Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Contact Details

  • Room: 14.10, Social Sciences Building
  • Tel: 0113 343 6897
  • Fax:0113 343 4400
  • Email:

Dr Mette Wiggen


I am a lecturer in Teaching and Scholarship.  I  teach and research on the extreme right, with special emphasis on Scandinavia and welfare chauvinism. I also teach introduction to politics on the social science foundation year.

My background is in practical politics and campaigning. I volunteer with the refugee sector in Leeds - which links with my academic research interests and I work with the Educational Engagement Team at the university as an Outreach Officer for the Social Science Cluster.  I arrange events and recruit students  from a widening participation background with the Social Science Cluster.

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.

Key Publications

(2012) ‘Rethinking Anti-Immigration Rhetoric after the Oslo and Utøya Terror Attacks’. New Political Science 34:4 , 585-604                            

(2008) ‘Asylum, security and the extreme right in Europe- the case of Scandinavia’  Paper and  Conference Proceedings to the  ‘Can there be such a thing as good Asylum- conference organised by LASSN, LMU, and the University of Leeds 18 October

(1995) ‘State expenditure and economic performance' (with David Coates) in D. Coates (ed), Economic and Industrial Performance in Europe, Edward Elgar, pp. 185-201.

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