Project period: May to November 2015 

This community previously received Initiator Funding for the project: Modern British Politics and History

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: David Moon 
University of Bristol: Mark Wickham-Jones, Hugh Pemberton 
Cardiff University: Stephen Thornton 
University of Exeter: David Thackeray (PI), Richard Toye 

Project overview

Our aim is to develop and strengthen our scholarly activities as a research cluster offering innovative and significant projects, with a distinct commitment to a cross-disciplinary approach. 


British politics presently confronts a number of distinct and severe, though interlinked, problems which are manifest in debates surrounding the 2015 UK General Election: declining voter turnouts; the decline of party and the increasing inability of politicians to mobilise mass support and activism through party structures; the impact of devolutionary pressures on a centralised political system, and the gap between parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political activity. These issues are at the heart of this bid. The initiator workshops held by this community revealed significant areas for further research which were be grouped into three broad areas: 1. Political engagement and parties; 2. Engagement, gender and political participation; 3. Political engagement and voting. 

Project summary 

The Accelerator award took forward the three themes identified by the Initiator award, piloting aspects of future projects, exploring these themes in conference discussions and seminars, and creating links with international collaborators. The funding enabled the academics involved to significantly expand their existing collaborations and develop bids drawing on specialist expertise across institutions in a way which was not previously possible for the group. This has resulted in several publications, public policy pieces and bids for grants to support future research. The community also established a Politics and History specialist group of the Political Studies Association (led by Pemberton and Moon) to develop long-term collaboration between the GW4 researchers and specialists with similar interests at other institutions.