The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Governance and Political Organisations

Governance and Political Organisations

Research Cluster

This research cluster has a particular interest in how political systems, institutions and groupings are evolving as both arenas for political action as well as actors that steer society towards particular goals, in light of global and local challenges.

The co-ordinator of this cluster is Tony Zito. The postgraduate representative is Ton Caygill.

Research agenda

Core research focuses on:

  • Africa and Asia
  • Britain, Europe, the EU and
  • North America
  • civil society
  • electoral processes and politics
  • political communication
  • the policy-making process

It also looks at:

  • democratic governance
  • social and political involvement (social capital)
  • political parties and party systems
  • interest group politics
  • Europeanisation
  • environmental politics
  • multi-level interactions between levels of governing
  • political relationships and interactions within and between different types of institutions

In addition to these, the cluster operates as an academic community to discuss questions of comparative method and case study work, and their application to research.

Core cluster activities

The cluster offers a wide range of events for its community of academics and postgraduates. It schedules research seminars as well as research and methodological workshops. It acts as a forum for the presentation of research and for the discussion of papers.

It also offers an informal space to discuss new ideas and partial drafts of papers and grant proposals.

The cluster has a strong goal to advance the learning of its postgraduate community. It offers academic professional training through the workshops and seminars, as well as giving the postgraduates the opportunities to present the elements of theses, conference papers, project and grant proposals, applications, job talks and other academic tasks.

The cluster also serves as co-host for the Jean Monnet Centre at Newcastle University. The centre has the role of facilitating EU research throughout the HASS Faculty as well as the wider region.

As co-host to the centre, we normally co-host at least one research seminar on European integration studies per year and one session involving an EU practitioner per year.

The Impact of the 2016 Referendum on UK Membership of the EU

The cluster held a one-day conference on the impact of the EU referendum on Friday 16 September 2016. This workshop saw a range of fascinating talks and papers presented by practitioners, academics and postgraduates.  Practitioners included Ms. Judith Kirton-Darling, MEP, and Guy Opperman, MP.

Other events and seminars are held throughout the year. 


Staff involved in this research cluster are listed below.

StaffList: Governance and Political Organisations

Dr Rachel Carr
Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6436

Dr Alistair Clark
Reader in Politics

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7922

Dr Emily Clough
Senior Lecturer in Politics

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6737

Dr Richard Dodgson
Lecturer in International Politics

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7528

Professor Tim Gray
Senior Research Investigator

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 0115

Dr Maarja Luhiste
Senior Lecturer in Politics of Gender

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7506

Dr Jocelyn Mawdsley
Senior Lecturer in European Politics

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7478

Dr Nick Randall
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6997

Dr Katharine Rietig
Senior Lecturer in International Politics

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7742

Professor Anthony Zito
Professor of European Public Policy

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7554


Projects that form part of this research cluster are listed below.

Postgraduates' Projects

Our postgraduates are working on a diverse selection of subjects within this research cluster.

Thomas Caygill A critical analysis of the extent and effectiveness of post-legislative scrutiny in the UK Parliament
Giuseppe Gargano The European agricultural and rural model and its export in the Euro-Mediterranean area in the context of the Barcelona Process
David Irwin Characteristics of influential business associations in east Africa
Craig Johnson Co-operation or competition? Incentives and obstacles to co-operation between British centre-left parties in an era of hung parliaments
Rebecca Korda Is the under-ten metres English fishing fleet doomed? A critical analysis of the current parlous state of the inshore commercial fisheries sector in England and its future prospects
Cahir O'Doherty Conflict, Culture and Closure: The Intertext between Popular Culture and Security at the End of Wars
Ruth Puttick Innovation and public entrepreneurship in English city government: what is the role of philanthropic organisations?
Sarina Theys The Soft Power of (non-Western) Small States: The cases of Bhutan and Qatar
Anna Wambach Representing Europe: The Character of EU Coverage in British News Media