twitter: @jameswilldennis

I am a PhD student and teaching assistant based in the New Political Communication Unit at the Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. My research focuses on the effect of social media on citizenship and political engagement. My PhD thesis is titled “It’s Better to Light a Candle than to Fantasize About a Sun”: Social Media, Political Participation and Slacktivism in Britain. I am funded by the Economic and Social Research Council South East Doctoral Training Centre and I am co-supervised by Professor Andrew Chadwick and Professor Ben O'Loughlin. I have a BA in Politics from The University of Warwick (2010) and an MSc in New Political Communication (2011) from Royal Holloway, University of London.

 I have co-authored articles in Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies and have a chapter forthcoming in in the edited volume, The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics. My work on the political activist movement 38 Degrees was featured in The Civic Media Project, published by MIT Press, and in UK Election Analysis 2015: Media, Voters and the Campaign.

I was a research assistant on a study exploring global responses to the 2012 London Olympics with the BBC and the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change.

I have been a guest contributor for openDemocracy, the PhD Life blog and the Political Studies Association blog. I have been interviewed about digital politics on BBC Radio Scotland and INTER TV.

My research interests include:

  • Social media
  • Political communication
  • Political participation
  • Youth politics
  • British politics