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Sean McDaniel


I am a first year PhD candidate in the Politics and International Studies Department. My PhD project is funded by the Chancellor’s Scholarship and is provisionally entitled ‘Social democracy in post-crisis Britain and France: still a viable alternative?’

Previously, I studied for a BA in History (First Class) and an MA (with Distinction) in Governance and Public Policy, both at The University of Sheffield. Before starting my PhD I gained valuable policy-focused research experience working for a leading Westminster-based think tank.

PhD project

My PhD project, supervised by Professor Ben Clift and Dr Chris Rogers, looks at two major traditional social democratic parties, the Labour Party and the Parti Socialiste, and seeks to understand their position within the political economies of the UK and France in the post-global financial crisis environment.

I am interested in utilising these cases to explore the puzzle of why social democratic politics in Europe has not emerged as a clear ‘alternative’ since 2008, particularly given the prevalence of austerity policies since 2010. Social democracy is struggling electorally all around Europe, yet perhaps more puzzling is the extent to which the mainstream traditional social democratic parties of Europe have acquiesced to the austerity strategy. I am hoping to utilise a constructivist perspective, focused on the role of political and economic ideas, to explore these puzzles understand the development of the politics of social democracy post-crisis in the UK and France.

Research Interests

  • Social democracy
  • European political economy
  • The Labour Party
  • The Parti Socialiste
  • Austerity
  • Post-global financial crisis Europe


  • ‘Post-crisis social democratic policy capacity in France and the United Kingdom: A lesson from the globalisation and social democracy debate’, French Politics 12 (4), 283–309.

Scholarships and awards

  • The Chancellor’s Scholarship - University of Warwick, ESRC match-funded
    University of Warwick, 2014-18
  • Best MA Dissertation Prize
    ‘Globalisation and the Viability of Social Democracy: The Cases of New Labour and the Parti Socialiste’
    Department of Politics, University of Sheffield, 2012


  • Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies
    University of Warwick, 2014-present
  • Masters with Distinction in Governance and Public Policy
    University of Sheffield, 2011-12
  • First Class BA (Hons) History
    University of Sheffield, 2008-11
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Sean McDaniel

S dot McDaniel at warwick dot ac dot uk

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