Dr Mette Wiggen
Teaching Fellow (part-time)
I am a Teaching Fellow in European Politics and International Development. My background is in practical politics and campaigning. I also work with the Educational Engagement Team at the university and as a volunteer with the refugee sector in Leeds - which links in with my academic research interests.
My research interests are the new racism; extreme right wing parties and their impact on main stream politics and public opinion in relation to immigration and welfare. I am especially interested in the reasons why the ‘left’ in European government coalitions have failed to promote alternatives to a neo-liberal economic and social policy agenda and where concern about the influence in Europe ‘other cultures’ are an important aspect. It concerns me why there seems to be a consensus around increasingly restrictive immigration policies, means testing and different grades of citizenship relating to immigration status, and yet another round of discussions about women’s clothing. I am interested in how neo-liberalism affects welfare and development in terms of increased levels of poverty and restrictions of movement. My main point of reference is political development in Scandinavia; previously seen as exceptional in terms of welfare and tolerance, but where neo-liberalism and the far right has taken a strong foothold. This is particularly interesting in Norway, the richest country in Europe where a new right wing government coalition could dramatically change the status quo.
I teach a module on the politics of the extreme right, I co-convene the dissertation module and teach an introductory module to politics on the Social Science Foundation Programme. The foundation module can be seen as a 'taster' of different programmes and modules POLIS offers. I also convene skills workshops for MA students and I work with the Educational Engagement Team on recruitment and outreach to students from lower socio economic backgrounds.