Current Courses

Democratic Innovations in Public Administration? (Bachelors-level)

Public administration is the largest part of the democratic state. Most of us interact much more often with administrative institutions – such as police forces, hospitals and welfare offices – than we do with political parties, legislatures and elected representatives. It is here that we meet face-to-face the laws that, as a democratic community, we have given to ourselves. It is through these encounters that we feel their concrete impacts. Administrative decisions shape the conditions of everyday life – determining the availability of healthcare in a local area, who is able to access welfare benefits, and which crimes are aggressively policed. This block seminar begins from the idea that, if we want to increase public participation and deliberation concerning how power is wielded in our societies, why not begin from the place where citizens most frequently and acutely encounter that power? The recognition that representative institutions are failing and that administrative power often functions on an everyday level, beyond the eye of legislatures, means there is much scope for democratic innovation in public administration. Indeed, the democratic theorist Mark Warren (2009) has argued that this could form the democratic project of the 21st Century, to rival the battle for voting rights that characterised the 19th and early 20th Centuries. So, If democratising public administration is the democratic project for the 21st Century, what does this project look like? How should we understand public administration as a space for democratic innovation? And, what is the role of new digital technologies in this process? The seminar will address these and other related questions.

Research Training: Understanding Public Perceptions of Democracy (Full year course – Masters-level)

One promise of democracy is that people should consent to and support the processes through which their society is governed. Yet a growing issue in many democracies is that, whilst people express support for the idea of democracy, they are deeply dissatisfied with how it is working in practice. So what do people want their democratic decision-making process to look like? Do they think that democracy is about following the will of the majority or protecting minority rights? What role should independent experts play in politics? Do people want democracies to protect free speech even when it causes harm? Do people want to participate more in democratic decision-making, and if so, how? We will examine how to tackle these questions through empirical research to understand a range of political actors’ process preferences. This is a two semester course. The first semester focuses on introducing  different concepts and questions in the study political process preferences, as well as the variety of methodological approaches to studying these questions. Then you will work in groups to step-by-step develop a research design for the project. The second semester focuses on supporting you to carry out your own independent research and to write it up as a project report.

Democracy in Crisis? (Summer Semester – Bachelors-level)

Democracy is widely viewed as the only normatively legitimate form of government in modern societies. Yet, at the same time, the institutions of advanced democracies are coming under severe pressure as a result of political apathy, lack of public trust, institutional capture by the wealthy and the rise of populist parties and leaders. This course explores and assesses the current threats facing democracy. Is rising inequality transforming democracies into oligarchies? Does globalization make popular sovereignty impossible? Is populism a threat or essential to democracy? And does the digital revolution undermine civil and political rights? The course brings together political theory and empirical political science to analyse these issues and evaluate the state of democracy in the 21st Century.

Democracy: Past, Present and Future (Summer Semester – Bachelors-level)

This course examines three key ideas around which democratic institutions have been organised: representation, sortition (or selection by lot), and oversight. It covers the historical emergence of these ideas and how they became linked to the notion of democracy, as well as what governance challenges they were used to address.  We similarly investigate what representation, sortition and oversight mean for today’s democracies – how are they employed and for what purposes? Then finally, we explore together how these practices may be developed in the future to tackle some of the challenges currently facing democracies.

New Methods for Analysing Democratic Practice (Winter Semester – Bachelors-level)

This course introduces a range of different methodological approaches to conducting social science research within the context of studying democratic innovation. You will learn about new research methods and new ways of doing democracy. The aim of the course is to give you a broad understanding of a number of different research approaches, their strengths and weaknesses, and the principles of good research design. It introduces quantitative and qualitative methods from well-known approaches like experiments and case studies, to lesser-known methods such as participatory action research and Q-method.

Democracy in the Digital Age (Winter Semester – Masters-level)

The internet was first heralded as a liberating, democratising force that could both topple dictators and provide new technologies for collective organisation. Now it is more likely to be lamented for destroying democracy by trapping us in filter bubbles and proliferating fake news. This course looks at the opportunities and challenges for democracy in the digital age. How can digital technology be used to transform democracy for the better and how might it undermine the basis of democratic societies? The course takes a project-based learning approach, giving you substantial control over which issue you focus your work on.


I supervise theses in political science and political theory, primarily with a focus on democratic theory, democracy and digital technology or participatory governance.

Previous supervision topics have included: citizen participation in smart cities; deliberative mini-publics influence on social media debates; political parties online participation platforms; climate activists conceptions of democracy; and many other topics.

Past Teaching


Q-Method: A Practical Introduction (Postgraduate module).
Department of Social Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt.

Innovations in Democratic Practice Module (Undergraduate module).
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster (Teaching Assistant).

Data Analysis for Social Policy Module (Undergraduate module).
Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics (Teaching Assistant).

Guest Lectures

‘Attitudinal Research’ on Social Policy Research Module (Postgraduate).
Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics.

‘NHS Citizen’ on Innovations in Democratic Practice Module (Undergraduate).
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster.

‘Mixed Methods in Social Policy Research’ on Social Policy Research Module (Postgraduate).
Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics.