Associate Professor of Quantitative Political Science
- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Founding Fellow of the Warwick Institute of Engagement
I am an Associate Professor in PAIS with a keen interest in Quantitative Methods and pedagogy. I am conducting research in the field of Comparative Politics with a focus on regime transitions and democratisation. Please see the tabs below for information on all the facets of my academic life. Should you have any queries, please do get in touch!
University of Warwick
- 2021: Associate Professor of Quantitative Political Science
- 2017: Senior Teaching Fellow in Quantitative Political Science
- 2016: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- 2014: Teaching Fellow in Quantitative Methods
University of Sheffield
- 2010 - 2014: Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Politics
- 2009 - 2014: PhD in Politics. Thesis Title "Confounding Modernisation: Development and Democracy in sub-Saharan Africa"
Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Germany
- 2005 - 2009: Diplom Ökonom (equivalent to MSc in Economics and Social Sciences)
In the academic year 22/23 I am directing the following modules:
- PO11Q: Introduction to Quantitative Political Analysis I
- PO33Q: Determinants of Democracy: Analysing Emergence, Survival, and Fall
Besides formal module directorships, I am usually running two skills modules on Moodle:
NB: These will not run in the academic year 2022/23!
In my role as Director of PGT Student Experience and Progression I also teach various MA Skills Lectures every academic year. I also regularly host the "Quantitative Methods Workshop" for all second-year PhD students in PAIS.
I am the director of the following degree programmes:
I am a leading member of the Warwick Q-Step team, and therefore play a crucial role in a programme which is designed to introduce a step change to the social sciences by introducing quantitative methods in the curriculum. The lack of quantitative skills in social science students and the de facto inability to engage with and critically assess a substantive part of social science research has been a concern of the department and the discipline more widely.
The teaching of quantitative methods is therefore at the forefront of my agenda, but it is important to me that these are taught in the context of substantive material and issues. Only this approach allows students to understand the relevance and appreciate the merit of these methods. In order to achieve an embedded approach, I am a strong advocate of research-based teaching. This principle works in two ways for me. First, I am using my own research to deliver an application of the methods taught. Secondly, and this is key to my teaching philosophy, I am treating students as researchers themselves, and let them perform activities to this end. This way, students feel that they are participating in a discipline, and are not just observing it from the outside.
In practice, this means that teaching and learning comprise two domains for me. The first is the assimilation of knowledge in students, which provides the tools for the second domain, the critical application of this knowledge to empirical cases. The first domain also represents the first step in teaching and learning - the presentation of the basic principles of research, statistical methods, their mathematical underpinnings, as well as the method's implications, and shortcomings from a theoretical point of view. In so doing, this step represents the basis for the second - the independent, yet guided, application of methods and research design to substantive problems, allowing students to gain a deeper understanding of how and why these methods work in practice.
A student, having successfully completed any of my modules, should therefore have a solid grounding of the methods taught and be able to apply them to an appropriate research design investigating a substantive topic. In relation to the Q-Step programme overall, this will provide students with the ability to select the relevant statistical method for a given research problem, and also to evaluate and critically assess existing quantitative research.
I am continuously striving to deliver my teaching in the best possible way. Working in a research-led university, a strong reflection of the state of the art in my areas of research in the material I am teaching is imperative to me. This is true for both the substance of my research, such as democratic development, but also for the methods I employ. My flagship module in this respect is QS309: Determinants of Democracy in which I take students with little or no statistical background to analyse the emergence and survival of political regimes with a dynamic probit model. The module has been lauded by the external examiner in 2019 as an "[e]xemplary course (…) clear structure, scaffolded approach, pedagogically sound. Incredibly interesting and one of the best I have seen in application of quantitative methods to political and social research."
I believe it is important to listen to student feedback in a continuous feedback dialogue in order to be able to consider a response in a timely manner, rather than learning about these at the end of term, when it is too late. The end-of-term evaluations are nonetheless highly valuable, however, as they contain important implications for the module design in the following year.
What are Quantitative Methods?
To answer this question, I have put together a little video with Prof Ulf Liebe from Sociology:
Analysis and Writing in Political Science
I am very passionate about quantitative analysis in Political Science and also about the way in which the results of research are being presented. Rather than elaborating on the principles of writing in Political Science myself, I am referring the reader to the excellent article by James A. Stimson who has brought this topic to paper in much more eloquent a way than I ever could. My focus is on delivering the tools to abide by the principles set out by Stimson, and thus provide two Moodle Skills Modules to this end (note that these will not be running in the academic year of 2022/23):
Have you ever looked at an academic journal article and marvelled at how well it is set out? How clean the formatting looks, how professionally tables and figures are presented? Or are you looking for a programme that makes the creation of a bibliography a breeze? Then look no further than LaTeX and this Moodle skills Module!
Another Moodle Skills Module which aims to increase numeric literacy in both students and faculty. Featuring a chapter on R Markdown and thus allowing the author to set not only beautiful, but also reproducible documents, it is the ideal sequel/addition to the previous module.
Should you come to this section as a person who is external to the university, but you still wish to learn how to analyse quantitative data in R, then please follow this link to my GitHub page.
I am currently writing two (yes, two) textbooks for Oxford University Press titled:
- "Introduction to Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences - with R", and
- "Introduction to Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences - with SPSS".
The books respond to the growth of quantitative methods training in the social sciences across UK universities. They will introduce students to these methods in an engaging manner, embedding them in examples that are appealing to UK-based students. They will feature highly developed pedagogy, with video resources to facilitate a flipped learning approach as well as providing a hands-on approach to the subject in which students can put their learning into practice. Anticipated publication: 2022.
Feedback from reviewers to date:
- "One of the best books in quants and RStudio I have read (so far)."
- "A splendid book by an author whose writing makes you like him and want to stick with it."
- "I am really very impressed by the quality and clarity of expression and communication in these chapters. I would be very happy to have this author teach my students!"
- "It is much more conversational and accessible than the style in Imai, with more examples for each concept."
- Spurious Conclusions: The Implications of Missing Data on Global Studies of Modernisation
- Modernisation Revisited: The Case of sub-Saharan Africa
UG / MA Dissertation Supervision
I am unable to advise on UG and PGT dissertations this academic year, as I will be on research leave in terms 2 and 3.
Advice & Feedback Hours
I am on research leave in terms 2 and 3 and will not be available for appointments.
!!! Due to research leave in terms 2 and 3 I will not be able to provide academic references during this time. !!!
Reference Request Policy
At the University of Warwick, we believe that there is a positive obligation to respond to a request for a reference where reasonably requested from a student for employment and / or academic purposes. To optimise this, and to ensure the completion of references on time, and that best reflect the duty of care we have to our students, this process needs to be carefully managed.
So, what’s the setup?
I do not provide references unless you have informed me well in advance that you require a reference. Out of courtesy, and in your own interest, this should be no less than 21 working days from when I would be expected to receive contact from the reference addressee.
The notification should take the form of an email with
- an attached CV
- an attached copy of your HEAR statement (available through "myWarwick")
- an attached copy of your cover letter for each position sought. In the absence of a cover letter, an outline of
- your motivation for the position
- why you think you are suitable for this position
- what you are bringing to the position
- how this position is going to benefit / influence your future development / career
It is best practice to follow this up with a meeting in my advice and feedback hours. You can book an appointment here. The notification period and the attached documents will allow me to write the most helpful reference possible.
Failure to notify me in good time and with the correct documentation risks seriously undermining the quality of the reference and could result in a missed deadline for the reference submission. Whilst I have a duty of care as an academic to you as a student, a legal duty of care also exists towards the addressee who has sought the reference.
Please note that under no circumstances do I provide references for personal tutees who have not attended their personal tutee meeting of the current academic term.