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Dr Rod Dacombe

Lecturer in Politics

DacombePostal Address:

Department of Political Economy
King’s College London
Strand Campus
Bush House (North East Wing)
30 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BG



Tel: + 44 (0)20 7848 7350

Room number: 8.17 Bush House (North East Wing)

Office Hours:

Wednesday: 11:00
Friday: 11.30 - 12.30


Rod Dacombe is Lecturer in Politics and GTA Coordinator in the Department of Political Economy. His areas of interest include the voluntary sector, public service reform and democratic theory and practice. He has studied at Oxford University, Princeton and the LSE.

Rod has previously worked at the the University of Oxford, the LSE, and Warwick University. He has worked as an advisor on third sector issues for the Scottish Government and the Danish Ministry for Social Affairs. Before this he worked for a number of years in local government. Rod is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.


Rod is currently in receipt of a Fellowship awarded by The Leverhulme Trust to support his research examining civic participation in deprived areas. In this capacity he is carrying out a stream of research examining the relationship between neighbourhood conditions and participatory democracy, as well as undertaking an evaluation of a number of community budgeting experiments. His upcoming book will be titled Beyond Abstract Democracy.


At King's, Rod teaches courses on the third sector and public policy, and on democracy, and supervises PhD students working on areas such as social enterprise, social capital and extremism, and representation in local government. He is co-author of The Politics Book, published by Dorling Kindersley, a text book aimed at A-Level and early undergraduate politics students. He was awarded a College Teaching Excellence Award within a year of starting at KCL.

PhD supervision

Rod is happy to consider PhD applications in the following areas:

  • Civic participation and democratic theory
  • The third sector and public services
  • Local government and democracy

Grants and Awards

  • Higher Education Funding Council for England
    Project Grant (awarded February 2016)

  • Higher Education Innovation Fund/King's Cultural Institute
    Small grant (awarded December 2013)

  • The Leverhulme Trust: Early Career Fellowship, 2011-2013 (awarded May 2010)
  • Scottish Government: Tender for literature review on the evidence base for third sector policy in Scotland (£12,430 awarded December 2008)
  • Department for Communities and Local Government/English Regions Network/Skillplus UK: Tender for two year project investigating ‘Supporting Public Scrutiny’ (£188,854 awarded September 2006)
  • Economic and Social Research Council: ESRC Overseas Visiting Fellowship (awarded by competition) (2005), +3 ESRC Studentship (awarded by competition) (2003)
  • London School of Economics: David Billis Scholarship (awarded by competition) (2002)
  • Beveridge Award (awarded to selected applicants to the School) (2002).



‘Beyond abstract democracy: Rethinking civic participation in theory and practice’ Forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan

The Politics Book (Co-author) Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 2013

Peer-reviewed journal articles

'Developing immersive simulations: The potential of theatre in teaching and learning in political science' (with Elizabeth Morrow)
PS: Political Science & Politics, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 209-213, January 2017

'Systematic Reviews in Political Science: What can the approach contribute to political research?'
Political Studies Review (Accepted - forthcoming)

‘Sports clubs and civic inclusion: Beyond the poverty of association’ Sport in Society, Vol. 16, No. 10, pp. 1263-1278, 2013

‘Can we argue against it? Managing voluntary sector performance in public service provision’ Public Money and Management, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 159-166, August 2011

‘Who leads? Officer-Councillor relations in local government overview and scrutiny committees’ The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 218-228, November 2011

‘Examining local commissioning accreditation schemes for the voluntary and community sector in the UK: A view from the field’ The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, Vol. 15, No. 4, September 2010

‘Filling in the gaps: European governance, the open method of coordination and the European Commission’ (with Manuel Souto Otero and Timo Fleckenstein) Journal of Education Policy, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 231-249, May 2008

Book Chapters

'The Voluntary Sector and Public Services: Implications for Criminal Justice', in Hucklesby, A. and Corcoran, M. (Eds.) The Voluntary Sector and Criminal Justice, London: Palgrave, 2015 (with Elizabeth Morrow)

‘Civic participation’ in Anheier, H. & Toepler, S. (Eds), International Encyclopaedia of Civil Society, New York: Springer Publications, 2010

‘The Voluntary Sector and Young Black People’ in Sallah, M. and Howson, C. (Eds.) Working with Black Young People, London: Russell House, 2007

‘Racism and young people in the UK’ in Glaser, M., Rieker, P., Schuster, S (Eds.) Prevention of Right-Wing Extremism, Xenophobia and Racism in European Perspective, Halle, Deutsches Jugendinstitute, Arbeitsstelle Rechtsextremismus und Fremdenfeindlichkeit, 2006.

Authored reports

‘The Evidence Base for Third Sector Policy in Scotland: A Review of Selected Literature, Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2009

‘Supporting Public Scrutiny: Understanding and Developing the Role of the Professional Scrutiny Officer, Final Report’ London, HMSO, 2008

‘Supporting Public Scrutiny: Understanding and Developing the Role of the Professional Scrutiny Officer, Phase 1 Interim Report’ London, HMSO, 2007

‘Towards a greater understanding: Examining small internationally-focussed charities in the UK’, London, Allavida Publications, 2005

Other articles

The state of the voluntary sector’, New Statesman, 10 December 2007

Book Reviews

‘Creative Philanthropy’, Anheier, H. and Leat, D., in Journal of Social Policy, Vol 37, No. 1, January 2008

Working Papers

‘Harmony or dissonance? Examining the implications of New Labour’s reform of voluntary and community sector/state relations in the UK ’, Oxford University, Barnett Papers in Social Studies (2005)

‘The New Deal for Lone Parents and social justice: Time as an evaluative space’, (with Adam Whitworth) Oxford University, Barnett Papers in Social Studies (2005).

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