PSR Symposia and New Ideas

PSR is a forum for publishing results from symposia. These can be early versions of what may become more extensive articles, exploring and fleshing out new ideas and directions for study. 

Papers in the Symposia and New Ideas section are limited to 3000 words inclusive of all notes and references. 


Issue 3/2022: fake news, sexual assault and political behaviour, conservative values, protests and more.

The whole issue 3/2022 can be found here.







Podcast #19: Activist Parties and Hybrid Party Behaviours: A Typological Reassessment of Partisan Mobilisation – Dr Alejandro M. Peña

There is a certain inconsistency between theoretical expectations about the behaviour of political parties under democracy, and recent developments concerning the rise of protest politics, the appeal of populist parties and the overall crisis of liberal democratic institutions” – says dr Alejandro M. Peña.

The author points to current resources reducing the organisational trade-offs previously assumed to restrict the combination of electoral appeal with partisan militancy. The podcast is based on dr Peña’s PSR article: Activist Parties and Hybrid Party Behaviours: A Typological Reassessment of Partisan Mobilisation.


Article: Peña A. M. (2021), Activist Parties and Hybrid Party Behaviours: A Typological Reassessment of Partisan Mobilisation, Political Studies Review 4/2021

Alejandro M. Peña is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of York. He is the author of Transnational Governance and South American Politics: The Political Economy of Norms (2016, with Palgrave) and publishes on issues of state-society relations and contentious politics, Latin American political economy, transnational governance, and the sociology of international relations.

PSR increases its impact factor again!

We are happy to announce that this year Political Studies Review, a journal edited and managed by a team based at Brunel University London, has increased its impact factor again. PSR is now ranked 42/187 in the Political Science category for 2021 (47 for 2020), and our impact factor increased to 3.248.

Last year PSR tripled its impact factor from 1.053 to 3.241 and was ranked 47/182 in the Political Science category. We are happy to and we continue to rise up the rankings.

It’s a great success as well as an excellent validation of the team’s commitment and an innovative approach to research dissemination.

Political Studies Review provides a unique intellectual space for rigorous high-quality peer-reviewed original research across political science and the study of politics in related fields that aims at stimulating wide-ranging debate and cutting-edge discussion of current disputes and issues in the discipline within the UK and internationally.

The journal also operates an innovative approach to research communications. As they state: “In the era of fake news, spreading reliable information and popularizing science is a great responsibility and challenge. The editorial team of Political Studies Review is committed to presenting and visualizing research data to boost dissemination. We want to introduce research findings and articles published in PSR to a wider audience.

Podcast guidelines – updated

We have recently updated our podcasting guidelines. You can find it here: PSR podcasting guidelines – Political Studies Review: our blog (, as well as in the summary below.

In the era of widespread and often unverified information, science can start to be considered as just another voice in the room. Given that our mission is to provide high-quality scientific analysis for a wider audience in an easy to understand manner, podcasts can be an invaluable way of getting the key findings from your article across to the broader public.

A great example of how engaging and professional talks raised a topic’s or person’s profile is professor Brene Brown’s TED talk has been viewed over 41 million times and made her a global superstar. Or writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book “We Should All Be Feminists” has become a worldwide bestseller after her talk.1

Example 1

Example 2

Our idea is much more humble. We aim to start a series of short podcasts with a duration of up to 140s (however, due to technical reasons your recording should be no longer than 135 sec). The key point is to explain the major idea of the PSR publication by its author. You can create a podcast that is a short digital audio recording of your talk, or a video podcast.

Example 3

You can also include any interesting visual content connected with your article (video, pictures, graphs, charts, etc).

Example 4

Once you decide to participate, here’s what we recommend:


Get your audience interested. Show them the topic in the wider context and why it’s important in the first couple of sentences. Try to connect major points of your podcast with key political or social challenges. Don’t make your talk too abstract. Show the importance of your research and why are you so passionate about it. Be aware that some of your viewers/ listeners may need some description to help them understand why the topic matters.


Try and keep your podcast brief – no more than 135 seconds or even shorter. Ensure that your talk gets straight to the point, keep things simple and tie every element in your presentation to the theme. Remember about a clear structure.


You are probably going to communicate with people who don’t know the topic on which you are an expert. Avoid academic jargon and if it’s necessary to do so, try to explain complex terms. Using words no one understands will confuse listeners. The real challenge is to talk about complex concepts in an easy to understand way, not the other way round.


What you want to say needs to be you. Although you might choose to prepare a written script, do use words you would normally use, in regular conversations.


“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Leave your listeners with a sparkling thought – something to be remembered by.


• Have you decided on words that express your meaning correctly?
• Could you be less abstract?
• Have you got things in the best order?
• Is your argument coherent?
• Are your facts right?
• Is the tone of voice right?


  • Choose a comfortable place.
  • Minimize distractions: choose a quiet place, and – in the case of a video recording – a calm background with good light).
  • When you start recording wait about 3s before you start speaking.
  • Similarly, when you finish speaking wait before switching off the camera.
  • Send us your script – it will help us to prepare subtitles.
  • If you prefer to speak in your native language – do so.
  • Just prepare a precise translation to be transformed into subtitles.
  • You can also attach any interesting visual content you want to use to explain your point (videos, pictures, graphs, charts, etc) – we’ll use it in your podcast.

Sources and inspirations:

(1) M. Aarons-Mele The Myth Of The TED Talk, “Forbes”, 12.01.2018

(2) K. Roman, “Writing that works”

Podcast #18: Rethinking Democratic Innovations: A Look through the Kaleidoscope of Democratic Theory- Hans Asenbaum

Democratic innovations such as citizens’ assemblies are commonly conceptualized from a deliberative democratic perspective. Here, citizens come together to deliberate political issues and jointly develop solutions. While this perspective is important, the wide range of democratic theories has much more to offer” – says dr Hans Asenbahm.

He argues that looking through just one perspective, as social scientists usually do, limits what they can see. The podcast is based on dr Asenbaum’s PSR article: Rethinking Democratic Innovations: A Look through the Kaleidoscope of Democratic Theory – Hans Asenbaum, 2021 (


Article: Asenbaum H. (2021), Rethinking Democratic Innovations: A Look through the Kaleidoscope of Democratic Theory – Hans Asenbaum, 2021 (, Political Studies Review 2022

Hans Asenbaum is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. His work focuses on new forms of democratic engagement and radical democratic politics.

Issue 2/2022: ethics, power, the boundaries of political science, gendered elections, gendered budgets and more

The whole issue 2/2022 can be found here.


Experiments with Politicians: Ethics, Power, and the Boundaries of Political Science



Early Results



The Best Paper Award: 2021

We are happy to announce, that the PSR Best Paper Award for 2021 goes to Prof. Jacob S. Lewis (Corruption Perceptions and Contentious Politics in Africa: How Different Types of Corruption Have Shaped Africa’s Third Wave of Protest).

This excellent article asks the following question: Does corruption increase general and anti-government protests? As the author claims scholarship has produced seemingly incompatible results, with some research demonstrating a strong connection between corruption and the onset of contentious politics and other research finding that heightened perceptions of corruption decrease activism.

The article addresses this puzzle by examining how different types of corruption condition diverging contentious outcomes. Focusing on two highly salient forms of corruption in the African context—elite corruption and police corruption—this article argues that the different consequences, salience, and costs associated with these two forms help to condition whether citizens rise up or stay home.

This argument is tested via two methods. First, it draws from a survey experiment conducted in five Nigerian states in 2017. The survey experiment tests whether exposure to different types of corruption affects willingness to join in protests. Second, it draws from statistical analysis of geo-located perceptions of corruption and protest across Africa, incorporating checks for both collinearity and endogeneity into the model. The statistical analysis examines whether heightened perceptions of corruption correlate with increased counts of general and anti-government protests. The results from both methods demonstrate that elite corruption is positively correlated with protest, whereas police corruption is not.