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Nicholas Dickinson


As a Lecturer in Politics, I support undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, both in terms of the delivery of core and specialist modules, and the supervision of students at all levels at the University of Exeter. 

I am a specialist in British and Commonwealth comparative politics, with my primary teaching responsibility being an in-depth third year module on British Politics, as well as seminar teaching in public policy and international relations at levels one and two, alongside supervision of undergraduate dissertations.

My doctoral research focused on remuneration for political work, with a particular emphasis on the regulation of salaries and expenses of members of parliament in ‘Westminster’-style democracies. The project spans themes of the economics of politics, the theory of independent regulation, as well as democratic accountability and the control of parliaments over their internal arrangements.  

In addition to examining the evolving legal relationship between parliaments and regulatory bodies such as the UK’s Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), the project also aimed to help explain the professionalisation of political work and the emergence of the political class in the UK and other advanced democracies.

“Advice Giving and Party Loyalty: an Informational Model for the Socialisation Process of New British MPs”. Parliamentary Affairs, Volume 71, Issue 2, 1 April 2018, Pages 343 -364,
with Nicole Bolleyer, “[Remuneration of political work in in Ireland: favorable conditions, but dependent on economic context]” in Le Saout, Rémy (ed.), La rémunération du travail politique en Europe. Berger-Levrault. May, 2019. 
with Nicole Bolleyer and James Mitchell, “[Remuneration of political work in the UK: from self-regulation to stricter control]” in Le Saout, Rémy (ed.), La rémunération du travail politique en Europe. Berger-Levrault. May, 2019.
Book Reviews
“Checkbook Elections?: Political Finance in Comparative Perspective”, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 57:1, December 2018, 135-137,
“Party rules? Dilemmas of Political Party Regulation in Australia”, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 56:2, February 2018, 268-270,
Blogs and Media
“Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar: (mis)connecting Brexit and the Expenses Scandal”. PSA Parliaments Blog, 3rd April, 2019.
“Why Do We Care What Our Politicians Get Paid?”. Democratic Audit Blog. Democratic Audit UK, 13th November, 2018.
“Harassment and Bullying at Westminster: the Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy, Parliamentary Standards Investigations, and the MPs’ Expenses Scandal”. PSA Parliaments Blog, 23rd July, 2018. 
“Reproducing The Political Class: How Socialisation Makes MPs More Loyal To Their Parties”. Democratic Audit Blog. Democratic Audit UK, 14th June 2018. 
“Socialising new British MPs: the role of good advice in cultivating legislators’ loyalty norms”. PSA Parliaments Blog, 15th November, 2017.
with Felix-Christopher von Nostitz, “Surveys from 38 years apart reveal changing face of student vote”. The Conversation. July 4th, 2017.

External impact and engagement

14th Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians, 27th-28th July 2019

In mid-2019, I presented work at the Wroxton workshop, an event co-sponsored by the Centre for Legislative Studies at the University of Hull and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). The Workshop is distinctive for drawing together scholars and parliamentarians for the purpose of presenting research findings likely to be of practical interest to members of parliaments. The 14th Workshop drew practitioners from a total of 27 countries.
International Parliamentary Regulators Conference, London, 11th-13th March, 2019.
In early 2019, I presented work at this conference of practitioners in parliamentary finance regulation, hosted by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), with participants from 13 countries, including Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Scotland, Wales, Zambia and the UK.
Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) report, “MPs’ Outside Interests”. 2018. 
Contributed research to this major review of the code of conduct related to outside interests conducted by the CSPL, providing comparative information on MPs official salaries and expenses in several countries. See summary table “International Comparisons for MPs’ Salaries”, pp. 36-37.


Prior to compleing my doctoral research, I completed a BA in History and Politics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 2013, and a masters (Mst.) in Modern British & European History also at Oxford in 2014. I came to Exeter in autumn 2015 and completed a masters (MRes) in Politics before beginning my PhD in autumn 2016.

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