Lecturer in British Politics
Brunel University London


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.


Research Interests

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

Current Research

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.

Social Action as a Route to the Ballot Box: Volunteering and Turnout
This project examines the benefits of volunteering for the political engagement of young people in the UK. Voting is the single most common and important form of political participation in a democracy, and yet today’s young voters have an unprecedented reluctance to turn up
Research Team:
Stuart Fox (Brunel University London)
Building Trust? Institutions and interactions of multi-level governance in the UK Germany and France
Overview This project utilised a mixed-methods design incorporating interviews, focus groups, a scoping analysis of secondary quantitative data and a cross-national survey to explore the role of trust and transparency within the context of multi-level governance. The core
Research Team:
Alistair Cole (Cardiff University), Ian Stafford (Cardiff University), Dominic Heinz, Stuart Fox (Brunel University London)
Young People and the EU Referendum
This project is a study of young people’s attitudes towards and engagement with the EU referendum campaign. Using data from a dedicated UK-wide survey of under 30s and a wide range of publicly available data and academic research we will address four key themes.
Research Team:
Stuart Fox (Brunel University London), Sioned Pearce (Cardiff University)
Higher Education and Civil Society
Overview This project explored the relationships between participation in higher education and engagement in civil society, especially at the local level. Do university graduates play a distinctive role in the institutions of civil society? More specifically, it examined the
Research Team:
Gareth Rees (Cardiff University), Chris Taylor (Cardiff University), Ceryn Evans (Cardiff University), Stuart Fox (Brunel University London)
Reports and Briefings
Volunteering and its Effects on Social Capital and Wellbeing in the UK: Insights from the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study
This research report was designed in collaboration between the author and colleagues from Volunteer Scotland, the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the Welsh Government...
Working Paper
Trust-transparency paradoxes: proceedings of an international conference
This short publication presents the main proceedings of an international conference held at Sciences Po Lyon, France, on 4 May 2018. The symposium pulled together several research initiatives around the central theme of trust–transparency paradoxes. Trust (and its corollary...
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Brexit and Public Opinion
It is hard to exaggerate the importance of public opinion when it comes to Brexit. The decision to leave the EU was itself, of course, the result of a public vote. And as the Brexit process rolls on, both sides anxiously parse every survey for evidence of what the public now...
Civil Society | January 2018
Conference Symposium: Family and Civil Society: across the generations
20th November 2018 |
Hosted by WISERD, this one day symposium will explore the role of the family in civil society engagement and the significance of intergenerational transmission in relation to political participation, trade unions and Euroscepticism. The day will also...