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Teaching Fellows

Dr James Dawson

Teaching Fellow

DawsonDepartment of War Studies
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS

Office Hour: Tuesdays 4-5pm at Bush House 3.04 (ask at 3rd floor reception).

Areas of interest

  • Ethnographic (Fieldwork) and Discursive Methodologies
  • Democratization and Europeanization in Post-Communist Europe
  • Evaluating Democracy
  • Sociology of Soft Power
  • Autocratic Regimes and Revolutions


James moved to King’s College London in 2015 from University College London, where he had served since 2013 as acting Director of MSc Democracy and Comparative Politics. He holds a PhD in Political Science from UCL.

His research has focussed on the challenges of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe with a particular emphasis on the clash of liberal and progressive norms on the one hand and ethnic nationalist and pro-authoritarian ideas on the other. His recent work has been published in the Journal of Democracy and Nationalities Papers and he is the author of one monograph – Cultures of Democracy in Serbia and Bulgaria: How Ideas Shape Publics (2014), which was awarded the BASEES George Blazyca Prize. Consistent with his analytical focus on the spread of ideas, he uses methodologies such as sociological surveys, ethnography and discourse analysis. He has also written for Open Democracy and the research blogs of UCL and LSE. A YouTube explainer of his book can be found here and a review can be read here.

In terms of teaching, he has delivered lectures on a range of theoretical and methodological approaches used across the sub-fields of political science including democratic theory, theories of international relations, rational choice and interpretive and relational approaches. 

Major Publications

  • ‘What’s Wrong with East-Central Europe? The Fading Mirage of the Liberal Consensus’, (first author, with Seán Hanley), Journal of Democracy, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp. 20-34, January 2016.
  • Book: ‘Cultures of Democracy in Serbia and Bulgaria: How Ideas Shape Publics’, Routledge, December 2014; paperback forthcoming in November 2016.
  • ‘The Ethnic and Non-Ethnic Politics of Everyday Life in Bulgaria’s Southern Borderland’, 2012, Nationalities Papers, Volume 40, Number 3, pp. 473-489
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