Department of Political Science


Dr Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson

Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson

Dr Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson

Senior Lecturer in Political Behaviour

Find out more

More information


Dr Jennifer (vanHeerde) Hudson is Senior Lecturer in Political Behaviour and joined the Department in 2003. Dr Hudson is also Departmental Graduate Tutor. She was Visiting Professor, Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement (Geneva) and since 2009, Visiting Research Fellow at the Magna Carta Institute, Brunel University. Her primary research interests include campaigns and elections; campaign/party finance; public opinion; political communication; political trust and research methods.

Dr Hudson earned a PhD (MA) in Political Science from the University of California Riverside, and a MA in Social Science from California State University, San Bernardino. Her publications have appeared in the British Journal of Political Science, Party Politics, Political Studies, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties, European Journal of Marketing, British Journal of Politics & International Relations and in numerous edited volumes.

Dr Hudson currently teaches Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (PUBLG100), Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (PUBLG004) and Voters, Public Opinion and Participation (PUBLG056). She is the winner of the 2007 Provost's Teaching Award.

Back to top.

Informing Public Policy

Dr Hudson’s work has informed recent policy debates including the International Development Committee’s inquiry, ‘Aid under Pressure: Support for Development Assistance in a Global Economic Downturn’.

The evidence builds on previous work (with David Hudson, UCL) on public opinion and support for development assistance which examines the assumption that public support for development assistance is fundamental to maintaining, and importantly, increasing current levels of aid.

Dr Hudson’s work on party finance and political trust (with Justin Fisher, Brunel) has also informed the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s recent inquiry into funding political parties: Funding Political Parties in Great Britain: a Pathway to Reform.


My research has developed along three lines. Primarily, I have been interested in the role of public knowledge, attitudes and opinions on policy outcomes and institutional arrangements. Here I have examined two very different policies in Britain—party/campaign finance and development assistance—and on party institutional arrangements in the US. A second line of research has examined aspects of campaigns and elections, including candidate spending and negative advertising. I am also interested in understanding the various trust judgements citizens bring to bear on parties and politicians.

I am currently working on an edited collection on the 2009 British MPs’ Expenses Scandal, forthcoming with Palgrave (2013). Together with Rosie Campbell (Birkbeck), I am working on a comprehensive project on parliamentary candidates in Britain. We aim to provide a publicly available database on post-war parliamentary candidates/MPs, and working with national and international partners, data and analyses of candidates’ attitudes, backgrounds and experiences. David Hudson (UCL) and I continue to investigate the determinants of public attitudes towards development assistance, and along with Andrew Darnton, we are developing projects around the 2013 Make Poverty History 2 campaign.

Back to top.


Live Publications Database

Journal Articles

  • 2012. ‘Parties Heed (with caution): Public Knowledge of and Attitudes towards Party Finance in Britain’ (with Justin Fisher). Party Politics. (In press)
  • 2012. ‘A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep’: A Review and Critique of Extant Surveys on Public Opinion and Development (with D Hudson). International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning (4: 1):  5-23.
  • 2011. Newspaper Reporting and Public Perceptions of Party Finance in Britain: Knows Little, Learns Something? Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 21(4): 473-496.
  • 2011. ‘The Americanization of British Politics? Trends in Negative Advertising, 1964-2005’. British Politics 6(1): 52-77.
  • 2011. ‘Why Both Theory and Empirics Suggest there is More than One Form of Trust: A Reply to Hooghe’ (with Justin Fisher & Andrew Tucker). British Journal of Politics and International Relations 13(2): 276-281.
  • 2010. ‘Does one Trust Judgement Fit All? Linking Theory and Empirics’ (with Justin Fisher & Andrew Tucker). British Journal of Politics and International Relations 12(2): 161-188.
  • 2010. ‘The Influence of Promotional Activity and Different Electoral Systems on Voter Turnout: A Study of the UK and German Euro Elections’ (with Amy Whitelock & Jeryl Whitelock). European Journal of Marketing 44(3/4): 401-420.
  • 2009. ‘The Righteous Considereth the Cause of the Poor’? Public Attitudes towards Poverty in Developing Countries’ (with David Hudson). Political Studies 58(3): 389-409.
  • 2007. ‘Parties in an Anti-Party State: The Case of California’. (with Shaun Bowler) Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties 17(2): 143-163.
  • 2006. ‘Barriers to Participation, Voter Sophistication, and Candidate Spending Choices in U.S. Senate Elections’ (with Martin Johnson & Shaun Bowler). British Journal of Political Science 36(4): 745-758.

Book Chapters

  • 2011. ‘Playing by the Rules: The 2009 MPs’ Expenses Scandal’. In Dominic Wring, Roger Mortimore and Simon Atkinson, eds., Political Communication in Britain: The Leader Debates, the Campaign and the Media in the 2010 General Election (Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan), pp. 241-260.
  • 2010. ‘Campaign Advertising’, in The Encyclopedia of Political Science, George Thomas Kurian, James E. Alt, Simone Chambers, Geoffrey Garrett, Margaret Levi, and Paula D. McClain (eds). Washington, DC: CQ Press.
  • 2007. ‘Party Advertising in the 2005 British General Election’. In Dominic Wring, Jane Green, Roger Mortimore, and Simon Atkinson (eds.) Political Communications. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 65-78. [ISBN: 978-0-230-00130-5]
  • 2005. ‘The Politics of Electoral Systems: The United States’. (with Shaun Bowler & Todd Donovan). In Michael Gallagher and Paul Mitchell (eds.) The Politics of Electoral Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 185-205.

Back to top.


Back to top.

Research Student Supervision

Dr Hudson welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students with research interests in any of the following areas: US/British campaigns and elections; political campaign finance; public opinion; political communication/negative advertising.


  • Yannis Theocharis (Alexander von Humbold Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Mannheim)
  • Sara Kutchesfahani

Current PhD Students

  • Donna Arrondelle
  • Will Brett
  • Francisco Marques
  • Javier Sajuria
  • Katie Schwartz

Back to top.