Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico
Professor Andrew  Blick

Professor Andrew Blick

  • Academics

Head of the Department of Political Economy and Professor of Politics and Contemporary History

Research subject areas

  • Politics
  • Policy and society

Contact details

Biography

Prof Andrew Blick is Professor of Politics and Contemporary History, and Head of Department of Political Economy.

Prof Blick uses the study of history to broaden understanding of contemporary political issues and debates. His areas of interest include democratic development; the UK constitution; the impact of the internet on politics; special advisers and the UK Civil Service; and the office of the UK Prime Minister. In 2021 he began participation in an AHRC-funded project assessing the history of democracy from ancient times to the contemporary era, through considering written primary sources.

Prof Blick is the author of numerous publications, including 11 books, for seven of which he is the sole author. He is presently writing for Oxford University Press Democracy in the United Kingdom, an historic reassessment of democratic development in the UK, conceived of as a contribution to a revaluation of models of international democracy promotion.

Before his academic appointment in 2013, Prof 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.

Prof Blick was historical 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 2019 Prof Blick was commissioned by the Rowntree Trusts to write a report on how a UK constitutional convention could function, at the request of the parliamentary leadership of four of the main Westminster parties. Between 2015 and 2020, Prof Blick was director of History & Policy, a UK-wide initiative for the promotion of the work of academic historians to policy-makers.

Prof Blick is the editor of The Constitution in Review, a six-monthly analysis of developments in the UK constitution produced by the United Kingdom Constitution Monitoring Group, a group of leading experts and practitioners. He is senior adviser to the Constitution Society, a charity for the promotion of awareness of constitutional issues in the UK. Prof Blick has made frequent domestic and international media appearances, and often provides evidence to parliamentary select committees.

Office hours

E-mail Professor Blick for an appointment.

Publications

Electrified Democracy: the Internet and the United Kingdom Parliament in history (Cambridge University Press, 2021). A study of the impact of communications technology on politics, taking the Internet and the UK Parliament as its focus, also extending to the printing press, the radio and television for comparative purposes.

UK Politics (Oxford University Press, 2021). An entirely new undergraduate textbook on UK politics, taking into account developments such as the rise of the Internet; equality and diversity issues; and the advent of Brexit.

With L. Atkinson and M. Qvortrup, The Referendum in Britain: a history (Oxford University Press, 2020), a study of the idea and use of this direct democratic device in the UK since the late nineteenth century.

Other publications include:

People Who Live in the Dark: the history of the special adviser in British politics (Politico’s/Methuen, 2004)

Premiership: the development, nature and power of the office of the British Prime Minister (with George Jones, Imprint Academic, 2010)

At Power’s Elbow: aides to the Prime Minister from Sir Robert Walpole to David Cameron (with George Jones, Biteback, 2013)

Beyond Magna Carta: a constitution for the United Kingdom (Bloomsbury/Hart, 2015)

The Codes of the Constitution (Bloomsbury/Hart, 2016)

Butler’s British Political Facts (ed. with Roger Mortimore, Palgrave, 2018)

Stretching the Constitution: the Brexit shock in historic perspective (Bloomsbury/Hart, 2019)

Research

Prof 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..

PhD supervision 

Prof 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