Department of Political Science


Dr Cathy Elliott

Cathy Elliott

Dr Cathy Elliott

Senior Teaching Fellow in Qualitative Research Methods and International Development & Departmental Graduate Tutor


I am interested in discourses about time and history and the ways they shape practices of political thought. My first book, Democracy Promotion as Foreign Policy: Temporal Othering in International Relations, came out in the Routledge Interventions series. 

I am now working on a project looking at the political and temporal discourses of the British "New Nature Writing" and how they relate to understandings of the international. 

I am also interested in researching the pedagogy of politics and politics of pedagogy.


I am passionate about teaching and creating an inclusive classroom and curriculum. I am particularly interested in engaging students' imaginations using art, literature and popular culture. This includes using art galleries as places and resources for teaching. I have worked with both Tate Modern and UCL Art Museum to develop teaching resources for students, including co-curating a pop-up exhibition, Poverty at the UCL Art Museum.

I currently teach an undergraduate module, Discourses and Practices of International Development, and co-teach the postgraduate module Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods.  

I have also won grant funding to work with students to investigate the narratives of Jewish students. You can listen to the results by downloading The JewCL podcast

I am currently Departmental Graduate Tutor, responsible for the pastoral wellbeing of our 500 postgraduate students. 

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

I won the UCL-wide UCU Student Choice Teaching Award in 2016/17.


My first degree was in French and Czech (with Slovak) from the University of Oxford. I subsequently obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in International Development from the Open University, an MSc in Democracy and Democratisation (with Distinction) from UCL and earned my PhD at University College London with the support of a +3 grant from the ESRC. My Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is from the UCL Institute of Education.

I have a professional background as a development practitioner. I spent seven years managing development projects for the British Council, including three years based in Islamabad, Pakistan. During that time I was responsible for the DFID-funded Gender Equality Project, a project to support civil society worth £2.6 million, as well as other projects aimed at supporting Pakistan’s education and health systems. I also worked on the British Council’s strategic approach to democracy promotion in Pakistan.


“All Out War? Brexit, voting and the production of division” (2017) Renewal: a journal of social democracy 25 (3–4): 44–55

Democracy Promotion as Foreign Policy: Temporal Othering in International Relations (2017) Routledge: London

“The Will to Democratise: Democracy Promotion as Governmentality” (2012) in Kumar, Rajeesh (ed) Islam, Islamists and Democracy in the Middle East: Challenges, Opportunities and Responses, New Delhi: Global Vision Publications

“The Day Democracy Died: The Depoliticizing Effects of Democratic Development” (2009) Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 34 (3): 249-274 


The JewCL podcast (2017) co-produced with three UCL undergraduate students: available on iTunes or any podcast appBook Reviews

Book Reviews

“Book Review of Ritual and Rhythm in Electoral Systems by Graeme Orr” (2017) Party Politics 23 (6): 865–6 

(LiberalDemocracy Disfigured: Review of Democracy Disfigured: Opinion, Truth, and the People by Nadia Urbinati” (2015) Review of Politics 77 (1): 141–3