Projects

Recent research outputs and projects in academia and the third sector

Impact & Knowledge Exchange Postdoctoral Fellowship - July-Dec 2022

In collaboration with the national human rights education charity Journey to Justice, this project uses the power of storytelling to upskill volunteers and create change in communities. It validates an educational toolkit and co-produces training materials that promote transformative engagement around solutions to economic (in)justice. The toolkit was developed by Journey to Justice (https://economicinjustice.org.uk/) and me in response to awareness of deepening economic inequality, made more pronounced by the pandemic. It hosts stories of individual and collective action and analysis of root causes of and possible solutions to economic inequality. To deliver its impact this project will host workshops with established community partners in the East and West Midlands – Sharewear Clothing Scheme and West Midlands Sustainable Schools Network. Using a mix of pre- and post-workshop questionnaires and follow-up interviews, the project aims to further understand the impact storytelling has to galvanise ‘ordinary people’ to take action for economic justice.

Social Movements in Elections - Monograph 2021

Published by Palgrave Pivot (2021), my book focuses on the interrelatedness of social movements and elections and develops the theoretical dimension of movement-voter interaction. It posits that social movements engage in communicative tactics during elections to highlight specific issues and to convey ideas, values and beliefs to the voter. Applying methodological tools from political discourse analysis, the book considers the breadth of on- and offline tactics employed by the UK movement groups The People's Assembly Against Austerity and Extinction Rebellion in the 2015, 2017 and 2019 general elections. It reveals that both groups actively engaged in movement-voter interaction that sought to shine a light on the issues of austerity and the environment while placing democratic pressure on a future government. Qualitative content analysis of concomitant media coverage and manifesto pledges reveals the extent to which various messages rooted in movement-voter interaction were amplified or challenged by these electoral actors. The book finally argues the case for social movement-voter interaction as a key aspect of social movement and political communication research.


Economic (In)Justice Project 2020 - present

From May to September 2020, I was the project developer for Journey to Justice's Economic Injustice project. I researched and analysed the UK’s wealth gap, identified stories of collective and individual action that challenge inequality and economic injustice, facilitated the creation of an online action pack, and participated in grant writing and fundraising. I have continued as a volunteer and in March 2021 became the Project Coordinator responsible for delivering this major national project focused on economic justice.

Doctorate 2016-2019

My doctoral project, funded by Midlands3Cities/Arts and Humanities Research Council, analysed the campaigning strategies, tactics and arguments around the National Health Service (NHS) that were employed by a social movement and the two main political parties in the 2015 and 2017 UK general elections.  Using NVivo and Critical and Political Discourse Analysis, I analysed the language of online and offline communication, including tweets, activist websites, podcasts, visual performances on the street and other social media video messaging.

My research revealed that movements actively engage in novel and more traditional political communicative practices during elections and argued that such communication often challenges official political party and media messaging by presenting alternative political discourses to the voting public.

The thesis was supervised by Prof. David Deacon and Prof. Andreas Bieler. Findings from this project are being prepared for my forthcoming book,

Social Movements in Elections: UK Anti-Austerity and Environmental Campaigning 2015-2019 (Palgrave Pivot)