Alan Finlayson

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Alan Finlayson
AwardsBernard Crick Prize for Best Piece 2014[2]
Academic background
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge (M.A.Cantab. Social and Political Sciences)
Queen's University Belfast (Ph.D. Political Science)
Academic work
InstitutionsQueen's University Belfast (1992-1999) Swansea University (1999-2012)
University of East Anglia (2012-present)
Main interestsPolitical science, Rhetoric
Notable worksMaking Sense of New Labour[1]
Notable ideasRhetorical political analysis

Alan Finlayson is a British political theorist and political scientist. He is Professor of Political and Social Theory at The University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, having previously taught in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies at Swansea University, and the Department of Politics and International Relations at Queen's University Belfast. He is a leading advocate of rhetorical political analysis and of its importance for the study of British politics.

Rhetorical Political Analysis[edit]

Finlayson is a noted advocate of the development of Rhetorical Political Analysis within British Political Studies.[3] He promotes the close study of political speech and argument on the grounds that this is a way of understanding the history and development of political ideologies.[4] He is responsible for the website British Political Speech which archives political speeches and promotes the study of political oratory in the UK.[5] In 2015 his essay "Proving, Pleasing and Persuading? Rhetoric in Contemporary British Politics" was awarded the Bernard Crick Prize for the best article in the journal Political Quarterly.[6] In 2023 his article "YouTube and Political Ideologies: Technology, Populism and Rhetorical Form" was awarded the Harrison Prize from the Political Studies Association for the best article in the journal Political Studies.


Finlayson was convenor of the Post-Structuralism and Radical Politics specialist group of the Political Studies Association from 1999 to 2009. He is currently Treasurer of the Rhetoric and Politics Specialist Group of the PSA, a member of the Rhetoric Society of America's Internationalization Task Force and of the steering group of the Rhetoric Society of Europe. He is also a Trustee of the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust.[7] and a Director of the left-wing publisher Lawrence and Wishart.

Selected bibliography[edit]

Media journal articles[edit]

  • Finlayson, Alan (31 January 2011). "The philosophical significance of UKUncut". Open Democracy | Our Kingdom.
  • Finlayson, Alan (27 May 2011). "Should the left go Blue? Making sense of Maurice Glasman". Open Democracy | Our Kingdom.
  • Finlayson, Alan (29 November 2021). "Sleaze is just a symptom – democratic politics in the UK is dying". The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 29 November 2021.

Academic journal articles[edit]


  1. ^ MUSE (2003). Making Sense of New Labour. ISBN 9781909831834. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  2. ^ "Bernard Crick Prize 2014". PoliticalQuarterly.
  3. ^ Finlayson, Alan (November 2007). "From beliefs to arguments: interpretive methodology and rhetorical political analysis". The British Journal of Politics & International Relations. 9 (4): 545–563. doi:10.1111/j.1467-856X.2007.00269.x. S2CID 144417511.
  4. ^ Glynos, Jason; Howarth, David; Norval, Aletta; Speed, Ewen (August 2009). Discourse analysis: varieties and methods (NCRM/014). Southampton, UK: NCRM: National Centre for Research Methods funded by: ESRC - Economic & Social Research Council. pp. 14–16. Pdf of paper.
  5. ^ "About". British Political Speech. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Bernard Crick Prize for Best Piece 2014".
  7. ^ "Trustees". Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.

External links[edit]