Dr Philip Lynch

Dr Phil Lynch

Associate Professor in Politics

BA (Leeds), MA (York), PhD (Warwick)

Contact details


Undergraduate Modules:

  • PL3098 The Conservatives: Crisis and Recovery
  • PL3107 Brexit and British Politics
  • PL2020 Political Parties in Contemporary Britain

Postgraduate Modules (Distance Learning):

  • PL7595 Euroscepticism

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


I am co-author of two textbooks on British politics:

  • Exploring British Politics, 5th edition, (Routledge, 2021) is a concise and accessible undergraduate textbook which is designed to stimulate critical analysis and provoke lively debate. It provides new perspectives on two key themes – the health of British democracy and the transition from traditional models of government to more flexible forms of 'governance'.
  • UK Government and Politics, (with Paul Fairclough and Toby Cooper), 5th edition, Hodder Education, 2017. Fully updated for the new AS/A level specifications, and covering key topics for all exam boards. A fully revised 6th edition will be published in 2022.

I was a member of the Editorial Board of Politics Review, the leading magazine for students of A-level Politics, for 25 years.



UK Government and Politics for AS/A level, 5th edition [with Paul Fairclough and Toby Cooper]. (London: Hodder Education, 2017). Pp.352. ISBN 978-1471889238.


Exploring British Politics, 5th edition [with Mark Garnett and Peter Dorey]. (Oxford: Routledge, 2021). Pp.653. ISBN 9780367142407.


The Conservatives in CrisisThe Conservatives in Crisis. The Tories after 1997 [Editor, with Mark Garnett], (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003) Pp.ix + 320. ISBN 0719063310.

Reforming the European Union Reforming the European Union: From Maastricht to Amsterdam [co-editor]. (London: Longman, 2000). Pp. xii + 256. ISBN 0582289866.


The Politics of NationhoodThe Politics of Nationhood: Sovereignty, Britishness and Conservative Politics (London: Palgrave, 1999) Pp.xiii + 201. ISBN 0333656121.

Journal Articles

Book chapters


My main research focus is on Brexit and on the Conservative Party. I am particularly interested in the Conservative Party and European integration. Recent publications examine Conservative policy and divisions on European integration; the UK Parliament and Brexit; and party competition between the Conservatives and UKIP.

Current research

1. Parties, Parliament and the Brexit Process https://parlbrexit.co.uk/

This study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (with Adam Cygan and Richard Whitaker) as part of the 'UK in a Changing Europe' programme focuses on how the Brexit vote has affected UK party politics, how Parliament has responded to Brexit in terms of its structures and procedures, and attempts to identify those areas of policy that have been most subject to conflict between and within parties and are most likely to change once the UK has left the EU.

2. The Conservative Party and European Integration

My research in this area examines why European integration has been such a difficult issue for the Conservative Party: Conservative policy on European integration: divisions within the Conservative Party on the EU issue and how they are managed: the character of Conservative Euroscepticism; and the Conservatives in the European Parliament.

3. The Conservatives, UKIP and party competition on the centre right

This research with Richard Whitaker, originally funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2009-10), examined party competition between the Conservatives and UK Independence Party (UKIP), with a primary focus on the issue of European integration. It assessed the rise of UKIP and the challenges this posed for the Conservatives, plus the attitudes, policies, support and electoral strategies of the two parties.

Research grants

  • 'Parties, Parliament and the Brexit Process - General Election 2019', (with Adam Cygan and Richard Whitaker), Economic and Social Research Council, £50,000, 2019-20.
  • 'Parties, Parliament and the Brexit Process', (with Adam Cygan and Richard Whitaker), Economic and Social Research Council, £290,000, 2017-19.
  • 'Competing on the Centre Right: an Examination of Party Strategy in Britain', (principal applicant, with Richard Whitaker). Leverhulme Trust, £49,212, 2009-10.
  • 'The Conservatives in the European Parliament: Pariahs or Poodles of the Party Leadership?' (principal applicant, with Richard Whitaker). British Academy, £3,723, 2005/06.
  • 'The British-Irish Council: Dynamics of Institutional Change' (with Stephen Hopkins). Economic and Social Research Council, £5,099, 2000.

Recent research activities

Research arising from the 'Parties, Parliament and the Brexit Process' project has been presented at a number of academic conferences including the 2019 PSA annual conference (Nottingham), the 2018 PSA annual conference (Cardiff) and the 2017 EPOP annual conference (Nottingham).


The 'Parties, Parliament and the Brexit Process' project team submitted written and oral evidence to the House of Commons' Liaison Committee inquiry on 'The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system' in 2019. We have also presented our research findings to MPs, peers and parliamentary staff at a number of events in Westminster, and published blog pieces for the 'UK and a Changing Europe'.


I would be interested in supervising postgraduate research on Brexit and on the Conservative Party.

I acted as External Examiner for the DPhil thesis submitted by Luke Moore (Oxford).

Learn more and apply for research degrees in Politics and International Relations.

Share this page:

Contact Details

School of Politics and International Relations

University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2702
Email: HyPIR@le.ac.uk


AccessAble logo

The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has a detailed accessibility guide for the Attenborough Tower.

College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Masters Excellence Scholarships

The Masters Excellence Studentships are available to new UK/EU applicants registering for a full- or part-time, campus-based Masters degree in our College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities starting in the 2020-21 academic year. Four nine-month Masters Excellence studentships are available, each providing a full fee waiver. The deadline for applications is 29 May 2020.

Follow this link for more information.