Quantitative Research Associate
Cardiff University

Stuart provides quantitative research expertise and support to projects throughout the Civil Society Research Centre, as well as develop links between those projects and work with colleagues to exploit new research opportunities from the overlap between the Centre’s extensive research portfolio.

Stuart graduated from the University of West England in 2009 with a BA (Hons) in Politics, before moving to Nottingham University to complete a Masters 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

  • The political and civic participation and engagement of young people
  • The causes, consequences and manifestations of political alienation and apathy
  • The effect of social evolution – including changes in social capital and post-materialism – on civic and political engagement
  • British politics
  • Political participation

Current Research

In addition to supporting projects within the Civil Society Research Centre, his current research builds on that developed in his PhD thesis, which studied a) the political participation of British Millennials, b) their political alienation and apathy, and c) the generational distinctiveness of the Millennials in terms of each. The study developed novel definitions, conceptualisations and measures of political participation, apathy and alienation, and challenged the conventional wisdom that today’s young people constitute a distinctly alienated cohort, transforming the boundaries of political participation through their embrace of alternative forms of political activity (such as Internet participation) as a substitute for more institutional and traditional forms. Rather, his thesis suggests that in the Millennials we are looking at the most politically apathetic generation in the history of British survey research, whose apathy is reflected in their unprecedented reluctance to participate in politics throughout various arenas of political life – including the electoral political process and the politics of their community. Moreover, the Millennials were also shown to be the least alienated generation in the British electorate, having a greater faith in their ability to influence political processes, and in the integrity of the political system and the actors within it, than their elders.

Following on from this study, his current research focusses on how ‘political alienation’ can be defined and measured, its effect on political and civic participation, and what its relationship with social capital and forms of social alienation might be. It also examines how and why the Millennials are so distinctive from previous generations in terms of their low levels of political and civic participation, as well as their unusually low levels of political alienation, and unusually high levels of political apathy.

Building Trust? Institutions and interactions of multi-level governance in the UK Germany and France
Overview This project will utilise 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
Research Team:
Alistair Cole (Cardiff University), Ian Stafford (Cardiff University), Dominic Heinz, Stuart Fox (Cardiff University)
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 (Cardiff University), 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 (Cardiff University)
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
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...