Specific research interests:
Keywords: Governance and public policy, rhetoric and political communication, interpretive philosophy of social science
My work is in three interrelated areas, public policy studies, political rhetoric and the contribution of interpretive philosophy to these fields. My research on governance centres on the theory and practice of policy making. I research and teach about political conflict around public policy issues and am interested in what these political dynamics reveal about power in contemporary society. I am currently researching the rhetoric of trafficking and modern slavery policy. My work on political rhetoric primarily concerns the philosophy of rhetoric, investigating how rhetorical concepts can be integrated into political studies.
These two areas are brought together in research on new approaches to the theory of governance. I write on rhetoric within the field of interpretive policy analysis, which uses contemporary social and political theory to understand the policy process. I argue that policymaking is best understood in relational terms as a form of questioning characterised by rhetoric in which political actors employ persuasive and symbolic language in order to negotiate distance. I am a leading expert on problematology, a contemporary coninental philosophy of metaphysics, science and language, by Belgian author Michel Meyer. Problematology is a new approach to knowledge based in an original theory of questioning, which I apply in social science.
I also have general research and teaching interests in British politics, particularly the dynamics of party politics and policy debates.