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Marie Staniforth

Political Science
Primary office:


Contemporary Political Thought

Teaching Interests:

  • History of political thought
  • Contemporary political thought
  • Democratic theory
  • Democratic Practice
  • The Philosophy of Social Research
  • Comparative politics


By bringing together political theory with institutional design, my research explores how our political institutions can be informed by agonism; a citizen-centred approach to democracy, which emphasises the importance of contestation and contingency.  Contextualised by multicultural and pluralist conflict, I explore how agonistic influences on both new and existing political institutions can render society more engaging, more inclusive and more virtuous.


Research Interests:

  • Contemporary political thought
  • Multiculturalism and pluralism
  • Post-structuralism
  • Democratic theory
  • Democratic innovations
  • New institutionalism
  • Qualitative methods



  • Paxton, M. “Agonistic Democracy: Rethinking Political Institutions in Pluralist Times.” Under contract with Routledge, expected 2019
  • Lowndes, V. and Paxton, M. (2018). “Can agonism be institutionalised?  Can institutions be agonised?  Prospects for democratic design”, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations (in print – copy available at OnlineFirst)
  • Paxton, M., Kolpinskaya, K. & Jonasova, J., (2015). Politics in Crisis? Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing 

  • Paxton, M. “Inclusiveness, Adversarialism and Perfectionism: Exploring the Three Approaches to Agonistic Democracy” in Paxton et al. (2015), Politics in Crisis? Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing 

  • Paxton, M., (2014). Sharing Democracy by Michaele L. Ferguson. Political Studies Review, 12(3): 407- 408 




PhD in Politics, University of Nottingham,  2015
  "Agonistic Democracy and the Challenges of Diversity: Exploring Practical Application of Conflict Mediation"

MRes in Politics, Univ. of Nottingham

BA Joint Honours in French and Politics, Univ. of Nottingham

RT @ebpkansas : Reporter @MelvynIngleby spoke to @FMichaelWuth , the @KUPoliticalSci professor who literally wrote the book on Turkish electo…

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