journal of Political Research

Dr Loveless’s work has focussed on the study of social inequality and what inequality means in individuals’ lives and life prospects as well as their political and economic attitudes and behaviours. He recently published, with Stephen Whitefield of the University of Oxford, ‘Being Unequal and Seeing Inequality: Explaining the Political Significance of Social Inequality in New Market Democracies’, European Journal of Political Research 50/2: 239-260, 2011.
European Political Science Review

European Political Science Review

Dr Wroe’s current research interests focus on the trust in government, particularly the reasons for its decline and its effects on the wider polity. Recent work has focused on how low levels of political trust frame citizens' perceptions of elected officials and may actually help engender political scandals. This has led to the co-authored article ‘The Role of Political Trust in Conditioning Perceptions of Corruption’, European Political Science Review 5/2: 175-95, 2013.
Electoral Studies

Electoral Studies

Dr Seyd’s research focuses on the nature and causes of citizen distrust in politics. Among his recent publications is the co-authored article ‘Attitudes to Voting Rules and Electoral System Preferences: Evidence from the 1999 and 2003 Scottish Parliament Elections’, Electoral Studies 30/1: 184-200, 2011. He recently organised a conference on political discontent in the UK, funded by the Political Studies Association.
Socio-Economic Review

Socio-Economic Review

Dr Barnes works on comparative political economy, and specifically on the politics of inequality and redistribution. In recent and ongoing research she is investigating the role of taxation as redistributive policy: a forthcoming article in the Socio-Economic Review considers the differences in public attitudes towards the size of government and its distributive shape, while other work considers institutional and structural determinants of redistributive policy.
European Political Science Review

European Political Science Review

Dr Dardanelli is completing a project, funded by the James Madison Trust, investigating the causal connections between European integration and state restructuring across space and time. This has led to the article ‘European Integration, Party Strategies, and State Restructuring: a Comparative Analysis’, European Political Science Review 6/2: 213-36, 2014.
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Staff

Name Job title Research Interests

Dr Lucy Barnes

Lecturer in Quantitative Politics Comparative political economy of advanced industrial democracies, the politics of taxation, inequality and redistribution.

Dr Paolo Dardanelli

Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics State Structures; Federalism, Devolution; Nationalism; Democracy; European Politics

Dr Sarah Hyde

Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations of East Asia Party politics; electoral systems; participation; e-democracy; e-voting; Japanese politics.

Dr Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels

Lecturer in Migration and Politics  

Dr Matthew Loveless

Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics Comparative and European Politics; Political Behaviour and Attitudes

Dr Edward Morgan-Jones

Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics Comparative Political Institutions, Constitutional choice, Sem-presidentialism and parliamentarism, Cabinets, democratic performance, West and Eastern European Politics

Dr Jane O'Mahony

Senior Lecturer in European Politics
European integration; EU policymaking; Europeanisation; Irish politics

Professor Richard T. Sakwa

Professor of Russian and European Politics   Russian government and politics; communism and postcommunism; democratisation.

Dr Ben Seyd

Lecturer in British and Comparative Politics Political institutions; electoral systems; public attitudes to the state and trust; British politics.

Dr Andrew Wroe

Lecturer in American Politics
Deputy Director of Learning and Teaching
Direct democracy; trust in politics; immigration; race/ethnicity; American politics and government.

Honorary staff

Name Job title

Professor Clive Church

Emeritus Professor of European Studies

Professor Colin Seymour-Ure

Emeritus Professor of International Relations

Michael Steed

Honorary Lecturer in Politics

Professor Maurice Vile

Emeritus Professor of Politics

Dr George Woodcock

Honorary Lecturer in Politics

Professor Sir Robert Worcester

Honorary Professor of Politics

 

Doctoral researchers

Name Job title

Antonio De Martin

Leadership, Contrast of Power and Competition whithin the Shi’a Community in Lebanon: The case of the Amal Party

James Downes

The Economic Crisis & Support for theExtreme Right in Western & Central-Eastern Europe

Dee Goddard

 

Lukas Janulewicz

Polish Foreign Aid – National Policy or International Duty

Emir Kulov

Party System Institutionalization in the Post-Soviet region: The Case of Kyrgyzstan

Ian Rowe

The Impact of New Social Media on Political Behaviour

Daniel St Martin

 

 

Doctoral researchers

Name Job title

Antonio De Martin

Leadership, Contrast of Power and Competition whithin the Shi’a Community in Lebanon: The case of the Amal Party

James Downes

The Economic Crisis & Support for theExtreme Right in Western & Central-Eastern Europe

Dee Goddard

 

Lukas Janulewicz

Polish Foreign Aid – National Policy or International Duty

Emir Kulov

Party System Institutionalization in the Post-Soviet region: The Case of Kyrgyzstan

Ian Rowe

The Impact of New Social Media on Political Behaviour

Daniel St Martin

 

 

Associate members

Name Job title School

Ben Baumberg

Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy SSPSSR

Heejung Chung

Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy SSPSSR

Govinda Clayton

Lecturer in International Conflict Analysis Politics

Dr Andrea den Boer

Senior Lecturer in International Relations Politics

Dr Ersun Kurtulus

Lecturer in Middle Eastern Politics Politics

Dr Pak Kuen Lee

Senior Lecturer in Chinese Politics and International Relations Politics

Dr Neophytos Loizides

Reader in International Conflict Analysis Politics

Trude Sundberg

Lecturer in Social Policy and Joint Coordinator, University of Kent's Q-Step Centre SSPSSR

Peter Taylor-Gooby

Professor of Social Policy SSPSSR

 

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Comparative politics has been one of Kent’s research strengths since its foundation in 1965. Scholars such as Alec Barbrook, Michael Burgess, Clive Church, Stephen Holt, Bill Jenkins, Brian Keith-Lucas, Thomas Saalfeld, Colin Seymour-Ure, and Maurice Vile have made major contributions in sub-fields such as American government, European politics, federalism, legislative studies, local government, and media politics.

Alec Barbrook

Joined Kent in 1967 and retired as Professor of Continuing Education in 1997. His research focussed on American government, in particular parties and political behaviour. Among his publications are the books Patterns of Political Behaviour (Robertson, 1975) and the co-authored Power and Protest in American Life (St Martin’s Press, 1980).

Michael Burgess

Professor of Federal Studies from 2005 to 2014. His research focussed on comparative federalism, notably on the conditions sustaining successful federal systems. Among his numerous publications is the monograph In Search of the Federal Spirit (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Clive Church

Joined Kent in 1981 and has been Emeritus Professor of European Studies since 2003. His research has focussed on European integration and Swiss politics, on the latter of which he is the leading authority in UK. Among his numerous publications is the book The Politics and Government of Switzerland (Palgrave, 2004). 

Stephen Holt

Professor of European Studies from 1980 to 1988. His main research interest was European integration and its impact on the European nation-states. His main publication is the book Six European States – The Countries of the European Community and their Political Systems (Hamilton, 1970). 

Bill Jenkins

Joined Kent in 1971 and was Professor of Public Policy at the time of his death in 2009. He published extensively on policy analysis and public administration. His last book is Policy Bureaucracy – Government with a Cast of Thousands (Oxford University Press, 2005), co-authored with Edward Page of the London School of Economics.  

Bryan Keith-Lucas

Professor of Government from 1965 to 1977. His research focussed on the history and operation of local government in the UK. Among his publications is the book English Local Government in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Historical Association, 1977). He established the Bryan Keith-Lucas Prize, awarded annually for the best performance in Stage 2.  

Thomas Saalfeld

Joined Kent in 1996 and left as Professor of Political Science in 2009. He is now Professor of Comparative Politics at the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg in Germany. His research concerned principally party systems and the study of legislatures, with a particular focus on Germany. While at Kent he published the monograph Parteien und Wahlen (Nomos, 2007). 

Colin Seymour-Ure

At Kent since its foundation in 1965, Colin has been Emeritus Professor of Politics since 2002. His research focussed on the role of the press and broadcasting in political life. Among his numerous publications is the book Prime Ministers and the Media – Issues of Power and Control (Blackwell, 2003). He established the Colin Seymour-Ure Prize, awarded annually for the best undergraduate dissertation.

Maurice Vile

Joined Kent at its foundation in 1965 and has been Emeritus Professor of Politics since 1985. His research focussed on American government, in particular its constitutional order and federal system. Among his publications are The Structure of American Federalism (Oxford University Press, 1961) and Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers (2nd ed., Liberty Fund, 1998). He established the Maurice Vile Prize, awarded annually for the best performance in Stage 3.
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Last Updated: 17/01/2017

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