Dr Sean McDaniel

Dr Sean McDaniel


I joined the University of Leeds in September 2023 as Lecturer in British Politics, after spending four years working at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

I completed my PhD at the University of Warwick between 2014-2019 and have held a Visiting Fellowship at Sciences Po, Paris (2016).




  • Academic Integrity Lead

Research interests

My expertise sits at the intersection of Comparative Political Economy and Party Politics and has been primarily concerned with understanding how British and European models of economic growth and progressive politics are shaped by both ongoing processes of post-crisis capitalist adjustment. 

The focus of my book, Divided They Fell: Crisis and The Collapse of Europe’s Centre-Left (2023, Agenda Publishing), is on the political economic strategies and policy orientations of the UK Labour Party and France’s Parti Socialiste in the context of the Global Financial Crisis and subsequent politics of austerity that emerged thereafter in Europe.

More recently I have embarked on a new research agenda on ‘the Labour Party and the politics of just transition in the UK’. This project builds upon my prior research by examining how European political economies are adjusting in light of the need to decarbonise, focusing specifically on understanding the impact of decarbonisation on the functioning of pre-existing models of economic growth and how progressive political parties are seeking to adapt their strategies in light of the climate crisis. 

My research has been published in leading international peer-reviewed journals, including: Journal of European Public PolicySocio-Economic ReviewGeoforumBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations and New Political Economy. These articles examine a range of topics from the British model of capitalism, to European integration and national models of capitalism, to the impact of Brexit on European financial centres, and the way in which social democratic parties have theorised austerity measures post-crisis.

I have extensive experience of working on economic and social policy. Previously, I have worked as a Research Assistant at SPERI (July 2017 - January 2018). During this time I produced a series of reports for the IPPR’s Commission on Economic Justice, a SPERI Brief and full report for Unions 21 on young workers in the UK labour market and a report for the GMB trade union on tackling insecure work. Before this, I also gained experience working for a Westminster-based think tank. 

My research to date has attracted international media attention from outlets including The Guardian and Le Monde, as well as being cited in Parliamentary Select Committee Reports and in a pamphlet by the current Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves MP.

Currently, I am a Convener and Treasurer of the PSA British and Comparative Political Economy Specialist Group. You can find our Twitter profile here @PSAPolEc

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Politics and International Studies (Warwick)
  • MA Governance and Public Policy (Sheffield)
  • BA History (Hons) (Sheffield)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Member of the Political Studies Association (PSA)
  • Treasurer and Convenor of the British and Comparative Political Economy (BCPE) PSA Specialist Group

Student education

I will be contributing to the study of British Politics, Politics and Policy in the EU 


Postgraduate research oppurtunities

I welcome enquiries from motivated applicants interested in completing a PhD in areas related to my own research. 

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>