Department of Social Sciences welcomes new lecturer in Politics

Friday, 30 September 2016

Department of Social Sciences welcomes new lecturer in Politics

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences are delighted to welcome Dr Jon Wheatley to the Department of Social Sciences as lecturer in Politics.

Dr Wheatley, who will lecture in comparative politics, joins us from the University of Zurich where he taught MA seminars on democratization, nations and nationalism. Primarily, his research focuses on democracy and patterns of political competition; he has also done work on constitution making. When asked about his research, Dr Wheatley explained that he is particularly interested in how political competition is being transformed by globalisation, and how the traditional concepts of Left and Right are starting to change. 

Dr Wheatley will be teaching a first year module entitled "Introduction to Politics" and will also teach a second year module called "Nationalism, Identity and Ethnicity." Having earned his PhD at the European University Institute in Fiesole in Italy, Dr Wheatley is now involved in developing an internet tool that helps floating voters decide who to vote for in elections.The Voting Advice Application (VAA) offers voters a series of questions concerning policy matters, then matches them to a party or candidate that best shares their views. It is hoped the VAA will help voters make informed choices in the Republic of Georgia's parliamentary elections on the 8th October. The VAA is developed by the Preference Matcher Consortium (PMC), of which Dr Wheatley is a founding member, and has been deployed in over thirty countries. For example, it was used successfully during Scotland’s Holyrood elections in May this year.

Dr Wheatley has also been connected with projects at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso where he has discussed democratization in West Africa. He also been invited to several conferences across the globe including Latin America, Japan, China and various European countries concerning the Voting Advice Applications and the data generated from them.

Dr Wheatley is looking forward to joining the Department of Social Sciences, in particular he is “looking forward to furthering my research in my particular field of interest, and sharing it with students to ensure their experience studying politics is a positive one."

Find out more about the Preference Matcher Consortium