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Department of Politics and International Relations
Nuffield College, University of Oxford



I am a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and the University's Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR). 

My research interests centre on elections and representation. In particular, most of my work is on electoral systems: why these institutions matter for politics (and when they don't), as well as how and why they were adopted. I am also developing a parallel research agenda on electoral behaviour, with a particular interest in cohort effects on voting and attitude formation. 


I completed my DPhil at Mansfield College, Oxford; previously, I graduated with first class honours from St. Antony's College, Oxford (MPhil in European Politics) and the University of Manchester (Bachelor's Degree in Politics and International Relations). You can find here a copy of my CV.

In my research, I employ quantitative methods, with a particular interest in statistical techniques for social measurement.

©  Tom Weller Photography

I have taught, in various capacities, a range of topics in political sociology, comparative government, European and  British politics as well as quantitative methods. 

I am no longer active on social media, so your best bet to get in touch is to drop an email at

In particular, if you are a student looking to apply for post-graduate studies, I am happy to offer advice and (a reasonable amount of) feedback. Emails from individuals from backgrounds that are underrepresented in academia are especially welcome.

The causes of human rights, self-determination and democracy in Eastern Europe are particularly close to my heart. Please consider making a donation towards these aims in Ukraine or in Belarus


© John Cairns

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