The University of Sheffield
Department of Politics

Research Fellow: Katharine Dommett

Dr Katharine Dommett, BA (Hons), MA (Distinction), PhD (University of Sheffield) Katharine Dommett

Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1708
Room: 108b



Katharine joined the Department in August 2012 as a Research Fellow on the ESRC funded project ‘Shrinking the State’. She completed her doctorate in 2012 which explored ideology, processes of ideological change and modernisation in relation to contemporary political parties (University of Sheffield).

Katharine’s research interests focus primarily upon the intersection between ideas, institutions and actors. These themes have inspired an interest in ideology, political parties, political rhetoric, political communication, parliament and governance. Katharine also has a keen interest in themes of democratic disengagement and participation, interests she explores in her capacity as Deputy Director of the Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics.

Current Research

My research focuses on three main areas:

I am currently working on an ESRC-funded project entitled ‘Shrinking the State: Reforming Arm's Length Bodies in an Age of Austerity'. This is a collaborative project between the University of Sheffield, the University of Birmingham and the University of Southern California. The project explores the current British Coalition Government’s attempt to reform arms’ length bodies, from multi-level and cross-national perspectives; and asks whether and to what extent reform of these ‘quangos’ will deliver the policy goal of a smaller, smarter, cheaper state.

I am also working on a range of projects exploring the role of political parties and politicians in contemporary politics. This includes a focus on the political and ideological rhetoric deployed by parties, change in political parties, and contemporary analysis of parties’ fortunes.

In my capacity as Deputy Director of the Crick Centre I am also developing a suite of training courses designed to equip academics with the skills by which to communicate their research to a range of different audiences. For more information see:


Other Recent Research Activities

Practitioner focused Research Activities:

Publically focused Research Activities:

I have also appeared twice on BBC Radio Wales to discuss the fortunes of the Coalition Government.

Academically focused Research Activities:

Professional Activities

Katharine is a member of the Political Studies Association (PSA), the Conservatives and Conservatism PSA Subgroup and the Rhetoric and Politics Society of the UK.