Dr. Judi Atkins

My research vision

My research interests focus on rhetoric, ideology and public policy in British politics. My current project was supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant and explores the role of rhetoric in managing the dynamics of conflict and co-operation within the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

I recently organised a conference on this theme, which led to a special section of The Political Quarterly, and I am now working on my second monograph for Palgrave Macmillan. Additionally I have published extensively on the Labour Party, and I am co-editing a book on the rhetoric of the UK Left with John Gaffney (Aston).

Silhouette profile photo.

Lecturer in Politics

Building: George Eliot

Room: 109

Email: judi.atkins@coventry.ac.uk



Judi joined the School of Humanities as Lecturer in Politics in September 2014. Before coming to Coventry, she was Research Fellow in British Politics at the University of Leeds (2011-2014) and Research Assistant on the Leverhulme Trust-funded project ‘How the Leader Speaks: British Political Rhetoric and Argumentation’ at Swansea University (2008-2011).

She is co-manager of the online archive, britishpoliticalspeech.org, which was a key outcome of this project, and has been Secretary of the Rhetoric and Politics Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association since 2012. She also belongs to the Rhetoric Society of Europe and is an Associate of the Higher Education Academy.

Selected outputs


  • Atkins, J., Finlayson, A., Martin, J., and Turnbull, N. (eds.) (2014) Rhetoric in British Politics and Society. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 
  • Atkins, J. (2011) Justifying New Labour Policy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


Selected projects

  • How the Leader Speaks: British Political Rhetoric and Argumentation: This research explored development and change in British political speech, and analysed the relationship between persuasive tactics and ideological commitments. The project also examined the organisation of rhetoric in British politics, giving this focus through the themes of ethos and the construction of authoritative leadership. Here, we considered a number of political-rhetorical occasions in British political life, including the party conference, parliamentary speech and the political interview.
  • Rhetoric, Conflict and Co-operation in the Cameron-Clegg Government: This project explores the rhetoric of unity and difference within the Cameron-Clegg government. It seeks to understand how conflicts between the two parties are defined, managed and sometimes created throughout the lifetime of the coalition and in policy areas such as constitutional reform, Europe and foreign policy. The research thus sheds new light on the relationship between the language of the Coalition and its internal dynamics.
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020