The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Stephen Elstub

Reader in British Politics


Stephen joined the Department of Politics at Newcastle University in 2015. His main research interests are in the theory and practice of democracy, democratic innovation, public opinion, political communication, civil society and citizen participation, all viewed through the lens of deliberative democracy.  His research is normative but applied, utilising mixed methods, locating his research on the critical intersection between normative political theory and empirical political science. He has held visiting positions at the 'Centre of Democracy’, at Åbo Akademi University and the ‘Centre for Deliberative and Global Governance’, at the University of Canberra and has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 2008. Stephen has been a POST Academic Fellow at the UK Parliament and an Academic Fellow at the Scottish Parliament, working on how parliamentary committees can be linked with mini-publics such as Citizens' Assemblies and Citizens' Juries. Dr. Elstub is the Co-Editor of the journal Representation: Journal of Representative Democracy. He is author of Towards a Deliberative and Associational Democracy (Edinburgh University Press 2008), editor of Democracy in Theory and Practice (Routledge 2012), and co-editor of the Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance (Edward Elgar 2019), Deliberative Systems in Theory and Practice (Routledge 2018) and Deliberative Democracy: Issues and Cases (Edinburgh University Press 2014).  He has been involved in a number of research projects funded by a variety of organisations including: the Economic and Social Research Council, Edinburgh City Council, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, the House of Commons, Involve, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, NESTA, Scottish Government Social Research and UK Research and Innovation. Stephen has also acted as an expert advisor to the North of Tyne Combined Authority; the European, UK, and Scottish Parliaments; and to the Scottish government.



PhD (2003) University of Sheffield

MA (1998) University of Leeds

BA (1997) University of Leeds


Research Interests

Democracy in theory and practice, particularly deliberative, associational, and participatory democracy. Specific focus on democratic innovation, mini-publics, citizens' assemblies, public opinion, political communication, televised election debates and civil society. 


POL3111 UK Parliamentary Studies

POL3112 Can Democracy be Saved?