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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Sofía Collignon, BA, ITESO; MSc, Essex; PhD, UCL.


Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics

Room Number: ArtsOne, 2.06A
Twitter: @SofiaColMar
Office Hours: Monday 14:30-15:30 (in person) and Wednesday 11:00-12:00 (in person or online, please email to book)


Dr Sofia Collignon is an expert in the study of candidates, elections and parties and gendered violence against political elites. Her most recent research lays in the intersection of elite politics and public opinion. Her research uses mainly quantitative methods (surveys, panel data, survival and multilevel models) coupled together with interviews. She joined QMUL in 2022. Previously, she was Lecturer in Political Communication at Royal Holloway, University of London (2018-2022) and postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Government and Public Policy, University of Strathclyde (2016-2017).

Dr Collignon’s increasingly impactful research has attracted national and international attention, generating a series of high-ranking publications, invited talks and ongoing collaborations with recognised academic research teams, practitioners and third sector organisations. Her article Increasing the cost of female representation? The gendered effects of harassment, abuse and intimidation towards Parliamentary candidates in the UK (co-authored with W. Rüdig) was selected as the best paper published at the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties in 2021. Her article Sexual Predators in Contest for Public Office: How the American Electorate Responds to News of Allegations of Candidates Committing Sexual Assault and Harassment (with S. Stark) has been downloaded  more than 60,000 times, making it the most downloaded paper of Political Studies Review.  

She continuously engages in external engagement and dissemination activities. She advises national and international governments and non-governmental organisations on key policy and delivery issues, especially related to abuse, harassment and intimidation in public life. Her work has been covered by important international media outlets such the Atlantic, The Washington Monthly, The Guardian, Sky News, BBC, NBCUniversal and CNN. 


I am part of the team teaching POL105 and POL269


Research Interests:

My main research interests include: a) the study of candidates, elections and parties; b) harassment and intimidation of political elites, and c) gendered political violence. My research focuses on the UK, Western Europe and Mexico. I use mainly quantitative methods (panel data, multilevel and survival models, experiments and surveys) together with interviews. I am currently one of the few experts in the UK on harassment and intimidation of national and local political elites.  My medium-term goal is to consolidate my leading role in the study of the causes and consequences of gendered political violence and harassment and intimidation of political elites in recent and long-established democracies.

Examples of research funding:

Research Grants & Contracts

Principal Investigator

    • Ba / Leverhulme Small Grants “Causes and consequences of harassment and intimidation of candidates standing in local elections”. August 2019. 9,980 GBP accrued to RHUL
    • RHUL GCRF Early Career Researchers: Seed funding for networking, pump-priming or data collection June 2019 5,000 GBP
    • RHUL Research Strategy Fund for the project “Emotions in Elections in Mexico”. October 2018. 5,000 GBP


    • ECR Horizon 2020 grant (ID 101019284 )“Twice as Hard, Half as Good? Women Candidates Experience of Sexism on the Campaign Trail”.  With Susan Banducci (PI).
    • RHUL Impact Grant, 2020, now named ‘Gendering Electoral Politics’, with Sarah Childs, Chris Hanretty, Kaat Smets and Laura Sjoberg.
    • RHUL Reid 2020, with Childs, Smets and Sjoberg, ‘Intersectional Feminist Political Leadership, Political Performance and Substantive Representation’ (IFPL)
    • “The Representative Audit of Britain” grant extension granted in December 2019
    • RSF for the project “Emotional Labour and the Art of Representation” July 2019
    • SDAI ESRC project “Out of touch and out of time? A Cross-Temporal and Cross-Level Analysis of the Social and Ideological Distance between UK Voters and Political Elites”. June 2018. PI Wolfgang Rüdig
    • RHUL HARI funded project “Kinder, Gentler Politics: The Impact of Heated Political Debates and Abuse in Digital Settings on the Participation of Young People in British Democracy”. Summer 2018. 1,000 GBP


    • UECS-Lab, a collaboration with CIDE-Mexico, for the project “Emotional and rational appeals to construct support for controversial security policies during electoral campaigns” March 2018.


Journal Articles

Savani, M & Collignon, S (forthcoming) Values and Candidate Evaluation: How Voters Respond to Allegations of Sexual Harassment. Electoral Studies.

Collignon, S; Rüdig, W;  Lamprinakou, C; Makropoulos, I & Sajuria, J (2022) Intertwined fates? Members switching between niche and mainstream parties. Party Politics.

Collignon, S & Rüdig, W. (2021) Increasing the Cost of Female Representation? The Gendered effects of Harassment, Abuse and Intimidation towards Parliamentary Candidates in the UK. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties. Winner of Best Paper published in 2022.

Collignon, S., Campbell, R., & Rüdig, W (2021) The Gendered Harassment of Parliamentary Candidates in the UK. The Political Quarterly.

Karyotis, G., Makropoulos, I., Collignon, S., Rüdig, W., Judge, A., Skleparis, D. & Connolly, J. (2021), What Drives Support for Social Distancing? Pandemic Politics, Securitisation and Crisis Management in Britain. European Political Science Review.

Collignon, S., Makropoulos, I. & Rüdig, W. (2021), Consensus Secured? Elite and Public Attitudes to “Lockdown” Measures to Combat Covid-19 in England. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

Collignon, S and Sajuria, J. (2021) Parenthood, anxiety, gender, and race: drivers of non-compliance with lockdown measures. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

Stark, S., & Collignon, S. (2021). Sexual Predators in Contest for Public Office: How the American Electorate Responds to News of Allegations of Candidates Committing Sexual Assault and Harassment. Political Studies Review. Winner of Best Paper Award 2023 PSR.

Collignon, S., & Rüdig, W. (2020). Harassment and intimidation of parliamentary candidates in the United Kingdom. The Political Quarterly. 91;2, 422-429.

Collignon, S. (2019). Governments, decentralisation, and the risk of electoral defeat. West European Politics, 42(1), 173-200.18

Collignon, S., & Sajuria, J. (2018). Local means local, does it? Regional identification and preferences for local candidates. Electoral Studies, 56, 170-178. 

Collignon, S. (2018). It is time for a closer look: the demise of regional party branches. Party Politics, No 1 p 1-13

Lopez, J. C, Collignon, S., Benoit, K., & Matsuo, A. (2017). Predicting the Brexit vote by tracking and classifying public opinion using twitter data. Statistics, Politics and Policy, 8(1), 85-104.

Curiel, R. P., Collignon, S., & Bishop, S. R. (2017). Measuring the distribution of crime and its concentration. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 34(3), 775-803.

Book chapters

Collignon, S. In Press.” Harassment and Intimidation of Parliamentary Candidates in the United Kingdom”, in Elin Bjarnegård and Pär Zetterberg (eds.), Gender and Violence against Political Actors. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press

Makropoulos, I. Collignon, S., Heiko, G., Rüdig, W., Sajuria, J., & Weßels, W.(2020). Determinants of Personalised Campaigning: A Comparative Analysis. In D. W. Lieven, R. Karlsen, & S. Hermann (Eds.), Parliamentary Candidates Between Voters and Parties. A Comparative Perspective. Routledge. Pp 97-119. ISBN (Print) 9780367248512, 9780429284700.



I am open to supervise students on topics related to:

Gendered Political Violence

Political elites (including political recruitment and ambition)

Electoral competition

Political Communication


Current and past PhD students:

Zhamilya Mukasheva

Luke Coughlan

Victoria Elena Leon-Porath

Public Engagement

Local Government Association

Fix the Glitch

Latin American Women’s Rights Service

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