Professor Michael Lister

Professor of Politics

School of Law and Social Sciences


Michael is Professor of Politics. He joined the Department in November 2007, having previously been Lecturer in Politics at the University of Surrey and an ESRC/Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, where he also gained his PhD. His research and teaching interests focus around the intersections of terrorism/counterterrorism and public understandings of security and citizenship. He has been invited to speak about his research by the Home Office, police officers and independent review bodies. Michael is currently Research Lead for the School of Law and Social Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught


  • U23122    The Government and Politics of the USA
  • U23176    Counter Terrorism in Comparative Perspective


  • P23120    Critical Approaches to Terrorism


Michael is currently supervising two research students within the department and is keen to supervise promising candidates.  He would particularly welcome proposals on any aspect of citizenship, political participation, community cohesion and the politics of anti-terrorism policies.

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Tim Wakeman How do Social Movements emerge and bring about social change? A case study of Focus E15 Active


Michael's research coalesces around a concern with the ways that the state influences citizens' behaviour. This happens directly, (coercively even), but also indirectly. State actions support and propose norms of behaviour which influence how individuals behave as the norms that policies and actions propagate and support have effects beyond those intended by the original action or initiative.  These interests take in areas such as Citizenship, Political Participation, Comparative Welfare State analysis, (New) Institutionalism and State theory.  

He has worked on an ESRC funded project entitled 'Anti-Terrorism, Citizenship and Security in the UK', with Dr Lee Jarvis (University of East Anglia), which aims to examine to what extent citizens of the United Kingdom feel that their security has been enhanced (or even diminished) by contemporary anti-terrorism measures.

He is currently working on a project which examines the influence of public opinion on UK counter terrorism policy.

Centres and institutes


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Further details

  • 2013-Present Reader in Politics, Oxford Brookes University
  • 2007-2013 Senior Lecturer in Politics, Oxford Brookes University
  • 2005-2007 Lecturer in Politics, University of Surrey
  • 2004-2005 ESRC/ODPM Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Birmingham
  • 2000-2004 PhD in Political Science, University of Birmingham
  • 1999-2000 MA in Research Methods (Political Science), University of Birmingham
  • 1996-1999 BSocSci Political Science, University of Birmingham