ESRC 1+3 studentship

About me

I have previously worked as a teacher and in human rights advocacy. I hold an MA (Soc Sci) in Politics from the University of Glasgow, an MSc in African Politics from SOAS and a Masters degree in Research Methods from Birkbeck, University of London.

My research

My PhD thesis, fieldwork for which begins in summer 2015, considers the relationships between contemporary Malawian parliamentarians and their constituencies. The interest is in understanding how MPs see their constituencies and the role(s) they must perform there, the strategies they adopt for “”managing home,”” and the stylistic/performative choices MPs make as they present themselves to their constituents for judgement.

Of fundamental importance will be an exploration of variations in what Richard Fenno terms these “”home styles.”” I will explore the extent to which variation can be said to be a function of the unique characteristics of individual MPs and their subjective judgements and preferences, the extent to which variation stems, on the contrary, from the objective characteristics of particular constituencies (e.g. rural vs. urban) and in what ways these two might connect in determining actual behaviour.

The thesis aims to contribute an unusual “”bottom-up”” perspective to the already-scant literature on African parliaments, as well as exploring sub-national variations in democratisation, representation and political linkages between politicians and populations.


Dr. Tom Young
Dr. Alastair Fraser

External links