The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Maarja Luhiste

Lecturer in Politics of Gender


I am Lecturer in the Politics of Gender and Editor of Representation. 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' and co-teach another third stage module, 'UK Parliamentary Studies'.

I completed my BA in Government and Politics at 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 University of Leiden in 2009. The same year, I was awarded a Marie Curie Early Career Fellowship to study for a PhD at University of Exeter within the wider Marie Curie Initial Training Network 'ELECDEM' under the supervision of Susan Banducci, Jeffrey Karp, and Daniel Stevens. 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

School Director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (2018 - present)

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. Currently, I am also working on a project examining how parenthood influences attitudes towards social spending.

Current externally funded research project(s):

I am currently a PI of a collaborative research project 'Gender, Campaign Coverage, and Mobilisation Effects' (funded by BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant). This project seeks to examine gender differences in campaign activity, media coverage, electoral success and mass political engagement in four ways: (i) collect data on individual candidates' media exposure during the 2014 European Parliament elections; (ii) gather additional data on all the relevant MEP candidate characteristics; (iii) merge the newly collected data with existing data sources (e.g. the 2014 EES Social Media Study); and (iv) produce research outputs explaining the above mentioned gender differences.




Undergraduate Teaching

Module leader POL3109: Gender, Campaigns and Media

Lecturer POL3111: UK Parliamentary Studies

Feedback, guidance & consultation hours

Mon 11am-12pm

Thu 1-2pm and 3-4pm