Alongside his role as Reader in Politics and Contemporary History and Director of the Centre for British Politics and Government, Dr. Blick is Director of History & Policy, a UK-wide initiative, led from King’s College London and the University of Cambridge, that brings together historians and policy-makers. He is also Impact lead for DPE.Before his academic appointment Dr Blick had extensive experience working for think tanks, in the UK Parliament and as an administrative assistant at No.10 Downing Street. He has advised democratic reform groups working in countries including Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine; and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in Stockholm. He has carried out consultancy work for the United Nations Development Programme, European Commission, European Parliament, and UK National Audit Office.
Dr. Blick was adviser to the Welsh Government in its intervention in the landmark Supreme Court Article 50 case of 2016. From 2010-15 he was research fellow to the first ever parliamentary inquiry into the possibility of introducing a written constitution for the UK, carried out by the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee. During 2015-16 he was expert adviser to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Reform, Decentralisation and Devolution, and its inquiry into Better Devolution for the Whole UK, chaired by Lord Kerslake. In 2016 the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust commissioned Dr Blick to write a report on how a Citizens' Convention on UK Democracy could function, at the request of the parliamentary leadership of four of the main Westminster parties. He is now director of this project with support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, and Open Society Foundation.
Dr. Blick is the author of numerous pamphlets, articles and books. In 2015 he published ‘Beyond Magna Carta: a constitution for the United Kingdom’; in 2016 ‘The Codes of the Constitution’, a study of the use of codes and manuals in the operation of the UK constitution; and in 2019 'Stretching the Constitution: the Brexit shock in historic perspective'. He co-edited with Prof. Roger Mortimore the new edition of 'Butler's British Political Facts' (2018). He is writing a text book, 'UK Politics', for Oxford University Press, and 'Electrified Democracy', assessing the Internet and the UK Parliament from an historic standpoint, for Cambridge University Press.
Dr. Blick has made frequent domestic and international media appearances, and often provides evidence to parliamentary select committees.
He is a Fellow of the Westminster Abbey Foundation and a member of the Prime Minister's History Steering Working Group.
Dr. Blick's main areas of interest are:
- The history and future of the UK constitution, including in relation to Brexit;
- The Internet and UK democracy in historic perspective;
- The history of the UK Civil Service, special advisers, and the office of Prime Minister; and
- Democratic development in the UK, and the lessons that might be drawn for international democracy promotion..
Dr Blick is interested in supervising PhDs in the following areas:
- Constitutional reform in the UK including parliamentary reform, devolution, and the prospects for a codified or written UK constitution
- The Civil Service and special advisers
- The office of Prime Minister
- Constitutional conventions and the Royal Prerogative