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Current Research

  • Over the last few decades, nationalism has again experienced a resurgence across Europe. A common understanding, in both the academic literature and broader political commentary, is that the backlash to globalisation and European integration is incentivising parties to increasingly prioritise defences of the central state's conception of national identity, especially through nativist anti-immigrant appeals. However, my thesis demonstrates that this common understanding is both theoretically problematic and empirically unsupported. Instead, I argue that significant reforms to EU governance in the late 1980s and early 1990s have instead encouraged parties to reduce the saliency of central state identity, and increasingly prioritise other forms of identity, especially at the sub-national level. Thus, I find that the EU has not affected the saliency of anti-immigrant appeals, but it has reduced the saliency of appeals to aid co-national kin in neighouring countries. In contrast, these reforms mean that the EU has increased the saliency of ethnoregional appeals, focused on sub-national autonomy or independence.  



  • How parties respond to different levels of information during election campaigns, and what forms of information are most important in election campaigns. This is based on a qualitative analysis of an extreme case of low information to develop a theory of how parties respond and what forms of information matter the most: the 2022 Seanad bye-election for the University of Dublin constituency. This will then be followed by a cross-country quantitative test of the theory. This is in conjunction with Sinéad C. M. Harrington.

  • The relationship between anti-immigrant attitudes and radical right voting, with a special focus on why Ireland has no successful radical right party. In conjunction with Stefanie Sprong.

  • Whether a transnational cleavage based on support for or opposition to EU integration and globalisation is emerging in Europe, or if EU integration is instead a cause of shifts in existing cleavage structures (particularly economic left-right and social liberalism/conservatism). In conjunction with Jesper Lindqvist. 

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