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Personal profile


Toby S. James is Professor of Politics and Public Policy in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia.  He has held positions at the universities of Sydney, York, Swansea, Trinity College, Dublin, Interational IDEA and the John W. Kluge Center in the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.  

He is currently Co-Director of the Electoral Integrity Project, an independent academic research project based at UEA and the Royal Military College of Canada/Queens University.  This produces innovative and policy-relevant research to improve elections worldwide.

He is also  Editor-in-Chief of the multi-disciplinary journal Policy Studies.

Toby’s research focuses on the electoral integrity and democracy, the policy process and political leadership. He has had articles published in leading international journals such as International Political Science Review, Electoral Studies, Government and Opposition, Parliamentary Affairs, Public Money & Management and the British Journal of Politics and International Relations.  He is the author or co-editor of six books: Elite Statecraft and Election Administration (Palgrave, 2012), co-editor of British Labour Leaders and British Conservative Leaders (both Biteback, 2015), Comparative Electoral Management (Routledge, 2020), Building Inclusive Elections (Routledge, 2020), and The Trump Administration (Routledge, 2022).

Toby has written commissioned policy reports for national and international organisations, and collaborated with organisations such as International IDEA, IFES, the Carter Center, Westminster Foundation for Democray and the UK Foreign Office.  He has regularly given invited evidence to many Parliamentary committees and collaborated with organisations such as the Venice Commission.  He was previously Senior Fellow to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Democratic Participation and been an invited speaker around the world including at Harvard University and for the UNDP.

Toby’s research has been externally funded by the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, AHRC, ESRC, Nuffield Foundation, SSHRC, Joesph Rowntree Reform Trust and the McDougall Trust.  His work on electoral management and democratic participation led to him being a finalist for the ESRC Impact Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Public Policy in 2018.

Key Research Interests

Toby’s research interests are broad and cover democracy in practice, electoral institutions, electoral malpractice, political participation, political leadership, statecraft theory, public administration, theories of the policy process and research methodologies.

He is currently working on:

  • Concepts of electoral integrity and democracy. He is working on concept papers on democratic theory using realist social theory. 
  • Electoral integrity around the globe.  This project, in collaboration with Holly Ann Garnett (Royal Mlitary COllege, Canada) involves running the Perception of Electoral Integrity Surveys to assess the quality of elections around the globe.
  • Covid-19 and elections.  This is an ESRC funded project in collaboration with International IDEA and Alistair Clark which examines the impact of the pandemic on electoral integrity.
  • Political leaders.  He has continued to work on evaluating the impact of political leaders on policy and politics.

I welcome enquiries from PhD potential students relating to any of my research area.

Key Responsibilities

Co-Director of the Electoral Integrity Project

Editor-in-Chief of Policy Studies

Professional Activities

Recent positions:

Research grants:

  • Canadian SSHRC Grant, 2021-2024
  • ERSC Covid Rapid Response, 2020-21
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connection Grant, 2018-2019
  • Electoral Integrity Project Senior Fellowship Competition 2018
  • ERSC Impact Acceletator Account, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Electoral Integrity Project Research Grant 2016
  • University of East Anglia Petley Impact Funding 2016
  • British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Grant, 2015-6
  • Political Studies Association Overseas Travel Grant. September 2013
  • Nuffield Foundation Social Sciences Small Grant. 2011-3
  • McDougall Trust Small Grant. 2011-3
  • ESRC National Centre for Research Methods Training Bursary. 2010
  • ESRC Institutional Visit Scholarship Summer. 2008
  • W. Kluge Centre Library of Congress Scholarship. 2007

Teaching Interests

Toby teaches research-led courses on comparative politics, electoral integrity and the first year module Introduction to Contemporary Politics.