Professor Christopher Hanretty

Personal profile

Teaching

I take our first-year undergraduate module Introduction to Politics and Government. This course gives students an introduction to the study of politics, and discusses the key institutional choices made by democratic states. Is it better to have a large legislature or a small one? Should the executive depend on the legislature or is it better to have a presidential system which keeps these two branches separate?  

Research

I carry out research in two broad areas. One area concerns representation, and in particular the link between what constituents think and what their representatives in Parliament do. As part of this area, I develop methodologies for estimating public opinion in small areas.

A second area of research concerns the politics of the judiciary. Our courts increasingly take decisions in matters that, once upon a time, would have been described as exclusively political in nature. I am interested in how judges take decisions, and whether the effect of their decisions is to advantage some interests in society (governmental interests, interests of experienced litigants) rather than others.

Impact and engagement

I've worked with a large number of media organisations to help anticipate the likely results of elections, not always successfully. I've worked with a range of companies to provide consultancy services on matters related to my research, and I try as far as possible to ensure my research reaches a wider public by blogging regularly, tweeting, and giving evidence to parliamentary committees.

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