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Charlie Mealings

Charlie Mealings

PhD Candidate

Research interests

  • Politics


Charlie's research investigates the role of design in politics and political research. In academia, the study of politics is usually undertaken as social science and/or philosophy, while in recent years design has become increasingly popular in government, policy-making, business and the third sector as a paradigm for addressing all manner of social and political problems. His research aims to demonstrate the worth and necessity of design to political problem-solving. First, the thesis provides the first comprehensive theorisation of social science and social design: their genealogies, their distinctive strengths and their mutual dependence. Second, the fieldwork employs design methods to develop an intervention to combat an extant political problem: online abuse. In doing so, the project addresses a long-standing problem in deliberative democratic theory with an application of design methods, thus demonstrating empirically their value to political research.

Charlie's broader research interests include democratic theory, British politics, social design and normative political theory, broadly speaking. He is the recipient of a studentship awarded jointly by King's College London and the University of the Arts London (UAL) to fund PhD research into the emerging nexus of design and politics. He obtained a Master's degree in Global Governance and Ethics (MSc) from University College London in 2016, and a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Politics from the University of East Anglia (BSc) in 2014. Before starting his PhD he worked in a variety of social research roles on projects for Google, the Financial Conduct Authority and the United Nations Development Program. He is originally from Southampton and lives in South London.

Research Interests

  • Democratic theory
  • Social design
  • Philosophy of science
  • Design theory
  • British politics


  • Introduction to Political Theory (2018/19)

  • Fundamentals of Politics Research (2021/22)


Professor Adrian Blau, Professor Lucy Kimbell, and Dr Rod Dacombe.