School of Politics and International Relations

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Matthew Goodwin

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Matthew Goodwin is Associate Professor of Politics, and Associate Fellow at Chatham House. His main areas of research are British and European politics, Euroscepticism, radical and extreme movements and public attitudes toward immigration and minority groups. Matthew received his BA (First Class) in Politics and Contemporary History in 2003, at the University of Salford, his Master of Arts in Political Science in 2004, at the University of Western Ontario, and his PhD in 2007, at the University of Bath. His doctoral thesis was supervised by Professors Roger Eatwell and Anna Cento Bull, and employed 'life history' interviews to explore the backgrounds, motivations and attitudes of political activists. During his time at Bath, Matt was also Temporary Lecturer of Politics.

Between 2007 and 2009, Matthew was Research Associate, in the Institute for Political and Economic Governance (IPEG), University of Manchester. He worked on a diverse array of research projects within the broad areas of public policy and behaviour change, and which drew on the experimental method and were supervised by Professor Peter John.

Between 2009 and 2010, he continued to develop his work on through an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (PTA-026-27-2117), which led to the publication of an edited book on extremism in Britain, a sole-authored book -New British Fascism- and articles in leading political science journals, such as the European Journal of Political Research, Political Studies, and Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

In 2010, he was appointed Lecturer at the School of Politics and International Relations, at the University of Nottingham. Matthew has continued to develop his research profile and impact work. This attracted a varied stream of research income, from the British Academy, Chatham House, Nuffield Foundation, Department for Communities and Local Government, Integrating Global Society group, and the ESRC Seminar Series competition. He was also appointed Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, at Chatham House, and undertakes numerous impact-related activities (see below).

Since arriving at Nottingham, Matthew has played an active role in supporting School administration. These administrative roles have included: member of the Learning Community Forum (2010-11); Member of the Student Affairs Committee (2010-11); third year tutor (2010-11); member of the Research Ethics Committee (2011-); Deputy Director of the External Relations Committee (2011-); and Director of Social Media (2012-). During 2012, Matthew was editor-in-chief of the School blog, Ballots and Bullets.

From September 2012, and supported by the ESRC Knowledge Exchange Scheme, Matthew was on a full-time secondment to the Department of Communities and Local Government, where he drew on his research and the wider evidence base to help inform public policy in the areas of domestic extremism and integration issues more generally.

Matthew Tweets here.

Expertise Summary

Matthew is a leading expert on radical and extreme politics, especially in Britain. His research has included a major study of right-wing extremist activists based on extensive 'life history' interviews, articles on extreme right party voters and minor party voters, research reports on right-wing extremist violence and populist extremism across Europe. He is also undertaking work on the 2011 riots in England, the drivers of anti-Muslim prejudice and public attitudes toward immigration more generally.

He puts strong emphasis on disseminating his own and co-authored research widely, and engaging with audiences outside of academia. This has led to extensive knowledge exchange activity with central and local government, including the Home Office, Cabinet Office, Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Councillors Commission, Government Social Research Unit, the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT), Burnley Borough Council, Tameside Metropolitan Council, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and Greater Manchester Police. Currently, Matthew sits on a national level government working group on anti-Muslim hatred, based at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

It is also reflected in numerous presentations and/or projects that Matthew has delivered in cooperation with a range of organisations that include (but are not limited to) the Smith Institute, Institute for Community Cohesion (iCoCo), Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Policy Network, Young Foundation, Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), Fabian Society, ConservativeHome, NothingBritish, Ariadne Network, Chatham House and Hope Not Hate.

He is also a regular contributor to national and international media, including: the prestigious 'Tea with the Economist' series; Radio 4 Today; the Four Thought lecture series; Channel 4; Guardian Comment is Free; Newsnight; The Sun; Daily Telegraph; Daily Mail; and has written short essays for Political Insight and Policy Network. For a complete and updated list of his media work see his personal website.

Matthew Tweets here.

Research Summary

Matthew is mainly interested in understanding what drives support for extremist movements. He is also interested in understanding what drives public attitudes toward things like immigration and… read more

Selected Publications

Tommy Robinson's Resignation was disingenuous nonsense

, Guardian, October 2013 To tackle Islamophobia, we need to fight clever, Guardian Comment Is Free, September 2013

Phillip Blond needs to do his research on the impact of British academics, Guardian Higher Education, June 2013

Now UKIP is gunning for Labour, what's Ed Miliband going to do?, The Guardian, May 2013

Woolwich and the far right: Three points to consider when the dust settles, Guardian Comment is Free May 2013

London attack: generations divided on feelings about Muslims

, The Observer May 2013

Britain, Islam and the Generational Struggle Huffington Post UK March 2013

Managers and skilled workers make up far right supporters, Daily Telegraph March 2013

Europe and the extreme right Euronews Debate February 2013

Europe, and the Ongoing Challenge of Right-Wing Extremism, World Politics Review, January 2013

If the Conservatives want to win younger voters, they should ease up immigration control, Conservative Home, Sep 2012

Far right ideas: Britain's generation gap, Guardian Comment is Free, September 2012

Can Bennett's Green strategy pay off? Liberal Conspiracy, September 2012

Europe's far right: Culture matters more, The Economist August 2012

The far right is fragmenting, Guardian Comment is Free, August 2012

Wade Michael Page and the Rise of Violent Far Right Extremism, Guardian G2 Cover, August 2012

The changing nature of the far right online, Guardian Comment is Free, August 2012

My view on the riots: Dr Matthew Goodwin, The Sun, August 2012

No extremists please, we're British, Interview with Trevor Phillips on Radio 4, July 2012

Immigration and identity: An open letter to Labour, June 2012

Why the Eurozone crisis doesn't spell a return to Nazism, Guardian Comment is Free, May 2012

The BNP is finished as an electoral force, Guardian Comment is Free, May 2012

Anders Breivik sees himself as a survivalist soldier, Guardian Comment is Free, April 2012

Ukip shares more with the far right than it admits, Guardian Comment is Free, March 2012

Let's talk about an integrated Britain, Guardian Comment is Free, February 2012

Far right extremism warrants more than lip service, Guardian Comment is Free, February 2012

What do Europeans think about immigration?, Guardian Comment is Free, December 2011

Far right extremism is more than a minor political irritant, Guardian Comment is Free, November 2011

Matthew Goodwin: Mini-lecture to Radio 4 Four Thought, September 2011

Guardian Focus Podcast: Examining the British far right, Guardian, July 2011

Matthew Goodwin on the far right, Interview with the Economist, July 2011

Norway attacks: We can no longer ignore the far right threat, Guardian Comment is Free, July 2011

Nick Griffin and the fall of the BNP, Guardian Comment is Free, May 2011

From the streets to the screen, New Statesman, May 2009

Labour, fear UKIP, Guardian Comment is Free, April 2009

Yes, the BNP could win in Europe, Guardian Comment is Free, February 2009

Extreme Pressure: Interview on Westminster Hour, Radio 4, February 2008

Current Research

Matthew is mainly interested in understanding what drives support for extremist movements. He is also interested in understanding what drives public attitudes toward things like immigration and minority groups, for example Muslim communities. He also has an interest in party membership and activism, and teaches various modules that are anchored in these interests. Matthew's research has been published in leading international political science journals, for example the European Journal of Political Research, as well as Political Studies and Environmental Politics.

He is the author of the book New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party (2011, Routledge) and co-edited The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain (2010, Routledge). Matthew is currently working on a book with Dr Robert Ford, entitled Voting for Extremists.

Further information about these and future research projects can be found over at his personal website, or via his Twitter feed.

Past Research

Matthew has consulted, or undertaken research for, numerous organizations. These include but are not limited to:

  • Home Affairs Committee on the Roots of Violent Radicalisation
  • All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Semitism
  • All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia
  • Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
  • Welsh Government
  • Home Office
  • Cabinet Office
  • Chatham House
  • Government Social Research Unit
  • Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber/North West
  • Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
  • Institute for Community Cohesion (iCoCo)
  • North West Improvement Network (NWIN)
  • Young Foundation
  • ConservativeHome
  • Rotherham Partnership
  • Burnley Borough Council
  • Camden Council
  • Leicester City Council
  • Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Swindon Borough Council
  • Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Wigan Council

Future Research

Matthew is currently completing a series of projects including:

  • Investigating the impact of the 2011 riots in England on public attitudes
  • A book project on electoral support for extremist parties
  • An individual-level survey of far right members and activists

School of Politics and International Relations

University of Nottingham
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