The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Maarja Luhiste

Senior Lecturer in Politics of Gender


I am Senior Lecturer in the Politics of Gender and Editor of Representation. My main research fields include political communication, comparative politics and elections, and survey research.

My central research interests lie primarily in the field of politics and gender. I am particularly interested in how different institutions - such as political parties, media (both traditional and new media), and electoral rules - either facilitate or hinder women’s representation across contexts and how citizens respond to that. I study these questions mostly in the context of European Parliament elections. Directly related to my research interests, I teach a third stage undergraduate module, 'Gender, Campaigns and Media' (POL3109).

I completed my BA in Government and Politics at the University of Tartu, Estonia, in 2007, and worked briefly as a civil servant in the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs before continuing my studies in the Netherlands, where I completed my MA in Political Science at the University of Leiden in 2009. The same year, I was awarded a Marie Curie Early Career Fellowship to study for a PhD at the University of Exeter within the wider Marie Curie Initial Training Network 'ELECDEM'. I completed my PhD on 'Candidate Gender and Electoral Success in PR List Electoral Systems' in 2013. I was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow for the European Research Council funded 'ResponsiveGov' project at University of Leicester between 2012 and 2015. In 2015, I was appointed to a Lectureship in Politics of Gender at Newcastle University. 

Current roles and responsibilities

GPS Athena SWAN Academic Lead

Twitter: @MaarjaLuh



Research Interests

My research interests include gender and political representation, participation and engagement; political communication; electoral systems; European Parliament elections; and quantitative research methods. While most of my research focuses on political elites, I am also engaged in projects that examine the public opinion aspect of gender and representation.

I am currently a Co-Investigator in a collaborative British Academy / Leverhulme Trust funded project "Information Meets Confidence: New Advances in the Measurement of Political (mis)information" with Dr Javier Sajuria (QMUL) and Dr Jorge Fabrega (Universidad del Desarrollo). 




Undergraduate Teaching

Module leader POL3109: Gender, Campaigns and Media

Feedback, guidance & consultation hours

Tue 11am-12:30pm

Wed 10:30am-12:00pm