I am currently working on two main projects with a range of co-authors and collaborators attached to each of these.
(1) 21st Century Political Campaigning
I was awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award fellowship and $374,000 from the Australian Research Council for my project: 'Data, Digital and Field: Political Parties and 21st Century Campaigning' for the period 2019-2021. Building on some of my previous work, as well as collaborative work with international colleagues, I am interested in the ways that political parties are responding to changing modes of political participation and political communication, how they construct a modern data-driven campaign, how sophisticated these campaigns are, as well as what the implications of data-driven field and digital operations are for how parties engage with members, supporters and the general public, as well as the implications for liberal democracy.
From this project, I have a monograph I have just published with Palgrave which examines data-driven campaigning by Australian political parties. The book draws on unparalleled data for an Australian political science project. This includes 160 interviews, participant observation on two field campaigns for two different parties and original survey data. The cover for the book is below and you can find more about the book, including release dates and endorsements received thus far on the Palgrave website by clicking here
I have also signed a contract with Oxford University Press to write a co-authored monograph looking at data-driven campaigning across the democratic world. To be co-authored with Dr Katharine Dommett (University of Sheffield), this promises to be one of the first major cross-national analyses of data-driven campaigning by political parties and we aim for publication in 2022.
Finally, along with colleagues at UQ (Frank Mols, Hema Selvanathan) and ANU (Annika Werner), we are applying for funding from the Australian Research Council to conduct a project on microtargeting. Unlike most projects which explore questions about campaigning, we are proposing to draw on theoretical insights and experimental designs from psychology to unpack the mechanisms which determine when, where and how microtargeting techniques influence voting behaviour and attitudes to democracy. This includes conducting controlled laboratory experiments in the UQ psychology lab.
(2) Populist and Radical Right Voter Attitudes in the US, UK and Australia
While historically the focus of those working on populism and the radical right has been the 'supply-side' (parties movements and actors), scholars are increasingly turning to the 'demand-side' (voters) to better understand the success of populist and radical right parties. Working with Shaun Ratcliff from the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, we have surveyed voters in the US, UK and Australia utilising YouGov's online panels in each country. There are a number of questions we are pursuing in this project and we have an article currently under review from this work.
In a second project, Ben Moffitt from the Australian Catholic University, Annika Werner from the ANU and I have devised a set of survey items to further explore populist and nativist attitudes. This includes running a survey experiment which aims to explore whether we can prime respondents' views on immigration, national identity and refugees through the use of video content shared widely on social media. We have one article that has been published from this research and a second is currently under review.