Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics
Dr Pettitt's main area of expertise is political parties, especially membership influence on policy making. A particular area of interest has been left wing parties with a formal commitment to intra-party democracy and how this has worked out in practice.
His research focuses on political organisations that serve as conduits between civil society and the state, particularly political parties. His interests have been largely based on national politics, but he is moving into the politics of representation at the EU level. Dr Pettitt also has an interest in the uses and abuses of marketing techniques in politics and in research methodology.
Previous research has focused on the obstacles to membership influence on party policy and how these can be overcome. One main area of attention has been the role of the party conference as a platform for membership dissent. In this context he has carried out extensive work on the Labour Party conference and how it has been managed by the party leadership so as to present a united front to the media and thereby the wider electorate. He has investigated the way in which the agenda is controlled, speakers groomed and how both individuals and other groups within the party membership have tried to break leadership control of the conference. He also has an interest in how the Labour Party conference has changed its nature during the party's history.
Recent research has looked at how political parties try to engage with the communities they are there to serve.
Follow Dr Pettitt on Twitter: @RobinPettitt
|2009||PhD - The University of Manchester.|
|2000||MA INternational Relations and Strategic Studies - Lancaster University.|
|1999||BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations - Lancaster University.|
Lees-Marshment, Jennifer and Pettitt, Robin T.4 (2014) Mobilising volunteer activists in political parties: the view from central office.5 Contemporary Politics, 20(2), pp. 246-260. ISSN (print) 1356-9775
Pettitt, Robin T.4 (2012) Exploring variations in intra-party democracy: a comparative study of the British Labour Party and the Danish centre-left.6 The British Journal Of Politics And International Relations, 14(4), pp. 630-650. ISSN (print) 1369-1481
Pettitt, Robin4 (2012) Me, myself and I: 'self-referencing' in Labour Party conference leaders' speeches.7 British Politics, 7(2), pp. 111-134. ISSN (print) 1746-918X
Pettitt, R T4 (2007) Challenging the leadership: The Party Conference as a platform for dissenting membership voice in British and Danish Parties of the Left.8 Scandinavian Political Studies, 30(2), pp. 229-248. ISSN (print) 0080-6757
Pettitt, Robin T.4 (2006) Rebellion by the seaside: how single member plurality has affected membership dissent at the Labour Party conference.9 Representation: journal of representative democracy, 42(4), pp. 289-301. ISSN (print) 0034-4893
Pettitt, Robin4 (2015) The oratory of John Smith.10 In: Crines, Andrew S. and Hayton, Richard, (eds.) Labour orators from Bevan to Miliband. Manchester, U.K. : Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719089800
Pettitt, Robin4 (2012) Internal party political relationship marketing: encouraging activism amongst local party members.11 In: Lees-Marshment, Jennifer, (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Political Marketing. Oxford, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 137-150. ISBN 9780415579933
Lees-Marshment, Jennifer and Pettitt, Robin4 (2010) UK political marketing: a question of leadership?12 In: Lees-Marshment, Jennifer , Rudd, Chris and Stromback, Jesper, (eds.) Global political marketing. London, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 113-127. (Routledge Research in Political Communication) ISBN 9780415427227
Conference or Workshop Item
Pettitt, Robin4 (2009) Towards a unified typology of political parties.13 In: 59th Political Studies Association Annual Conference: Challenges for democracy in a global era; 07 - 09 Apr 2009, Manchester, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Pettitt, Robin Thomas4 (2008) Still the 'parliament of the movement'? The changing fortunes of the Labour Party conference as a policy making assembly.14 In: 58th Political Studies Association Annual Conference: Democracy, governance and conflict: dilemmas of theory and practice; 01 - 03 Apr 2008, Swansea, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Pettitt, Robin T.4 (2007) Bending Michel's 'iron law of oligarchy': can democracy ever be for 'home consumption' in political parties?15 In: Partisanship in Europe: members, activists and identifiers. European Consortium for Political Research Joint Sessions; 07 -12 May 2007, Helsinki, Finland. (Unpublished)
Pettitt, Robin4 (2007) Resisting political marketing: lessons from the making of new Labour.16 In: European Consortium for Political Research General Conference; 06 - 08 Sep 2007, Pisa, Italy. (Unpublished)
Pettitt, Robin T.4 (2007) Revisiting Michels' 'iron law of oligarchy': an examination of membership influence in political parties.17 In: 57th Political Studies Association Annual Conference; 11 - 13 Apr 2007, Bath, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Lees-Marshment, Jennifer and Pettitt, Robin4 (2007) 'Top of the class'?: political marketing in the UK.18 In: European Consortium for Political Research 4th General Conference; 06 - 08 Sep 2007, Pisa, Italy. (Unpublished)
Pettitt, Robin T.4 (2006) Understanding organisational change in the British Labour Party after 1997: the impact of electoral systems on party organisations.19 In: 56th Political Studies Association Annual Conference; 03 - 06 Apr 2006, Reading, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Pettitt, Robin4 (2005) Platforms for member dissent: comparison of the British Labour Party and the Danish Social Democratic Party's congresses.20 In: 55th Political Studies Association Annual Conference; 4-7 April 2005, Leeds, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Pettitt, Robin T.4 (2004) The members and the message: membership influence on party policy in Western Europe.21 In: 54th Political Studies Association Annual Conference; 05 - 08 Apr 2004, Lincoln, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Pettitt, Robin T.4 (2004) The members and the message: membership influence on party policy in western Europe.22 (Working Paper) Manchester, U.K. : European Policy and Research Unit, University of Manchester. 35 p. (Manchester papers in politics EPRU series, no. 1/2004.
Dr Pettitt regularly talks to the press. He has been interviewed live on TV2-News, Denmark's only 24 hour news channel, as well as by press in Holland. He has been interviewed on British news channels and has had articles published internationally, including in the Wall Street Journal.
Political Studies Association
Elections, Public Opinion and Parties Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association
British Politics Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association
Political Marketing Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association
Labour Movement Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association
Scandinavian Politics Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association