Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Dr Stuart McAnulla

Lecturer in British Politics and Political Science Methodology; POLIS Director of Student Education

Before coming to Leeds, I completed a PhD and taught at the University of Birmingham.

I also worked for a year as a researcher at the University of Central England, where I also taught a public policy course. My particular interests are in contemporary British politics and the role of philosophy, and social theory in political studies.

Research Interests

Key areas include:

  • The ideological direction of the current Coalition government
  • Challenges to the UK state, including the current Scottish referendum debate
  • The politics-religion relationship, in the UK and beyond
  • The politics of secularism and the ‘New Atheism’

Other areas of interest include philosophies of social science, theories of power and leadership.


Module leader:

  • Approaches to Analysis
  • The End of British Politics?
  • Research Methods
  • Advanced Political Analysis

I am also part of the British politics team delivering British Politics.

PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising doctoral research in the following areas.

  • Contemporary British politics – Cameron, Blair, Brown, Major and Thatcher governments
  • Politics, religion and secularism – State-religion relations, secularist movements; religion in the public square
  • Social science meta-theory – critical realism, theories of power, interpretive political analysis

I currently supervise three doctoral students who are studying: :an analysis of the English Defence League; a critical realist examination of Leeds City-Region; and, the role of language in constructing human rights.

Key Publications

  • McAnulla, S.D. (co-author) (1999) Postwar British Politics in Perspective, Polity
Chapters in Books
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2012) ‘Tony Blair, 1994-97’ in Heppell, T. Leaders of the Opposition: from Churchill to Cameron, Palgrave
  • McAnulla, S.D.(2012) ‘Liberal Conservatism: Ideological Coherence?’ in Heppell, T and Seawright, D. Cameron and the Conservatives: The Transition to Coalition Government, Palgrave
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2011) ‘Stephen Lukes, Power: A Radical View’ in Theakston, K.  Volumes of Influence, Manchester: Manchester University Press
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2002) "Structure and Agency". In: David Marsh and Gerry Stoker (eds.) Theory and methods in political science, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.271-291.


  • McAnulla S. D. (2014) 'Secular Fundamentalists? Characterising the new atheist approach to secularism, religion and politics', British Politics, 9 (1), 124-125
  • McAnulla S. D. (2014) 'Secular Fundamentalists? Characterising the new atheist approach to secularism, religion and politics', British Politics, 9 (1), 124-125
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2014) ‘Atheist Fundamentalists? Characterising New Atheist Non-Belief, E-International Relations, http://www.e-ir.info/2014/07/02/atheist-fundamentalists-characterising-new-atheist-non-belief/
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2014) ‘From David Hume to Sarah Palin? The troubled search for common features of political conservatism: a reply to Özsel, Global Discourse, DOI: 10.1080/23269995.2014.939902
  • McAnulla S.D. (2013) 'John Galt is a Heathen! The Inconvenient Atheism of Ayn Rand', TelosScope, http://www.telospress.com/author/smcanulla/
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2012) ‘Radical Atheism and Religious Power: The Politics of New Atheism’ Approaching Religion 2 (1)
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2011) ‘Post-Political Poisons? Evaluating the 'Toxic' Dimensions of Tony Blair's Leadership’, Representation 47 (3), 251-263
  • McAnulla, S.D .(2010) ‘Forced Exits: Accounting for the Removal of Contemporary Party Leaders’, Political Quarterly, 81 (4), 593-601
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2010) ‘Heirs to Blair’s Third Way? David Cameron’s Triangulating Conservatism’, British Politics, 5 (3), 286-314
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2009) ‘Explaining the Forced Exit of Charles Kennedy: Pushing the Public-Private Boundary’, Politics, 29 (1) 37-44
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2007) "New Labour, Old Epistemology? Reflections on Political Science, New Institutionalism and The Blair Government." Parliamentary Affairs, 60(2), pp.313-331.
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2006) "Challenging the New Interpretivist Approach: Towards a Critical Realist Alternative." British Politics, 1(1), pp.113-138.
  • McAnulla, S.D. (2005) "Making Hay with Actualism: The Need For a Realist Concept of Structure". Politics, 25(1), pp.31-38.

Recent blogs/media

Media Contact Areas

  • The UK Coalition government
  • The Scottish Referendum
  • The New Atheism

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