I’m the Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln. I was Vice Chair of the Political Studies Association UK from 2011–14, with special responsibility for Education and Skills, and served on the learned society’s executive committee for more than a decade. In 2012, I became an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. I’m a member of the board of the Campaign for Social Sciences, and a Fellow of the RSA. The Quality Assurance Agency recently asked me to chair, for a second time, the review panel examining the subject benchmarking statements for Politics and International Relations.
I am passionate about the teaching and learning of politics, and about political participation. I am intrigued by the question of why some people are fascinated by politics but others, possibly the majority, are less than enamoured. The themes of the Magna Carta and, in particular, the 2017 Charter of the Forest, resonate with me as I wrestle with questions of democracy and giving voice to disenfranchised groups. To this end, I am a firm believer in the lowering of the voting age to 16 and 17 year olds, and was disappointed that they were not given the vote in the 2016 referendum on continued membership of the European Union.
As part of the 1215.today project, I have been involved with getting young people to air their views on a whole range of topics concerning democracy and political participation.