I have been researching euroscepticism since the late 1990s. My work considers broad theoretical and practical questions about this phenomenon, as well as more specific work on the UK, on UK-EU relations, on the role of pressure groups and on the media profile of eurosceptics.
I was Deputy Director of the ESRC's "UK in a Changing Europe" programme from 2017 to 2019, contributing evidence-led, impartial inputs to the debate surrounding the UK's withdrawal from the EU. I blog regularly on these topics on the Politics@Surrey site, as well as on ideasforeurope and E!Sharp. I regularly contribute to debates on local, national and international media.
Between 2020 and 2023 I am part of the Horizon 2020-funded project "PROTECT: The right to international protection: A pendulum between globalisation and nativisation?".
I am an active teacher in various areas of politics and EU studies and was awarded the PSA's Sir Bernard Crick Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2012. I also became a HEA National Teaching Fellow in 2015. I also publish on the use of simulation games in higher education. This includes not only academic publications (see CV), but also regular posts for the Active Learning in Political Science blog. In addition, I have created materials for using simulations, hosted on the Higher Education Academy's website. I was a co-investigator on INOTLES "Innovating Teaching and Learning of European Studies", a TEMPUS-funded project (2014-2016), working with partners in five other European countries. Between 2013 and 2015, I was Associate Dean, Learning & Teaching for the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences.
Surrey academics launch new voter website ‘matchmaking’ people with their ideal political parties
My research interests centre on euroscepticism and UK-EU relations more broadly. In recent years, this has meant much work on Brexit. I am also in researching the role of active learning in pedagogic settings.
Recent projects have included work as Deputy Director of the ESRC's "UK in a Changing Europe" programme and participation in a TEMPUS+ project on European Studies.
Currently (2020-2), I am co-investigator on the Horizon 2020 project PROTECT, studying civil society attitudes towards migrants and refugees.
I teach on modules relating to European integration and to negotiation. Currently (2019-20), this includes POL1018 Introduction to European Integration; POL2033 European Integration and Disintegration; and POL3070 Negotiating Politics and Policy.
My teaching makes much use of varied learning environments, including simulation exercises, flipped classrooms and varied assessment patterns, all designed to provide the best useful set of opportunities for students. This has been backed by my pedagogic research and my continuing work with the sector-leading Active Learning in Political Science blog.
Courses I teach on
- J. Pinder & S. Usherwood, The European Union: A Very Short Introduction, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford (2013). Also second edition in 2007.
- S. Usherwood, “Modelling Transnational and Pan-European Euroscepticism” in J. FitzGibbon, B. Leruth, N. Startin (eds.) euroscepticism as a Transnational and Pan-European Phenomenon: The emergence of a new sphere of opposition, Routledge (forthcoming).
- S. Usherwood, “The UK Independence Party: The dimensions of mainstreaming” in T. Akkerman, M. Rooduijn, S. de Lange (eds.) Up to the Mainstream? The Radical Right in Western-Europe, Routledge (2016), pp.247-267.
- V. Asal, C. Raymond & S. Usherwood, “War, peace and everything in between: simulations in international relations”, in J. Ishiyama, E. Simon & W.Miller (eds.) Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations, Edward Elgar (2014), pp.304-314.
- S. Usherwood, “Britain and Europe: a model of permanent crisis?”, in K. Demetriou (ed.) The European Union in Crisis: Explorations in Representation and Democratic Legitimacy, Springer Verlag, (2014), pp.3-14.
- S. Usherwood, “Margaret Thatcher and British Opposition to European Integration: Saint or Sinner?”, in M. Gainar & M. Libera (eds.), Contre l'Europe? Anti-européisme, euroscepticisme et alter-européisme dans la construction européenne de 1945 à nos jours (Volume 2): Acteurs institutionnels, milieux politiques et société civile, Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag (2013), 75-87.
- S. Usherwood, 'Sceptical or Simply Opposed?: Eurosceptics and the EU's Constitutional Treaty'. in A. Cohen & A. Vauchez (eds.), La Constitution européenne: Elites, mobilisations, votes, , Editions de l'Université de Bruxelles, Brussels, (2007), 167-180.
- Books Edited:
- N. Startin, S. Usherwood & B. Leruth (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Euroscepticism, Routledge (in preparation). Chapter on “How do non-party groups shape the Eurosceptic debate”.
- S. Usherwood, N. Startin & S. Guerra (eds.), New Dimensions in Euroscepticism and Opposition to the EU, Edward Elgar, (in preparation). Chapters on “Civil society mobilisation as a critical element of Eurosceptic movements” and (with N. Startin) “Conclusions: What can we learn from euroscepticism”
- S. Usherwood (ed.), European Union, Routledge, Abingdon (2011). Editor and original introduction to 5 volume collection on state-of-the-art in research on the European Union.
- G.Glöckler, L.Junius, G.Scappucci, S.Usherwood & J.Vassallo, Guide to EU Policies, London, Blackstone Press, 1998. Chapters on Historical Development of the EU; Information Society; Energy Policy; Common Commercial Policy; Development Co-operation. Also responsible for most general editing tasks.
- Refereed Articles:
- I.Kinchin, A.Hosein, E.Medland, S.Lygo-Baker, S.Warburton, D.Gash. R.Rees, C.Loughlin, R.Woods, S.Price & S. Usherwood, “Mapping development of a new MA in higher education: Comparing private and public perceptions”, Journal of Further and Higher Education Vol. 58-1 (2016) 1-23.
- S. Usherwood, “Building resources for simulations: Challenges and opportunities” European Political Science, Vol. 14 (2015), 218-227.
- S. Usherwood, "Constructing Effective Simulations of the European Union for Teaching" European Political Science, Vol. 13-1 (2014) pp.53-60.
- S. Usherwood, "The shifting focus of opposition to the European Union", Journal of Contemporary European Research, Vol. 9-2 (2013) 279-296.
- S. Usherwood & N. Startin, “Euroscepticism as a persistent phenomenon”, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol.51-1, pp.1-16. Lead article for Special Issue, January 2013 on “Confronting Euroscepticism” (S. Usherwood, N. Startin & S. Guerra (eds.))
- C. Raymond & S. Usherwood, “Assessment in Simulations”, Journal of Political Science Education, 2013, Vol. 9-2, 157-167.
- S. Usherwood, 'The Media Profile of Anti-EU Groups in the UK', in Current Politics and Economics of Europe, 19, 3/4, Feb 2009, 151-178
- S. Usherwood, 'Grounding simulations in reality: a case study from an undergraduate politics degree', in On The Horizon, Vol.17-4, 2009, 296-302
- S. Usherwood, 'Enhancing Student Immersion in Negotiation-Based Learning Environments', in International Journal of Learning, Vol.16-7, 2009.
- S. Usherwood, 'The dilemmas of a single-issue party: The UK Independence Party', in Representation, Vol. 44-3, 2008, pp.255-264
- S. Usherwood, 'Proximate factors in the mobilisation of anti-EU groups in France and the UK: the European Union as first-order politics', in Journal of European Integration, 29-1 (2006), 3-21.
- S. Usherwood, 'Realists, sceptics and opponents: opposition to the EU's Constitutional Treaty', in Journal of Contemporary European Research, 1-2 (2005), 4-12.
- S. Usherwood, 'Opposition to the European Union in the UK: The dilemma of public opinion and party management', Government and Opposition, 37-2 (2002), 211-230.
Selected Conference Papers since 1990
- "Teaching simulation game design: A model, tested in the field", presented at APSA TLC, Portland OR, February 2016.
- Keynote on "Assessment in Simulations", "Performance assessment and effects of simulations of decision-making in EU studies" conferenceUniversity of Antwerp, January 2016.
- Panellist on Roundtable "Studying euroscepticism" at "Studying the EU: Current and future challenges", EUI, Florence, December 2015.
- "A Comparative Perspective on Teaching European Studies in the Eastern Partnership Countries: Trends and Opportunities" (with L. Coada), presented at UACES, Bilbao, September 2015.
- “Going Beyond Human Nature” (with V. Asal, A. Rosen & N. Kollars), presented at APSA Teaching & Learning Conference, Washington DC, January 2015.
- “The 2014 European elections as a vehicle for mainstream Euroscepticism”, presented at Rejecting Europe or Worried about the crisis?, Amsterdam, November 2014.
- “Euroscepticism as a lever: Contesting European integration with ulterior motives”, presented at Democratic constitutionalism in Europe, Oslo, November 2014.
- “Concept mapping: mediated reflections on the design of a new MA programme in higher education” (with. I.Kinchin, A.Hosein, E.Medland, S.Lygo-Baker, S.Warburton, D.Gash. R.Rees, C.Loughlin, R.Woods & S.Price), presented at 6th International Conference on Concept Mapping, Santos, Brazil, September 2014.
- “Making simulations work”, workshop at Teaching Politics and International Relations to the next generation of students, ECPR/UACES/PSA/BISA, Maastricht, June 2014.
- “UKIP: One man band, or resilient party machine?”, presented at Political Studies Association, Manchester, April 2014.
- “Assessment Strategies in Simulation Games”, presented at International Studies Association, Toronto, March 2014.
- “Building Resources for Simulations: Challenges and opportunities”, presented at EU Simulations: Scholarly reflection and research on an innovative teaching methodology, Mainz, September 2013.
- “Euroscepticism as Action, not Ideology”, presented at UACES Annual conference, Leeds, September 2013.
- Panellist on UKIP, workshop of UACES Collaborative Research Network on Euroscepticism, Brussels, June 2013.
- “Uploading the new European Union: Denmark, Ireland and the UK as constitutional entrepreneurs”, presented to '40 years since the First Enlargement' Conference, London, March 2013.
- “Building Resources for Simulations in Political Science”, presented to APSA Teaching & Learning Conference, Long Beach, February 2013
- "Burying the hatchet or sticking in the knife? UK & Germany in the eurozone crisis”, presented to UACES Annual Conference, Passau, September 2012.
- “L'enfer, c'est les autres: Othering in Eurosceptic discourse”, presented to PSA Annual Conference, Belfast, April 2012.
- “Euroscepticism as a Persistent Phenomenon” (with N. Startin), presented to UACES Annual Conference, Cambridge, September 2011.
- “Euroscepticism as a persistent phenomenon”, presented to UACES CRN Workshop on Euroscepticism, Guildford, June 2011.
- “Enhancing Student Immersion in Negotiation-Based Learning Environments”, presented to APSA Teaching & Learning Conference, Albuquerque, February 2011.
- “UKIP's Political Strategy: Opportunistic Idealism in a Fragmented Political Arena”, presented to UACES Annual Conference, Bruges, September 2010.
- “Constructing Effective Simulations of the European Union for Teaching: Realising the Potential”, presented to UACES Annual Conference, Bruges, September 2010.
- “Negotiation-Based Learning: Objectives, Strategies, Challenges”, presented to C-SAP/JISC Conference on Open Educational Resources, London, October 2010.
- “Tactics or strategy? The debate on use of a referendum for British ratification of the Constitutional Treaty”, University Association for Contemporary European Studies 15th Research Conference, Angers, France (September 2009).
- “Enhancing Student Immersion in Negotiation-Based Learning Environments”,16th International Conference on Learning, Barcelona, Spain (July 2009).
- “Enhancing Student Immersion in Negotiation-based Learning Environments”, The Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulations in Education and Training (SAGSET) Annual Conference, Leeds (July 2009).
- “Strange bedfellows: the sources of pressure for referenda on British ratification of EU treaties”, University Association for Contemporary European Studies 14th Research Conference, Edinburgh (September 2008).
- “Grounding simulations in reality: a case study from an undergraduate politics degree”, The Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulations in Education and Training (SAGSET) Annual Conference, Nottingham (July 2008).
- 'Developing a European media space? Discourse markers in France and the UK', University Association for Contemporary European Studies 13th Research Conference, Portsmouth (September 2007).
- 'Ideological and Institutional Factors in Party Alignments on the EU: A Comparison of Three Cases' (with Chris Flood), Presented at European Union Studies Association, Montreal (May 2007).
- 'The UK Independence Party: The dilemmas of a single-issue party', Political Studies Association 57th Annual Conference, Bath, (April 2007).
- 'The Media Profile of Anti-EU Groups in the UK' , European Consortium of Political Research 3 rd Pan-European Conference on European Union Politics, Istanbul (September 2006).
- 'Mapping the European issue in three national parties: Contextualising positions' (with Chris Flood), European Consortium of Political Research 3rd Pan-European Conference on European Union Politics, Istanbul (September 2006).
- 'A Developing Model of Partisan Alignment on EU Integration' (with C.Flood). Presented at University Association for Contemporary European Studies 11th Research Conference, Zagreb (September 2005).
- 'Sceptical or Simply Opposed?: Eurosceptics and the EU's Constitutional Treaty'. Presented at Conference on 'The European Constitution: Genesis and Uses', Amiens (June 2005).
- 'Positions, Dispositions, Transitions: A Model of Group Alignment on EU Integration' (with C.Flood). Presented at Political Studies Association 55th Annual Conference, Leeds, (April 2005).
- "Proximate factors in the mobilisation of anti-EU groups in France and the UK: the European Union as first-order politics", European Consortium of Political Research 2nd Pan-European Conference on European Union Politics, Bologna (July 2004).
- "Left-wing opposition to the European Union in the UK: Explaining its under-development", Political Studies Association 54th Annual Conference, Lincoln, (April 2004).
- "The shifting focus of opposition to the European Union", University Association for Contemporary European Studies 9th Research Conference, Newcastle (September 2003).
- "The European Union as an issue in French politics", European Consortium of Political Research 1st Pan-European Conference on European Union Politics, Bordeaux (September 2002).
- "Opposition to the EU in France: A challenge to French leadership?", University Association for Contemporary European Studies 8th Research Conference, Belfast (September 2002).
- "Opposition to the EU in France and the UK", European Consortium of Political Research 1st General Conference, Canterbury (September 2001).
- "Opposition to the EU in the UK: The dilemma of public opinion and party management", Political Studies Association 51st Annual Conference, Manchester (April 2001).