My broad research interests lie in the comparative politics and political economy of (mainly European) welfare states, with a special interest in the constitution of citizenship in national models of capitalism. I am especially interested in the role of ideas and discourses in both maintaining and transforming political institutions. Other related research interests include new institutional theory, especially ideational institutionalism; global governance and global civil society, especially in the context of the debates on global citizenship; European populist radical right parties, with a particular interest in economic nationalism and welfare chauvinism; and pretty much all shades of Nordic politics. In the context of the rising tide of nationalism and populism in global politics, I am currently also interested in the discourses around the Brexit debate in the UK, and especially the welfare related aspects of this, such as the debate on benefits and health tourism. I specialise in qualitative research methods, such as semi-structured elite interviews, qualitative content analysis and various approaches to discourse analysis. My research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). I am a member of the ESRC Peer Review College.

I am currently working on a book based on my ESRC-funded research project the Nordic model of welfare (under contract with Edward Elgar).

External grants and awards

  • ESRC Research Grant (No. RES-000-22-3298). Project: Welfare state practices and the constitution of the citizen: Nordic models of capitalism in an age of globalisation, 1 February 2009-31 January 2010 (£66,566 fEc)
  • European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Jean Monnet Fellowship at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, 1 September 2005-30 June 2006 (€18,000)
  • ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (No. PTA-026-27-0292) at the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham (UK), 1 January-31 December 2004, (£27,640)
  • ESRC PhD Studentship (No. R42200034241) at the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham (UK), 1 October 2000-30 September 2003

Research visits

  • April-May 2009, Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm, Sweden
  • September 2002, ARENA, University of Oslo, Norway
  • May-September 2002, Tampere Peace Research Institute, University of Tampere, Finland

Research students

I am keen to supervise promising research students in comparative European politics and political economy, including comparative welfare states, populist political parties and movements, the theory and practice of citizenship and politics of identity, European social democracy, and Nordic politics.

PhD Supervision to date

  • Alessandro Arrigoni, Global Order, Workers’ Struggle and the Mobilization against Precarity: The Case of ‘San Precario’ (supervised with Magnus Ryner) (at King’s College London), 2010-2016.
  • Matthew Donoghue, ‘Cohesion’ in the Context of Welfare and Citizenship: Discourse, Policy and Common Sense (with Magnus Ryner and Michael Lister) (at Oxford Brookes University), 2009-2015.
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