School of Law, Politics and Sociology

Current and Recent Research Projects

All faculty in the School are research-active, and many are successful in attracting external funding, publishing their work in highly reputable outlets, and engaging on matters relating to their expertise with the media and others in the public and private sphere. Details of research activity can be found by clicking on the web profiles of individual members of faculty, but this page also provides an indicative selection of recent and current work conducted in the school. Just click on the links below.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum (2016-2020) Professor Nuno Ferreira (Law School, University of Sussex)

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum: A European Human Rights Challenge is a four-year (2016-2020) research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) exploring the social and legal experiences of individuals across Europe claiming international protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI).

Professor Nuno Ferreira in the School of Law led the project, with a team of researchers including Dr Carmelo Danisi, Dr Moira Dustin and Dr Nina Held. The project’s outputs include several articles and a two-volume monograph to be published in 2021 by Springer.

Protection of Public Interest Journalism Dr Judith Townend ( Law School, University of Sussex)

Ongoing work by Dr Judith Townend, senior lecturer in media and information law, uses research to inform the development of communications and digital policy and law to protect public interest journalism and freedom of expression, particularly in England and Wales. Her recent publications include ‘Executive accountability and national security’ with Lorna Woods and Lawrence McNamara (2021), ‘Positive free speech and public access to courts’ (2020) and ‘We must see them in court’ (2019).

Party Members in the UK, Professor Paul Web (Politics department, University of Sussex)

Party Members in the UK

Paul Webb’s research on the party members in the UK has provided the contemporary baseline for public knowledge and debate about the demographics, attitudes and activities of party members in Britain today: figures from the Party Members Project ( which he co-directed have become ‘the facts’ used by the media and by politicians themselves, as well as by other researchers, academic and non-academic.
Mass Observation and Popular Understandings of Politcs, Dr Jonathan Moss (Politics deparment, University of Sussex)

Mass Observation and Popular Understandings of Politics

Jonathan Moss’s research on popular understandings of politics addresses the issue of political disengagement in Britain. Surveys show a lack of trust in political actors and institutions, whilst populist politicians and parties seek to capitalise on this political disaffection. Jonathan was involved in an ESRC funded project that aimed to identify the historical specificity and likely causes of current disenchantment with formal politics. This research was distinguished by its focus on the voices of ‘ordinary’ citizens found in the Mass Observation Archive, which is based here at Sussex.

Department of Sociology Research Projects

Our staff have been involved in many major projects, funded by research councils, the European Commission, Wellcome and Leverhulme, as well as other organisations.

Read about some of the projects here