Stuart provides quantitative research expertise to ongoing projects in WISERD’s Civil Society Research Centre and develops new research projects that build on the overlap between his ongoing research and the interests of the Centre. He also works with colleagues to identify and exploit new research opportunities from the overlap between the Centre and WISERD’s extensive research portfolio. In addition, Stuart also works as an Understanding Society Policy Fellow, conducting research into the relationship between volunteering and turnout, to determine whether government support for volunteering schemes could help improve young people’s representation in politics.
Stuart graduated from the University of West England in 2009 with a BA (Hons) in Politics, before moving to Nottingham University to complete a Master’s Degree in Political Research. He then completed his PhD in Politics, studying the political apathy and alienation of young people in Britain and the effect of each on their political and civic participation, also at the University of Nottingham before moving to join WISERD in July 2015.
Stuart’s research focusses on the study of political and civic attitudes and behaviour using social surveys and quantitative research methods. He has participated in research on:
- The political and civic engagement of young people in Britain
- The measurement, causes and consequences of political apathy and political alienation
- The evolution of political and civic engagement over time as a result of social, economic, political and technological change
- The Intergenerational transmission of political and civic engagement
- British politics, Euroscepticism and Brexit
Stuart’s current research falls into two broad strands. First, his work as an Understanding Society Policy Fellow involves a study of how volunteering could help more young people vote in elections by providing them with the skills, networks and resources that facilitate political interest and the confidence to participate in politics. Furthermore, he is working with a wide range of academic and third sector stakeholders from throughout Britain to assess how government support for volunteering schemes could help improve youth electoral participation. In addition, he is also working with colleagues in WISERD and Newcastle University on further research into volunteering and its effects on other forms of political and civic engagement.
Second, Stuart is also building on the research started in his PhD thesis (which examined generational trends in political apathy and alienation and their effect on young people’s political behaviour) in a variety of ways, including studies of how generational differences in Euroscepticism have formed in the UK and their effect on the 2016 ‘Brexit Referendum’; how Euroscepticism can be transmitted from parents to children over time; and how political and civic behaviour (such as voting in elections) has evolved across generations. These projects have involved collaborations with a range of colleagues both within WISERD and beyond, including at Swansea University, Sciences Po and Newcastle University.