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Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
I am a Research Associate in The Productivity Institute at the University of Manchester, researching how UK productivity is affected by the structure of its political institutions. More broadly, my research concerns how institutional structures and underlying assumptions affect policymaking in the UK’s political institutions. Previously, I worked at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy and the University of Surrey. I have a PhD (2019) and MA Politics (2014) from the University of Leeds.
January 2022 - December 2022
University of Cambridge
- Research Associate
- I worked on a Review of the UK Constitution in collaboration with the Institute for Government. My main research focus was on how England is governed within the Union and at the subnational level. I also edited a series of guest papers from constitutional experts.
July 2020 - December 2021
- Research Associate
- I worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, based in the Department of Sociology. I worked on the project ‘Local Institutions, Productivity, Sustainability and Inclusivity Trade-offs’ (LIPSIT), which sought to identify the institutional arrangements at the regional level that tend to lead to the ‘good’ management of policy trade-offs.
August 2017 - April 2018
Leeds International Study Centre
- British Politics Module Lead; designing modules; creating VLE pages; writing and delivering lectures and seminars; writing and marking assessments; second marking; organisation and leadership of field trip; personal tutoring.
October 2015 - May 2019
Field of study
- Ontological Social Policy Analysis: An investigation into the ontological assumptions underpinning the social security reforms of the UK Coalition Government 2010-2015
This article engages with two meta-theoretical approaches to social analysis, ‘morphogenetic theory’ and ‘constructivist institutionalism’, and specifically explores how the former fares under the critical scrutiny of the latter. The key proponent of constructivist institutionalism, Colin Hay, has offered two detailed critiques of morphogenesis tha...
This paper contributes to the development of a critical realist approach to discourse analysis by combining aspects of ‘critical discourse analysis’ (CDA) and ‘the morphogenetic/morphostatic approach’ (M/M). Unlike poststructuralist discourse theory, CDA insists on the maintenance of two distinctions: (i) between discourse and other aspects of soci...
David Cameron’s leadership of the Conservatives took as its starting point the assumption that the party needed to modernise, requiring a move towards the political ‘centre ground’. This shift presented the party leadership with a series of challenges, including brand detoxification, party management, and policy renewal. Modernisation also implied...
The Conservative Party's ‘levelling up agenda’ has been deployed both as a tool for public communication and as a broad motif for the government's policy programme, gaining a great deal of traction as a political message. Levelling up is a vision of a post-Brexit Britain in which there will be greater state investment, educational opportunity, regi...
This paper seeks to learn lessons about the role of the private sector in subnational governance by analysing the UK's Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). The paper outlines the public justifications for LEPs using documentary analysis, and then considers these against findings from interviews and network analysis, concluding that the justificati...
The corporate governance literature has often been concerned with whether individuals with a high number of board directorships are too busy to serve in their role. In the UK, many MPs also hold positions on boards of directors. This raises the question of whether MPs with board memberships are too busy to serve their constituents, party and parlia...
National governments are increasingly focusing on ‘place’ in attempts to tackle economic challenges. This puts pressure on regions to deliver productivity improvements. Drawing from stakeholder interviews, document analysis and secondary data analysis, this paper considers the productivity policy levers available to regional leaders. Three UK regio...
The Universal Credit reforms of the 2010s were a crucial turning point in the UK’s social security system. The reforms have been widely criticized in the literature for placing too much responsibility on welfare recipients, for using cultural explanations of poverty, and for prioritizing incentive-based solutions. This article argues that these com...
These are the slides from my paper to the 2021 Political Studies Association Conference. In order to investigate the government's 'levelling up agenda', this paper consults a range of sources, including parliamentary speeches, government publications, and campaign material. On this basis, it outlines a definition of 'levelling up' and argues that t...
These are the slides from my paper to the 23nd Annual Conference of the IACR (International Association for Critical Realism). I lay out a possible meta-theory for the analysis of discourse from a critical realist perspective. The paper takes key aspects of critical realism and simplifies them into an accessible framework that can be used alongside...
These are the slides for a paper given to the 'Money, Security and Social Policy' network during their November 2019 event: 'Current research on Universal Credit and the changing landscape of social security in the UK'. The slides relate to a journal paper on Ontological Policy Analysis and Universal Credit that is currently under review. The ev...
These are the slides from my paper to the 22nd Annual Conference of the IACR (International Association for Critical Realism). I argue that the morphogenetic approach (pioneered by Margaret Archer and Doug Porpora) can and should be integrated with critical discourse analysis (as outlined by Norman Fairclough and Lillian Chouliaraki). The paper was...
These are the slides from my paper to the Social Policy Association Annual Conference 2019. I argued that we need to consider the underlying ontological assumptions of policy documents, and I presented my own findings from an application of 'ontological policy analysis'. The subsequent paper is currently under review.
These are the slides from my presentation to the PSA Conservatism Specialist Group Workshop 2019. In the paper I begin to explore the question 'what are the ontological assumptions of conservatism?'. The paper is part of my long-term and slow-moving project to provides some answers to this question. I hope to publish a paper on this in the future.
These are the slides to my paper to the Political Studies Association Conference 2019. The presentation explores the ontological assumptions underpinning two key policy agendas of the David Cameron governments: (1) the Big Society, and (2) the social justice agenda. The full paper was written as a collaboration with Richard Hayton and is currently...
Here are the slides and abstract from my paper to the Political Studies Association Conference 2017. The paper explores some meta-theoretical issues in the work of Margaret Archer. The paper was later published as... Jack Newman (2019) Morphogenetic theory and the constructivist institutionalist challenge. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavio...