Dr Stephen Thornton - BA, PGCE, MScEcon, PhD
Telephone: +44(0)29 2087 6095
Fax: +44(0)29 2087 4946
Location: Room 0.07, 65-68 Park Place
Office hours: Tuesday & Thursday 10:30 - 11:30
My research and teaching interests include British politics and public policy, Labour party history, comparative politics, social policy, technology and Politics, and political biography. Current projects include running – with Professor Adam Sharr of Newcastle University – a CHRI-funded project to investigate Sir Leslie Martin’s 1965 proposal to create a modernist ‘National and Government Centre’ in Whitehall: ‘Ziggurats for Bureaucrats’, as the scheme was called. In contrast, I am also actively engaged in researching the role new technologies play in the process of political learning.
Following a career as a teacher, I came to the School of European Studies in 1996 to begin a Masters degree, which developed into a PhD, which I completed in 2003. Since 1997 I have taught on a wide variety of modules, was appointed Lecturer in Politics in 2004, and Lecturer in Comparative Politics in 2006 (P-T).
I have a particular interest in pedagogic practice, which influences both my teaching and my research, and, partially as a result, was appointed co-convenor and treasurer of the UK-wide Political Studies Association (PSA) Specialist Group on Learning and Teaching in 2007. I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2010. In February 2011, on behalf of the Histories, Memories and Fictions and European Governance, Identity and Public Policy Research Units, I organised a guest lecture by Ion Trewin: editor and biographer of the late Alan Clark; literary director of the Mann Booker Prize; and special professor at the University of Nottingham. In 2013, I will be helping to organise the annual PSA Conference in Cardiff, the largest event of its kind in Europe.
‘I've been studying for 15 years and so know some things!': Some adventures in trying to make a study skilss programme relevant', paper presented at the PSA Conference, Belfast, 4 April 2012.
(with Adam Sharr) ‘Demolishing Whitehall’, History and Theory Seminar, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, 17 January 2012.
‘We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works’, at the PSA/BISA Teaching and Learning Annual Conference, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, 14 September 2011.
‘From Dick Crossman to Alistair Campbell: Using Diaries and Memoirs to Teach British Politics’, paper presented at the PSA Conference, London, 21 April 2011.
‘Wilson, White Heat, and Redeveloping Whitehall’, paper as part of the EGIPP seminar series, Cardiff University, 2 March, 2011.
‘Is the library dead? Students’ information behaviours in the twenty-first century’, paper presented at the PSA Specialist Group on Teaching and Learning Annual Conference, De Montfort University, 15 September 2010.
‘‘Information Literacy: where next?’ paper presented at PSA Conference, Edinburgh, 30 March 2010.
'Learning to Teach Politics in Higher Education’, paper presented at the PSA Specialist Group on Teaching and Learning Annual Conference, 8 September 2009.
(with Sonja Haerkoenen) ‘Attempting to bridge the barrier between academic study and research skills training: Early student responses to a fully integrated academic/skills-based method of assessment’, paper presented at PSA Conference, Manchester University, 8 April 2009.
(with Sonja Haerkoenen) ‘Trial and error: Student responses to different approaches of embedding information literacy education across five departments’, paper presented at Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC), Cardiff University, 30 March 2009.
‘Teaching Politics and the Google Generation’, presented at the Youth, Citizenship and Political Science Education Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 4-5 September 2008.
(with Rosanne Palmer), ‘Celebrating Independents’ Day? Assessing the significance of May 2008 local elections in Wales’, paper at the Joint South East Wales Universities History/ Politics Summer Conference 2008, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, 27 June 2008.
(with Cathie Jackson and Rebecca Mogg), ‘Avoiding the University of Google ’, part of the QUILT (Quality and Innovation in Learning and Teaching) Seminar Series, Cardiff University, 23 May 2008.
‘Assessing information literacy in a Politics module’, paper presented at the PSA Conference, Swansea University, 1 April 2008.
‘Sage on the Stage or a Guide on the Side: The roles of the Politics Lecturer’, paper presented at the PSA Graduate Conference, Swansea University, 31 March 2008.
‘Embedding Information Literacy into a Politics Module: Lessons learned from a pilot study at Cardiff University’ paper presented at the University College and Research Group (Wales Branch) of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, 25 May 2005.
‘Harold Wilson and Social Security, 1964-1970’, paper presented at the ‘Relevance of Wilsonism’ symposium held at New College, Oxford, 24 July 2003.
I am responsible for the final year module Personality and Power, co-lead the first year modules Introduction to Government, Introduction to Political Science, and run the programme Introduction to Academic Study for all students taking First Year Politics options. I am also currently chair the Politics Year 1 Exam Board. In addition, I contribute to a wide number of M-level courses, and provide both thesis and dissertation support.