News

From the Department of Methodology

29 January 2020
Dr Blake Millar to teach a course at the LSE-PKU Summer School

Assistant Professor of Computational Social Science Dr Blake Miller will teach a new course at the LSE-PKU Summer School in Beijing.

Blake's course is entitled 'Data Collection and Management with Python' and aims to provide students with the necessary tools for the construction, pre-processing and cleaning of data found online.

After taking this course, students will have mastered the requisite tools needed to construct datasets out of unstructured, semi-structured, and structured online data.

For more information and to keep up to date with Blake, you can follow him on Twitter.

20 January 2020
Professor Patrick Sturgis to speak at the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Methodology's Professor of Quantitative Social Science Patrick Sturgis will deliver a talk at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle on 14 February 2020.

Patrick will take part in a panel discussing 'Public Trust in Science: Strength and Skepticism', bringing together international perspectives on how publics view and connect with science.

Patrick's talk 'Global Perspectives on Public Trust in Science' will present new data from the Wellcome Global Monitor, a new survey on public attitudes to science covering 140,000 respondents across over 140 countries.

9 January 2020
Dr Ellen Watts to present at the MeCCSA Conference in Brighton

LSE Fellow in Qualitative Research Methodology Dr Ellen Watts will be speaking at the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) Conference in Brighton on 10 January 2020.

Ellen will present work on celebrities and political representation. Following comments made by Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes, Ellen will ask the question 'Are celebrities all just rich hypocrites, or can they be legitimate political actors?'

This conference will be hosted by the University of Brighton’s School of Media and the full programme of events can be found here.

Ellen also recently published a related article on politics and celebrity, discussing 'Stormzy, status, and the serious business of social media spats'. This article explores why it matters what Stormzy says about politics, and why it might matter even more what politicians say about Stormzy.

19 December 2019
Read a new article co-authored by Dr Milena Tsvetkova

Assistant Professor in Quantitative Methodology Dr Milena Tsvetkova has co-authored a paper, published in the journal New Media & Society.

This article is titled 'Perceiving education from Facebook profile pictures' and conducts a large-scale online study to investigate whether observers can correctly guess the education of others from their Facebook profile pictures.

This article suggests that a Facebook profile picture which shows you enjoying the outdoors provides a strong signal to others that you have a higher level of education. Participants were able to successfully guess whether someone in a profile picture had a college degree in 61 per cent of attempts. However, Milena cautions that “people can guess someone’s education from a profile picture better than chance, but they can’t tell if someone’s failed college.”

More information can be found here.

18 December 2019
Read a new article published by Nimesh Dhungana and Dr Flora Cornish

LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology Nimesh Dhungana and Associate Professor in Qualitative Research Methodology Flora Cornish have published a new article in the Disasters Journal.

This article is titled 'Beyond performance and protocols: Early responders’ experiences of multiple accountability demands in the emergency response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake'.

Set in the contested climate of the emergency response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake, this paper reveals three forms of accountability demands: (a) accountability as compliance; (b) accountability as an object of government regulation and; (c) accountability as public opposition and interrogation.

You can keep up to date with Nimesh on Twitter here. Flora can be found here.

17 December 2019
Read Ruxandra Serban's latest article in the LSE British Politics and Policy blog

LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology Ruxandra Serban has published an article in the LSE British Politics and Policy blog. 

This article is titled 'Can the new parliament hold the Prime Minister to account?' and discusses the parliamentary impact of the return to a traditional single-party majority.

Ruxandra suggests that while the UK Parliament is well-equipped to question the Prime Minister on various matters, this accountability relationship can only function if Boris Johnson follows certain established conventions. Johnson's track record means that there can be no guarantee of this.

16 December 2019
Read a chapter from Dr Alasdair Jones in The Routledge Handbook of Henri Lefebvre, The City and Urban Society

Methodology's Associate Professor in Qualitative Research Dr Alasdair Jones has had a chapter published in 'The Routledge Handbook of Henri Lefebvre, The City and Urban Society'.

This book focuses on Henri Lefebvre's urban theories and ideas from a glocal perspective. Alasdair's chapter is entitled "'Something More, Something Better, Something Else, is needed’: A renewed ‘Fête’ on London’s South Bank.'" 

This book is available to purchase here.

9 December 2019
Read Dr Audrey Alejandro's Education Case Study

Methodology's Assistant Professor of Qualitative Text Analysis Dr Audrey Alejandro has published an Education Case Study on 'Developing post-graduate research skills'.

In this, Audrey discusses ways to help postgraduate students in developing their research skills, with the aim for them to become junior autonomous researchers. Techniques include seminar activities such as blogpost writing and peer feedback that lead to key graduate attributes and a feeling of community within the course.

To keep up to date with Audrey, follow her on Twitter.

4 December 2019
Read Dr Indraneel Sircar's recent articles

Programme Director of MSc Social Research Methods Dr Indraneel Sircar has recently been published in multiple articles.

The first of these articles is titled 'Linking active and activist citizens: electoral change and the Bosnian plenums'. This appears in the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties and examines whether the demands for social justice during the February 2014 citizen-led assemblies ("plenums") in Bosnia–Herzegovina subsequently triggered electoral change.

Indraneel has also contributed to an article published in the Journal of European Integration. This article is titled 'Public-elite gap on European integration: the missing link between discourses among citizens and elites in Serbia' and compares citizen and elite discourses on EU enlargement in Serbia. This was co-authored with Elitsa Kortenska and Bernard Steunenberg.

The Journal of Common Market Studies has also published an article to which Indraneel contributed, titled 'Transformation All the Way Down? European Union Integration and the Professional Socialization of Municipal Health Officials in Serbia'. This article uses Serbia as a case study to assess whether different types of exposure to European Union socialisation are associated with differences in attitudes towards corruption. This was co-authored with Adam Fagan.

25 November 2019
Read Dr Ellie Knott's comments on Moldova in Foreign Policy

Methodology's Assistant Professor in Qualitative Methods Dr Ellie Knott has been quoted in a Foreign Policy article titled 'Moldova’s Failed Revolution Is Not Over Yet'.

In this article, Ellie suggests a need to "interrogate politics in Moldova beyond a lens of East-West and identity politics”. 

Ellie previously published a journal article in East European Politics on this topic. This article is titled 'Perpetually “partly free”: lessons from post-soviet hybrid regimes on backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe' and discusses the lessons that can be drawn from post-Soviet experiences of democratisation for debates on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) “democratic backsliding”. 

To keep up to date with Ellie's work, follow her on Twitter.

22 November 2019
Department of Methodology recognised at the LSE Excellence in Education Awards

The Department of Methodology is very proud that so many members of our Department have been recognised in the LSE Excellence in Education Awards.

Audrey Alejandro, Nimesh Dhungana, Ellie Knott, Sonja Marzi, Eleanor Power and Kate Summers all received recognition at a ceremony on Thursday 21 November.

Excellence in Education Awards are made on the recommendation of Heads of Department to staff who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments. These awards are designed to support the School’s aspiration of creating ‘a culture where excellence in teaching is valued and rewarded on a level with excellence in research’.

Alasdair Jones also received recognition in the form of an LSE Teaching Promotion Award. These are given to those who make a significant educational contribution to LSE and as a result Alasdair has been promoted to Associate Professor.

Congratulations to all of our winners! Find our more about each of them here.

13 November 2019
Read the latest article from Professor Patrick Sturgis in The Guardian 

Methodology's Professor of Quantitative Social Science Patrick Sturgis has published an article in The Guardian titled 'After the failures of recent years, can the polls be trusted in 2019?'

Patrick chaired the British Polling Council inquiry into the failure of the 2015 General Election polls. This article argues that even with new models and methodologies, this election promises to be one of the toughest to call in living memory.

For more information on this topic, come to the joint LSE and British Polling Council event on 27 November. Register for tickets here.

4 November 2019
Dr Flora Cornish to speak at University College Cork

Methodology's Associate Professor in Research Methodology Dr Flora Cornish will be speaking at University College Cork's School of Applied Psychology on 4 November. 

Flora will present a talk entitled '"Grenfell changes everything?" Post-disaster agency beyond hope and despair.'

This presentation examines the aftermath of Grenfell and, after almost two and a half years, the changes that have been enacted, seized, called for, achieved, partially achieved, postponed, denied or neglected.

1 November 2019
Dr Audrey Alejandro to present at Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'homme

Methodology's Assistant Professor of Qualitative Text Analysis Dr Audrey Alejandro will be presenting at Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'homme (FMSH) in Paris on 7 November.

Audrey will discuss 'Rethinking the globalisation of social sciences from the Global South: a correlative history of nationalisation and internationalisation of IR in Brazil and India'.

1 November 2019
Dr Ellie Knott to speak at the King's Russia Institute

Methodology's Assistant Professor in Qualitative Methods, Dr Ellie Knott will be speaking at the King's Russia Institute at King's College London on 11 November. 

Ellie will speak on 'Contextualising Crimea: Fractured Majorities, Identity and Citizenship before Annexation'. This talk will examine the relationship between identity and citizenship in Crimea and in comparison to Moldova before 2014.

For more information on this talk and details on how to attend, follow this link.

31 October 2019
Dr Audrey Alejandro to speak at the Centre for International Studies

Methodology's Assistant Professor of Qualitative Text Analysis Dr Audrey Alejandro will be speaking at the Centre for International Studies (CERI) in Paris on 5 November.

Audrey will speak at a session on 'Is the (post-colonial) criticism Eurocentric? An international political sociology of 'Western domination' in the field of International Relations'

28 October 2019
Dr Ellie Knott to speak at The Institute for East European Studies

Methodology's Assistant Professor in Qualitative Methods, Dr Ellie Knott will be speaking at The Institute for East European Studies in Berlin on 6 November.

Ellie will deliver a lecture on Fractured Majorities: Identity and Citizenship in Moldova and Crimea as part of the 'The Nation Strikes Back? New and Old Nationalisms in Eastern Europe' lecture series.

This lecture series seeks to approach contested topics such as "the nation" and "the people" in Eastern Europe as well as the (re)emergence of nationalism and its social and political consequences from a broad range of theoretical angles.

25 October 2019
Dr Eleanor Power co-authors paper "Dynamics of Beneficial Epidemics" as part of 72 Hours of Science

Methodology's Assistant Professor Dr Eleanor Power recently co-authored Dynamics of Beneficial Epidemics as part of the Santa Fe Institute '72 Hours of Science' initiative. This paper challenges the notion that science has to move slowly by going from idea to submission in only 72 hours.

This paper investigates the question of how the dynamics of beneficial biological and social epidemics differ from those of detrimental epidemics. You can read it here.

For more information, see this article and another co-author's Twitter thread.

24 October 2019 
Dr Sonja Marzi to convene a panel at the EADI ISS Conference 2020

The European Association of Development Research (EADI) ISS Conference 2020 will feature a panel convened by LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology Dr Sonja Marzi. 

This panel is named 'Ethical and practical challenges of participatory development research' and aims at exploring critical and innovative research methodologies in development studies that include a participatory approach. Contributions can be submitted here.

The ISS Conference 2020 central theme is “Solidarity, Peace and Social Justice” and will take place in The Hague (Netherlands) from 29 June to 2 July 2020.

17 October 2019 
Dr Audrey Alejandro to appear at the Institute of Physics

Methodology's Assistant Professor of Qualitative Text Analysis Dr Audrey Alejandro will be speaking at the Physics in the Spotlight forum at the Institute of Physics on 23 October.

This forum includes four days of discussion, debate and knowledge sharing on topics such as oceans and the climate, optics in quantum technologies and machine learning. Audrey is speaking at "The physics of our climate change world: what is happening and what can we do?"

15 October 2019
Kate Summers to speak as part of London Challenge Poverty Week 2019

LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methods Dr Kate Summers will be speaking at 'Designing principles together: Co-producing solutions for tackling poverty' at Toynbee Hall on 18 October. 

This event is part of London Challenge Poverty Week and Kate will draw on her previous work with the Commission on Social Security. Register for tickets here.

More information on London Challenge Poverty Week and how to get involved can be found here. #LDNChallengePovertyWeek

14 October 2019
Chana Teeger to present at the Conflict and Identity Conference 2019

Chana Teeger will be presenting a paper at the Conflict and Identity Conference at Oxford University on 17 October. The conference explores the evolving relationship between conflict and identity, with a specific interest in the role of history education in pre-conflict, at-conflict, and post-conflict societies.

Chana’s paper focuses on the politics of boredom in South African history classrooms by interrogating how and why some histories (but not others) come to viewed as “boring.”

8 October 2019
Dr Milena Tsvetkova to speak at 'Stop collaborate and listen: Gender equality in social data science'

Assistant Professor in Quantiative Methodology Milena Tsvetkova will be speaking at an event on Ada Lovelace Day, 8 October 2019.

A panel of leading computational social scientists and data scientists will discuss collaboration, equality and skills that future social scientists need to work with big data.

Milena and other panel members will also discuss how they got started working with data, the projects that they are part of and the skills that they think students should focus on to work with big data, both in industry and academia.

2 October 2019
Dr Kate Summers to present to the 'Exploring Economics' civil servant network

In the spring of 2016, a group of civil servants formed Exploring Economics. LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology Kate Summers will present to this group on 10 October in Whitehall.

This network aims to increase the accessibility and understanding of economics in government and to encourage and raise awareness of a plurality of economic perspectives in decision-making. The network has grown rapidly and now has several hundred members across the Civil Service. 

25 September 2019
Professor Jonathan Jackson speaks at the Institute for Public Security of Catalonia

Professor of Research Methodology and Head of the Department, Jonathan Jackson presented the opening talk at an Institute for Public Security of Catalonia event celebrating 300 years of police in Catalonia.

This talk took place on 25 September, discussing public trust and police legitimacy, with some 300 police officers and researchers present. Find out more here.

16 September 2019
Professor Patrick Sturgis to speak on Royal Society panel at the Liberal Democrat Conference

Methodology's Professor of Quantitative Social Science Patrick Sturgis will speak on The #PeoplesList: how can £60bn unlock the door to Number 10? This Royal Society panel will take place at the Liberal Democrat conference on 16 September.

11 September 2019
Professor Patrick Sturgis to talk at the Exeter Q-Step Centre

Methodology's Professor of Quantitative Social Science Patrick Sturgis will speak at Q-estival 2019: People, Data and Society on 11 September. Patrick will speak on "Trust in science around the world: findings from the first global survey of public attitudes to science".

10 September 2019
Dr Audrey Alejandro to speak at European International Studies Association

A Century of Show and Tell: The Seen and the Unseen of IR. Methodology's Assistant Professor of Qualitative Text Analysis Dr Audrey Alejandro will be speaking at the plenary roundtable of the European International Studies Association. This conference takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Wednesday 11 September 2019.