Paul Tobin: Defending the discipline
Lecturer in Politics, School of Social Sciences
In the age of social media, the echo chamber can be our greatest ally and our stealthiest enemy, which is why Paul Tobin feels so strongly about widening participation within his subject.
“Students from all walks of life come to Manchester and that's excellent because it means we always have a range of different experiences and perspectives to learn from when we're talking about contemporary issues,” he said.
Politics is about understanding forces that are greater than yourself, and that is only possible if the classrooms of tomorrow’s political scientists are diverse.
Politics is something that we can study and explain and explore as a society, but doing so requires as many voices at the table as possible.Paul Tobin / Lecturer in Politics
“Politics is something that we can study and explain and explore as a society, but doing so requires as many voices at the table as possible,” said Paul.
From climate change, to digital technology, to Europe, it seems there is no better time than now to be examining the topics shifting political landscapes, as various tides draw some debates to the fore, and pull others back.
“A lot of changes are happening at once and we are trying to explain these really complex trends that are also overlapping so much with each other. And we’re seeing a new generation of highly political young people coming through, which is really exciting.”
Putting these issues to his students is one of the rewards of defending the discipline for Paul, who believes Manchester’s multidisciplinary environment is perfect for political thinking.
“Every student brings unique insights into the classroom, shaped by their differing backgrounds and also the differing modules they’re taking. That's one of the joys of Manchester.”