PhD student seeks to research the influence of non-traditional political organisations

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Christopher Robertson
Christopher Robertson

A PhD student at the University is seeking people who follow anti austerity groups on Twitter for his doctoral research – to find out whether there is a link between that and their participation in politics and political matters.

Christopher Robertson, who is also a Visiting Lecturer here, is interested in discovering whether people are becoming increasingly influenced by non-traditional political organisations.

He is looking for people – who fit his research criteria – to take part in a questionnaire, as part of his PhD studies. To take part in the survey, the participant must be over 18, and ‘follow’ an anti-austerity account on Twitter.

Christopher said: “The 21st Century has represented a worrying epoch for liberal-democratic politics. Correlating with global trends, notably in Greece and Spain, the 2007-2008 financial crash and the resulting ‘age of austerity’ in the UK, there has been a shift towards horizontal ‘bottom-up’ participation facilitated by social-networking platforms. Through these means, citizens can express grievances in a time where credence in the ballot box is waning.

“In the age where people are increasingly losing trust in elected representatives, I’m looking at why people ‘follow’ anti-austerity accounts on Twitter to find out what they seek to gain from this, how they come across this information, and whether this alters their political efficacy. In other words, how is this reconfiguring citizens’ political perceptions, behaviour and participatory practices in the UK?”

The link to the questionnaire can be found here: 

The deadline for completion is December 31, 2020. For further enquiries about the survey, please contact: