I am currently working on three projects with a range of co-authors and collaborators attached to each of these
(1) 21st Century Political Campaigning
Working with Kate Dommett from the University of Sheffield and Sam Power from the University of Exeter, we are currently exploring the way political parties in Australia and the UK are campaigning in the digital space. This includes their use of consultants, any forms of inter-party learning as well as the consequences of this for party organisation.
I was recently awarded $374,000 from the Australian Research Council to investigate my project titled: 'Data, Digital and Field: Political Parties and 21st Century Campaigning' between 2019 and 2021. Building on some of my previous work, as well as the project with Kate and Sam, 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 implications data-driven field and digital operations have for electoral regulation and liberal democracy.
Depending on money and time, I would like to conduct: (1) field experiments on increasing turnout in areas with high migrant or indigenous populations, an issue which remains problematic despite Australia's system of compulsory voting; and (2) some survey experiments on the effect of different types of political advertising online.
(2) Populist and Radical Right Voter Attitudes in the US, UK and Australia
While historically the focus of scholars 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 hope to have an initial working paper emerge from this project in early 2019.
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. This survey will run around the time of the next Australian federal election - expected in May 2019.
(3) Party Trusts and Campaign Finance
Working with Narelle Miragliotta from Monash University, Josh Holloway From Flinders University and Anika Gauja from the University of Sydney, we are seeking to understand the role that party trusts play, as well as the way that the political parties in Australia use fundraising entities such as electorate level 'forums' to circumvent disclosure and donation regimes. We are aiming to have a working paper ready in late 2019.