Science

Two Manchester experts named Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences

Two academics from The University of Manchester have been recognised as leading experts in their field by being named Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences. 

New Fellows are named due to the excellence and impact of their work, which addresses matters of vital importance and contributes to the social sciences for the public good. Through leadership, scholarship, applied research, policymaking and practice, they have helped to deepen the understanding of some of the toughest challenges facing our society and the world. 

The Academy is made up of over 1400 Fellows, 46 societies and a number of affiliates. This extensive community of over 90,000 social scientists has helped establish the UK’s position as a global leader in the social sciences.

Joining them is Robert Ford, a Professor of Political Science whose expertise in the areas of public opinion, electoral choice and party politics has led to him becoming one of the UK’s leading political commentators. His first book, examining the rise of the UK Independence Party, was named Political Book of the Year in 2015. 

He has authored or co-authored several other books including Brexitland, an account of the fundamental social and demographic changes that have shaped the turbulent and polarised politics of the UK over the last decade – among the many glowing reviews from leading figures, Channel 4 News journalist Gary Gibbon called it ‘the new political bible of our times’. It has been shortlisted for the Political Studies Association WJM Mackenzie Prize for the best book published in Political Science in 2020.

His most recent book The British General Election of 2019 is the latest in the world’s longest-running and most prestigious election study series, covering every British election since 1945. 

Robert regularly speaks or writes about elections, public opinion and politics in various national and international media outlets including the BBC, The Guardian and The New York Times, and he also has a significant following on Twitter where he regularly comments on the latest political developments.

The second new Fellow from Manchester is Edward Fieldhouse, a Professor of Social and Political Science who has been principal investigator on the Scientific Leadership Team of the British Election Study since 2014. Formerly, he was director of the Institute for Social Change (2007-2012) and the Cathie Marsh Centre for Social and Survey Research (2002-2005). 

His main research interests are voting behaviour, electoral geography, and social and contextual influences on electoral behaviour. He is co-author of over sixty scholarly articles and books on a diverse range of topics including voting behaviour and turnout, social capital, social inequality, unemployment and deprivation. He has commented in national media including The Guardian and the BBC.

His latest publication Electoral Shocks: the Volatile Voter in a Turbulent World is part of a long tradition of British Election Study books which attempt to understand electoral change, and was described by the Financial Times as ‘an analysis that delivers lucid explanations of political disruption’.

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