Steve Pickering
Political Science & International Relations on the Shed Roof
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Described by The Times as a "political scientist with too much time on his hands", I'm based in the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. I have held previous positions at Brunel University London, Kobe University, Japan, the Department of Government at the University of Essex, and the University of Lancaster.
Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching
I'm teaching on the new Computational Social Science degree at the University of Amsterdam. In 2021, I won a Student Led Award from the Union of Brunel Students, where I taught modules on World Politics, Geography and War, Advanced Statistics and Methods, and the Geopolitics of China.
Conflict on the urban fringe: Urbanization, environmental stress, and urban unrest in Africa
High urban population growth may strain the provision of public services in urban areas, heighten competition over scarce urban land, and increase the chances of urban social unrest. urban population growth is associated with increased unrest in the "peri-urban" areas. We find no evidence that this relationship is driven by environmental push factors in the form of nearby droughts.
Co-authors: Ismene Gizelis, Henrik Urdal
The impact of municipal mergers on public spending: Evidence from remote sensing data
Who gets the money after administrative units merge? In this article, Seiki Tanaka, Kyohei Yamada and I look at the case of Japan, and find that once units merge, politicians reduce the amount of money going to areas with small numbers of voters, and increase the amount of money going to areas with more voters.
Co-authors: Seiki Tanaka, Kyohei Yamada
Fish and chip shops by constituency
I've found a strong relationship between the proportion of fish and chip shops in UK constituencies, and the number of people who voted to leave the European Union. The polling agency YouGov used my data in their modelling to accurately predict the outcome of the 2019 UK general election. The data set includes fish and chip shops, plus 56 other types of restaurant, at the constituency level.
We didn't have a global way of measuring infrastructure. Now we do.
Kobe-Brunel student poster sessions
I've been running the Kobe-Brunel research sessions since 2017. In these exciting sessions, we bring students from Japan to present their work alongside students from Brunel, in front of an audience of other students and academics.