Skip to main content


The Centre for Democratic Politics acts as a hub for research in the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Leeds, specialising in political engagement and democratic participation. Collectively, our aim is to analyse and theorise changing forms of engagement in an unstable and unpredictable political environment. In doing so we seek to encourage collaborative, cross-disciplinary research.

The Centre for Democratic Politics was established as the Centre for Democratic Engagement by Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Dr Jonathan Dean in 2017. The current CDP co-directors are Dr Richard Hayton and Dr Eike Rinke. The Centre encompasses a wealth of academic backgrounds and methodological approaches: we include staff with backgrounds in British politics, political theory, political economy and quantitative research methods. You can find out more about our various projects and interests in the Research section.

As well as holding a collective interest in formal modes of political participation such as voting patterns and party membership, we also take a keen interest in the affective, emotional and symbolic dimensions of democratic participation and engagement. Moreover, we promote dialogue between academics and practitioners, in order to facilitate greater understanding of these formal and informal types of engagement.