Dr Richard Whitaker
BA (Salford), MA Econ, PhD (Manchester)
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My main research interests concern two areas: the study of legislatures, and British centre-right parties and European integration. On the first of these, my work so far has focused principally on the European Parliament and its internal organisation, specifically committees, party groups and national parties. I have also worked on the relationship between parliament and government at Westminster. On the second area, with Philip Lynch and Gemma Loomes, I have worked on a Leverhulme-funded project on party competition on the centre-right and have previously researched the Conservatives in the European Parliament (with Philip Lynch). I am currently chairing the Department's research cluster on Parties, Participation and Public Opinion (3PO).
MEPs in the 2014-19 European Parliament: the rise of Euroscepticism?
This study is funded by a Leverhulme Research Project Grant of £56,399 (co-investigator Professor Simon Hix - London School of Economics) and began in October 2014. The research assesses the range of views represented in the European Parliament, changes in mainstream Members of the European Parliaments’ (MEPs) views over time, MEPs’ attitudes to democracy in the EU and the UK’s future relationship with the EU. It is based around a survey of MEPs, which will add to a time series of survey data collected by the European Parliament Research Group.
Recent Research Activities
Preliminary results from the project above were presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco (September 2015). My most recent reserach on roll-call votes in European Parliament committees has been presented at the ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops in Pisa, April 2016. In February 2015 I spoke at a European Parliament Press Service seminar on the 2014 European elections and the process of choosing the Commission President. I gave evidence as an expert witness to a hearing of the European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs committee in May 2013. The hearing concerned the European Parliament's right to self-organization and my evidence related to research conducted for my book on the European Parliament's committees.
PhD Supervision and Examination
As noted above, my main research interests concern two areas: the study of legislatures, and British centre-right parties and European integration. Plans for future research include work on Eurosceptics in the European Parliament and the success or otherwise of Euroscepticism more broadly. I would be keen to supervise projects on the European Parliament, the Westminster Parliament, comparative legislatures (particularly committees and parties in legislatures), and Eurosceptic political parties.
I currently supervise four PhD students: Ana Carrillo-Lopez (European identity), Andrew Jones (the House of Lords and the management of coalition government), Laura MacKenzie (radical right parties in the European Parliament) and Valasia Savvidou (immigration and voting behaviour). I supervised Peter Thomas, who gained his PhD in December 2013 on the politicization of immigration by the centre-right in the UK and France, 2000-2010, and Berta Barbet Porta who gained her PhD in May 2016, entitled Issues, party strategies and voter behaviour: A dynamic approach. I was second supervisor to Tim Sansom who completed his thesis on 'Political Marketing: The Conservatives in Opposition' in 2009, to Carol Weaver who completed a thesis on US-Russian tensions and EU policy in the Black Sea region in 2011 and to Mukhtar Hajizada who was awarded his PhD in December 2012 on 'Complex regionalisation in the wider Black Sea area'.
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I have acted as external examiner for PhD theses by David Marshall (LSE), Ana-Iuliana Postu (Royal Holloway), Amy Busby (Sussex), Einion Dafydd (Aberystwyth), Fiona Williams (Nottingham) and Jack Blumenau (LSE).
My teaching, past and present, covers the following areas:
- European Union institutions and policy-making
- Comparative legislatures
- Comparative politics in general
- Research methods in political science
(2011) The European Parliament's committees: National party influence and legislative empowerment, London: Routledge. Replication data
Recent Journal Articles and Chapters
- (forthcoming) 'United Kingdom', European Journal of Political Research: Political Data Yearbook 2015, 55:1.
- (forthcoming) 'Continuing Fault Lines and New Threats: European Integration and the Rise of UKIP’ in Gillian Peele and John Francis (eds) Modernizing Conservatism: Challenge and Constraints in an Anti-Party Era, Manchester: Manchester University Press, with Philip Lynch.
- (forthcoming) 'The UK Independence Party (UKIP) and other primarily Eurosceptic parties' in Nick Startin and Simon Usherwood (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Euroscepticism, London: Routledge.
- (2015) 'United Kingdom', European Journal of Political Research: Political Data Yearbook 2014, 54:1, pp.302-8.
- (2014) 'Tenure, turnover and careers in the European Parliament: MEPs as policy-seekers', Journal of European Public Policy, 21:10, pp.1509-27.
- (2014) 'United Kingdom', European Journal of Political Research: Political Data Yearbook 2013, 53:1, pp.311-17.
- (2014) 'Understanding the formation and actions of Eurosceptic groups in the European Parliament: pragmatism, principles and publicity', Government and Opposition, 49:2, pp.232-63, with Philip Lynch.
- (2013) 'United Kingdom', European Journal of Political Research: Political Data Yearbook 2012, 52:1, pp.239-45.
- (2013) 'Rivalry on the Right: The Conservatives, The UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the EU Issue', British Politics, 8:3. pp.285-312, with Philip Lynch.
- (2013) 'Where there is discord, can they bring harmony? Managing intra-party dissent on European integration in the Conservative Party', British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 15:3, pp.317-39, with Philip Lynch.
- (2012) 'United Kingdom', European Journal of Political Research: Political Data Yearbook 2011, 51: 1, pp.322-32.
- (2012) 'The UK Independence Party: understanding a niche party's strategy, candidates and supporters', Parliamentary Affairs, 65:4, pp.733-57, with Philip Lynch and Gemma Loomes.
- (2011) 'United Kingdom', European Journal of Political Research: Political Data Yearbook, 50: 7-8, pp.1164-74.
- (2011) 'Explaining support for the UK Independence Party at the 2009 European Parliament elections', Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 21:3, pp.359-79, with Philip Lynch.
- (2010) 'United Kingdom', European Journal of Political Research: Political Data Yearbook, 49: 7-8, pp.1193-1202.
- (2008) 'A Loveless Marriage: The Conservatives and the European People’s Party', Parliamentary Affairs, 61:1, pp.31-51, with Philip Lynch.
- (2006) 'Parliament and Government, 2005-06: Reforms and Reflections', Parliamentary Affairs, 59:4, pp.694-702.
- (2006) 'Ping-pong and policy influence: Relations between the Lords and Commons 2005-6', Parliamentary Affairs, 59:3, pp.536-45.
- (2006) 'Backbench influence on government legislation? A flexing of parliamentary muscles at Westminster', Parliamentary Affairs, 59:2, pp.350-9.
- (2006) 'Ascendant Assemblies in Britain? Rebellions, Reforms and Inter-Cameral Conflict' , Parliamentary Affairs, 59:1, pp. 173-80.
- (2005) 'Small Group Teaching: Perceptions and Problems', Politics, 25:2, pp. 116-25, with Amy Bogaard, Sabine C. Carey, Gwilym Dodd and Ian D. Repath.
- (2005) 'The United Kingdom' in Juliet Lodge (ed.), The 2004 Elections to the European Parliament (Basingstoke, Palgrave).
- (2005) 'Parliament and the Public: A view from the Outside' in Nicholas D. J. Baldwin (ed.), Parliament in the 21st Century (London, Politico's).
- (2005) 'Parliament and the European Union: Refrigerators, Readings and Reforms' in Nicholas D. J. Baldwin (ed.), Parliament in the 21st Century (London, Politico's).
- (2005) 'National parties in the European Parliament: an influence in the committee system?', European Union Politics, 6:1, pp. 5-28.
- (2001) 'Party Control in a Committee-Based Legislature? The Case of the European Parliament', Journal of Legislative Studies, 7:4, pp. 63-88.
- (2000) 'The development of the European Parliament's committee system 1979-99: leadership, membership and legislative responsibility', European Policy Research Unit Working Papers, Department of Government, University of Manchester.