Biography

Professor Alan Finlayson's research combines contributions to the development of democratic political and cultural theory with the theoretical and historical analysis and interpretation of the ideologies that shape British political culture, political economy and 'governmentality'. As part of this work he has developed particular expertise in the theoretical and practical study of political rhetoric, a field which - in the form of Rhetorical Political Analysis - he has done much to establish within British Political Studies. In this context he oversees the website British Political Speech.

Prof. Finlayson is currently working on two funded research projects. The Crisis of Rhetoric: Renewing Political Speech and Speechwriting is an AHRC funded research network bringing together a cross-disciplinary range of scholars with practitioners to reflect on the challenges and prospects of public political argument in the present. 

Political Ideology, Rhetoric and Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century: The Case of the 'Alt-Right' is a three-year research project examining how new technologies are transfoming the ways in which political ideas are formed and circulated and how this affects our relationship with our political beliefs and with their argumentative expression. 

Alan is an Associate Editor of the journal Contemporary Political Theory; Chair of the Editorial Board of Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy; co-editor of the Palgrave book series Rhetoric, Politics and Society; co-founder and Treasurer of the Rhetoric and Politics Group of the UK Political Studies Association and a member of the International Task Force of the Rhetoric Society of America. He has contributed political commentary and analysis for print, broadcast and online media including The Guardian, Open Democracy and The London Review of Books.  

Career History

2012 - Present:       Professor of Political and Social Theory, UEA

2000 - 2011:           Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader, Department of Politics and International   

                              Relations, Swansea University

1992 - 1999:           Teaching Fellow and Lecturer, School of Politics, The Queen’s University of Belfast

Honorary Appointments:

2003:                       Visiting Professor, Department of Speech Communication, University of Southern

                                Illinois, USA

2008:                       Visiting Lecturer, Centre for Theoretical Studies, Essex University

2008:                       Visiting and Guest lecturer , University of Jyväskylä, POLITU Doctoral Course:   

                                Rhetoric of Governments, Parliaments and Movements

2011:                       Visiting Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick

 

 

 

 

 

All Publications

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Finlayson, A.

(2017)

Interpretation and Social Explanation,

in Political Studies Review

15

(2)

pp. 210-216

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2017)

“What Is the Point of Parliamentary Debate?” Deliberation, Oratory, Opposition and Spectacle in the British House of Commons,

in Redescriptions

20

(1)

pp. 11-31

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2016)

The present crisis and the questions we must ask,

in Renewal

24

(3)

pp. 5-14

(Editorial)

(Published)


Atkins, J., Finlayson, A.

(2016)

‘As Shakespeare so Memorably Said…’: Quotation, Rhetoric, and the Performance of Politics,

in Political Studies

64

(1)

pp. 164-181

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2016)

Obama's Rhetoric,

in Juncture

23

(3)

pp. 165-169

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2015)

From theorising realism to the reality of theory: A response to Adrian Little,

in Contemporary Political Theory

14

(3)

pp. 295-305

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2015)

Cultural Studies,

in Routledge Handbook of Interpretive Political Science .

Routledge

pp. 113-125

ISBN 9780415657143, 0415657148

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2015)

What we argue about when we argue about tax,

in Values Added : Rethinking tax for the 21st century.

The Fabian Society

pp. 4-7

ISBN 978-0-7163-7016-1

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2015)

Labour's New Identity Politics,

in Renewal

23

(1-2)

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2015)

Becoming a Democratic Audience,

in The Grammar of Politics and Performance.

Routledge

ISBN 978-0-415-71650-5

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Finlayson, A. (ed.), Atkins, J. (ed.), Martin, J. (ed.), Turnbull, N. (ed.)

(2014)

Rhetoric in British Politics and Society,

Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN 9781137325525 , 9781137325549

Full Text UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2014)

Introduction: Rhetoric and the British Way of Politics,

in Rhetoric in British Politics and Society.

Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN 9781137325525 , 9781137325549

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2014)

The ‘Virtu’ of Invention: Bonnie Honig’s Exemplars of Agonistic Politics,

in Contemporary Political Theory

13

(2)

pp. 183-193

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2014)

Nationalism,

in Political Ideologies: An Introduction (4th edition).

Routledge

ISBN ISBN-10: 0415618177

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2014)

The Peculiar Character of Political Speech,

in Back to Earth: Reconnecting People and Politics.

The Fabian Society

pp. 24-34

ISBN 978-0-7163-4122-2

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2014)

Proving, Pleasing and Persuading? Rhetoric in Contemporary British Politics,

in The Political Quarterly

85

(4)

pp. 428–436

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2013)

Critique and Political Argumentation,

in Political Studies Review

11

(3)

pp. 313-320

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2013)

Preface,

in Political Studies Review

11

(3)

pp. 311-312

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2013)

‘Ideology and Political Rhetoric’,

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies.

Oxford University Press

pp. 197-213

ISBN 978-0-19-958597-7

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Finlayson, A.

(2013)

From Neoliberalism to Pluralism: A Response to Mulheirn and Jacobs,

in The Political Quarterly

84

(2)

pp. 211–217

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

Alan’s research encompasses contemporary social and political theory (particularly theories of radical, pluralist or agonistic democracy), theories of political analysis (especially conceptions of ‘governmentality’ and the study of how ideas shape politics), the cultures and ideologies of British Politics (including “Blairism” and “Cameronism”) and the theory, history and practice of political rhetoric.

Teaching Interests

Professor Finlayson teaches on a range of undergraduate courses including those concerned with classical and contemporary social and political theory and with political communication. He also teaches a third-year specialist module on political rhetoric.

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor, Contemporary Political Theory
  • Co-Editor Rhetoric and Politics Book series, Palgrave
  • Member, International Task Force, Rhetoric Society of America. 2011-present
  • Treasurer, Rhetoric and Politics Specialist Group. 2010-present
  • Convenor, Poststructuralism and Radical Politics Specialist Group. 2000-2010

Key Responsibilities

Prof. Finlayson is Director of Research in the School and course director for the BA and MA in Politics.

Administrative Posts

  • Director of Research in Political, Social and International Studies,
  • Course Director, BA Politics, BA Philosophy and Politics
  • Course Director, MA Politics