Department of Political Science


Alan Ware

Senior Research Associate

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  • Name: Alan Ware
  • Position: Senior Research Associate
  • Fax: 020 7679 4969


Alan Ware studied PPE in Oxford, did graduate work in Canada, and then research for his DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford. He was lecturer, and subsequently Senior Lecturer, at the University of Warwick 1972-90; from 1990-2012 he was Tutorial Fellow in Politics, and later Professor, at Worcester College, University of Oxford. There he held several senior posts including Senior Tutor and Vice-Provost.

He is the author of 10 books and has edited a further 7, as well as publishing numerous articles in academic journals. He was founding editor of two book series for the ECPR Press and has been the Chair of Government and Opposition Ltd on whose Board of Directors he still serves. His research publications have included work on comparative political parties, long-term change in the American party system and relations between governments and charities. Although he has a continuing research interest in American Politics, his current research is on the political sociology of British education policy in the 20th Century; his most recent book Political Conflict in America was published in 2011.

Alan is committed to the view that research in politics necessarily involves a variety of different approaches and methods. he is concerned about two developments in political science: (1) that the pursuit of methodological "purity" has resulted in much that was valuable about earlier research being forgotten and (2) current attempts to quantify research "output" tend to narrow research agendas and stifle innovative work. He believes that, ultimately, political scientists should try to think "outside of the proverbial box" whereas currently they face too many professional incentives to stay firmly inside it.