Biography

Dr. Toby S. James is Head of Politics and Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia.  He has previously taught or been a visiting researcher at the universities of York, Swansea, Trinity College, Dublin and the John W. Kluge Center in the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.  In the Spring of 2018 he will be a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Sydney.

Toby’s research focuses on the administration and management of the electoral process, the policy process and political leadership. He has had articles published in leading international journals such as Electoral Studies, Government and Opposition, Parliamentary Affairs, Public Money & Management and the British Journal of Politics and International Relations.  He is the author or co-editor of four books: Elite Statecraft and Election Administration (Palgrave, 2012), co-editor of British Labour Leaders and British Conservative Leaders (both Biteback, 2015) and is currently working on a book on Comparative Electoral Management (Routledge, forthcoming).

Toby was the co-founder and co-convenor of the Electoral Management Research Network which brings together leading scholars on electoral management (see www.electoralmanagement.com).  He has written commissioned policy reports for national and international organisations, given invited evidence to many Parliamentary committees and collaborated with organisations such as the Venice Commission.  He is currently Senior Fellow to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Democratic Participation and Advisor to the Law Commission's Review of Electoral Law.  He is also on the Scientific Board for the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania’s Electoral Expert Review and been an invited speaker around the world including Harvard University and South Korea.  

Toby’s research has been externally funded by the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, AHRC, ESRC, Nuffield Foundation and the McDougall Trust.

All Publications

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James, T. S.

(2018)

The higher education impact agenda, scientific realism and policy change: the case of electoral integrity in Britain,

in British Politics

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(E-pub ahead of print)


James, T. S.

(2017)

Building Better Elections: the Role of Human Resource Management Practices,

Full Text UEA Repository

(Paper)

(Published)


Clark, A., James, T. S.

(2017)

Poll Workers,

in Election Watchdogs : Transparency, Accountability, and Integrity.

Oxford University Press, Oxford

ISBN 9780190677817

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


James, T. S.

(2017)

Audit 2017: How strong is the democratic integrity of UK elections? Are turnout, candidacies and participation maximised?,

in Democratic Audit 2017.

Democratic Audit UK

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


James, T. S.

(2017)

The effects of centralising electoral management board design,

in Policy Studies

38

(2)

pp. 130-148

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


James, T. S., Jervier, T.

(2017)

The cost of elections: the effects of public sector austerity on electoral integrity and voter engagement,

in Public Money & Management

37

(7)

pp. 461-468

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


James, T. S.

(2016)

Voter ID is a risky reform when 8m people are already missing from the electoral register,

Full Text

(Other contribution)

(Published)


James, T. S., Clark, A.

(2016)

An Evaluation of Electoral Administration at the EU Referendum,

Electoral Commission

(Commissioned report)

(Published)


James, T. S., Sidorczuk, O., Imafidon, K., McGrath, D.

(2016)

Getting the 'Missing Millions' on to the electoral register: A vision for voter registration reform in the UK,

All Party Parliamentary Group on Democratic Participation

Full Text UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


James, T., Clark, A.

(2016)

Why volunteer? The motivations of polling station workers on election day,

UEA Repository

(Paper)

(Published)


James, T.

(2016)

Neo-Statecraft Theory, Historical Institutionalism and Institutional Change,

in Government and Opposition

51

(01)

pp. 84-110

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


James, T., Clark, A.

(2015)

The Review on Electoral Fraud: A Reply,

Political Studies Association

(Other report)

(Published)


James, T.

(2015)

Using Performance Benchmark Standards to improve Electoral Management,

in ACE Case Studies.

International IDEA

Full Text

(Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary)

(Published)


James, T., Buller, J.

(2015)

Statecraft: a framework for evaluating Labour Leaders,

in British Labour Leaders.

Biteback

ISBN 9781849548168

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


James, T., Buller, J.

(2015)

Statecraft: a framework for assessing Conservative leaders,

in British Conservative Leaders.

Biteback

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


James, T.

(2015)

Introduction: The British Labour Party in Search of the Complete Leader,

in British Labour Leaders.

Biteback

ISBN 9781849548168

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Blair, T., James, T., Clarke, C.

(2015)

Tony Blair on leadership, New Labour and statecraft theory,

in British Labour Leaders.

Biteback

ISBN 9781849548168

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Kinnock, N., James, T., Clarke, C.

(2015)

Neil Kinnock on leadership, the Labour Party and statecraft theory,

in British Labour Leaders.

Biteback

ISBN 9781849548168

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


James, T.

(2015)

Assessing the independence of electoral management boards: A policy network approach,

UEA Repository

(Paper)

(Published)


Clarke, C. (ed.), James, T. (ed.)

(2015)

British Labour Leaders,

Biteback

ISBN 9781849548168

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

Toby’s research interests are broad and cover electoral institutions, electoral malpractice, political participation, political leadership, statecraft theory, public administration, theories of the policy process and research methodologies.

He is currently working on:

  • Comparative electoral management and administration. Elections are often marred by problems such as queues at polling stations, problems with technology or malpractice from election officials. Toby works on how we can conceptualise and measure performance, evaluates the effectiveness of policy tools, the effects of institutional designs and politics of reform.  Recent and ongoing projects include an analysis of poll worker surveys from the 2015 UK general election and 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections with Dr. Alistair Clark (University of Newcastle) funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust.  He is working with the Venice Commission and international scholars on a project on electoral management in Europe.  He is also writing a book on Comparative Electoral Management (Routledge, forthcoming).  
  • Evaluating political leaders. Who was the greatest political leader of all time? How can we objectively judge them to be ‘great’? Is an objective judgement possible? Toby has been working with Jim Buller (University of York) on frameworks for evaluating political leaders.  He has recently co-edited books on British Labour Leaders and British Conservative Leaders and co-edited a special issue of Parliamentary Affairs.  
  • Explaining policy continuity and change. Toby is working on how we understand policy/institutional continuity and change and has contributed towards the development of neo-statecraft theory in a recent article in Government and Opposition.

I welcome enquiries from PhD potential students relating to any of my research area.

Teaching Interests

Toby teaches research-led courses on British politics and electoral malpractice.  He is runs the Parliamentary and Public Policy Research Internship Scheme in which third year students undertake projects in collaboration with MPs, MEPs and pressure groups.

Professional Activities

Current positions:

Research grants:

  • Electoral Integrity Project Senior Fellowship Competition 2018
  • ERSC Impact Acceletator Account, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Electoral Integrity Project Research Grant 2016
  • University of East Anglia Petley Impact Funding 2016
  • British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Grant, 2015-6
  • Political Studies Association Overseas Travel Grant. September 2013
  • Nuffield Foundation Social Sciences Small Grant. 2011-3
  • McDougall Trust Small Grant. 2011-3
  • ESRC National Centre for Research Methods Training Bursary. 2010
  • ESRC Institutional Visit Scholarship Summer. 2008
  • W. Kluge Centre Library of Congress Scholarship. 2007

Key Responsibilities

Toby is:

  • Head of Politics, International Relations and Media
  • Editor of the PSI Blog Eastminster (www.ueapolitics.org)