Research in Politics at Stirling focuses on the internal and external challenges to European liberal democracy. Our work explores the impact of and interplay between internal pressures upon liberal democracies, such as devolution or the accommodation of minorities, and external challenges associated with the development of the European Union and the relationship with neighbouring countries outside of the EU. Within this context our research addresses questions of European Integration and Security Governance; Regionalism and Devolution, with a particular focus on Scottish politics and the impact of devolution on the UK party system, and contemporary debates regarding Citizenship in Liberal Democracies, including questions of national identity, the regulation of migration, and cultural rights for linguistic and ethnic minorities. Under the auspices of the Centre for Human Security and European Neighbourhood Studies we are developing a growing strand of research centred on discourses of human security and the manner in which perceptions of threats to human security shape the political agendas at both national and EU level and structure the relationship between Europe and its neighbours.
Current Research Projects in Politics include: The Scottish Political Achieve (SPA), which chronicles the political history of Scotland in the 20th and 21st century, with a particular focus on the 1979 and 1997 devolution referendums; The Nordic Prostitution Policy Reform Project, which investigates how ideas including gender equality, victimhood and trafficking in human beings have shaped prostitution policy debates across the Nordic region; The Politics of Managing Migration, which explores how mainstream Nordic political parties develop their immigration entry and integration policy preferences; The Strange Death of Labour Scotland, which analyses the last thirty years of Scottish Labour, from the arrival of Thatcherism in 1979 to the aftermath of the party's defeat in the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections; New Labour's Faustian Pact?, which examines New Labour's regulatory policy towards the city; and The Role of Religion in the Liberal Public Realm, which explores the rights and duties of religious and secular citizens in the light of recent controversies regarding the role of religion in a liberal polity.