Department of Political Science


Dr Lucy Barnes

Dr Lucy Barnes

Dr Lucy Barnes

Lecturer in Comparative Politics

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Lucy is a Associate Professor in Comparative Politics. She joined the Department in 2016 from the University Kent, where she worked as Lecturer in Quantitative Politics.

She studied Political Economy and Government (AM, PhD) at Harvard University, and Philosophy, Politics and Economics (BA) at Oxford. She has also held research fellowships at Trinity College, Dublin, and was Prize Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford where she remains an Associate Member.

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Lucy’s research focuses on the politics of taxation in advanced industrial democracies, at the intersection of comparative politics, political economy and political behaviour. Her current work centres on three main themes.

The first project considers taxes from the perspective of income inequality and redistribution. This research agenda includes papers on individual attitudes to taxation, and its place in the broader toolbox of government policies on income distribution, and ongoing work on why some governments pursue more progressive systems of taxation than others. She is also interested in the political and economic limits to progressive taxation as a policy tool.

The second project is a collaboration with UCL colleague Tim Hicks, studying attitudes to taxation, spending and fiscal policy more broadly, in the new era of austerity since the 2008 financial crisis. In particular, this work considers the relationship between fiscal stance (budget deficits and surpluses) and traditional concerns of comparative political economy surrounding redistribution, the welfare state, and the size of government.

Finally, Lucy is interested in the effects of information about tax and spending policies on individuals’ behaviour and attitudes. She is investigating the impact of the provision of ‘tax summary’ information by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in Britain on public knowledge and political and economic behaviour surrounding tax.

Lucy has also published on the politics of inequality and redistribution and on the 2008 financial crisis, particularly as it relates to the distinction between ‘liberal’ and ‘co-ordinated’ developed political economies.

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  • Barnes, Lucy (forthcoming) ‘Private Debt and the Anglo-Liberal Growth Model’, Government & Opposition, forthcoming. Read article
  • Barnes, Lucy (2015) ‘Public Opinion and Progressive Policy’ in Claudia Chwalisz and Patrick Diamond (eds), The Pre-distribution Agenda: Tackling inequality and supporting sustainable growth. London: I.B. Tauris.
  • Barnes, Lucy (2015) ‘The Size and Shape of Government: Preferences over Redistributive Taxation’, Socio-economic Review 13(1): 55-78. Read article
  • Barnes, Lucy (2013) ‘Does Median Voter Income Matter? The Effects of Inequality and Turnout on Government Spending’, Political Studies 61(1), 82-100. Read article
  • Barnes, Lucy, Peter A. Hall and Rosemary C R Taylor (2013) ‘A Capabilities Approach to Population Health and Public Policy-Making’, Revue d’epidémiologie et de la Santé Publique 61 (Suppl. 3), 177-183. 
  • Barnes, Lucy and Peter A. Hall (2013) ‘Neoliberalism and Social Resilience in the  Developed  Democracies’ in Peter A. Hall and Michèle Lamont (eds), Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 209-238.
  • Barnes, Lucy (2013) ‘The Political Economy of Working Time and Redistribution’ in Anne Wren (ed), The Political Economy of the Service Transition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 282-305.
  • Barnes, Lucy and Anne Wren (2012) ‘The Liberal Model in (the) Crisis: Continuity and Change in Great Britain and Ireland’ in Nancy Bermeo and Jonas Pontusson (eds), Coping with Crisis: Government Reactions to the Great Recession. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 287-324, 2012.

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