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PIR Welcomes Donald Searing as Leverhulme Visiting Professor

Posted on 29/07/2013

We are pleased to announce that Professor Donald Searing, presently Burton Craige Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is joining the Department of Politics and International Relations as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor for a five-month period beginning 1 August 2013 (award VP2-2012-024).

Professor Searing is a major figure in the study of comparative politics, political elites and political psychology, and has received a number of professional awards for his work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is best known for developing a new motivational approach to the investigation of political roles, which formed the basis of his seminal book on the British House of Commons, Westminster’s World: Understanding Political Roles (Harvard University Press, 1994). His research has also appeared in most of the discipline’s top journals, including the American Political Science Review and British Journal of Political Science.

Leverhulme Visiting Professorships are highly prestigious awards designed to enable distinguished academics based overseas to spend time at British universities. While based at Royal Holloway, Professor Searing will be working with academic staff and doctoral students in PIR, participating in the work of the College’s Centre for the Social Sciences, and visiting a number of other universities.

Professor Searing will also deliver three public Leverhulme Lectures, the dates and locations of which will be published soon on the PIR website. The provisional titles for these lectures are:

  • ‘Virtues and Vices of Liberal Democratic Leadership’
  • ‘Political Learning and Socialization in Parliamentary Institutions’
  • ‘Integrity in Political Careers: The Problem of Dirty Hands’

Last but not least, Professor Searing will use his time at Royal Holloway to continue his own research into the psychological structure and dynamics of politicians’ character traits and political leadership in liberal democracies.


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