Anthony is a political scientist interested in the interplay between public opinion, policy-making processes, and government legislation.
Some of the questions he's explored in his research include: How can we best understand social policy preferences? What factors shape how people react to public consultations? And why do some citizens want certain groups to have more or less policy influence than others?
He has been at Loughborough since 2019, and previously held positions at Utrecht University’s School of Governance and Aarhus University’s Department of Political Science.
He holds a five-year appointment to the UK Young Academy as a member of its founding cohort. He is also a member of the Political Communication Theme at the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Below you will find a selection of Anthony's ongoing and past research projects, as well as a sample of his publications on each theme. A complete list of his published research can be found on his CV.
Balancing Social Care Priorities
Aging populations, limited infrastructure and staffing shortages, and reduced government funding have all contributed to the long-running crisis in social care in the UK. Further complicating matters, the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting fiscal challenges have increased public attention to social care while simultaneously decreasing government capacity to finance social programmes. As a result, existing trade-offs in long-term care policy are likely to become even more complex and contentious.
This two-year project – funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (SRG23\231164) – investigates social care preferences under conditions of scarcity, looking at how citizens balance trade-offs across different policy dimensions (e.g., resource distribution, taxation, service provision). The project thus tackles a question that has become central to UK public policy at present: how can governments manage the trade-off between the critical need for high-quality, equitable long-term social care provision and the high financial costs of these measures to citizens?
Who Should Have a Say? Preferences for Differentiated Representation
Equal representation is at the core of representative democracy, but are citizens actually in favour of it? His research on this theme investigates when and why citizens believe that policy-affected individuals should have more or less influence than others. Funded by the EU’s H2020 Programme via a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (Grant Number 750556), his publications on this topic include research on:
- Attitudes toward targeted representation, with a focus on police reform
- Reactions to different representational approaches, with a focus on tax reform
- The impact of public consultations on blame attribution
- Factors shaping the preferred influence of those who stand to gain or lose from legislation
Universalism and the Welfare State
How committed are citizens to universalism, redistribution, and the welfare state, and what factors shape their commitment? Through working on the UNIWEL (Universalism and the Welfare State) project at Aarhus University, he has investigated various topics related to this theme. His published work on the subject has examined:
- The motives citizens ascribe to their pro- and anti-redistribution compatriots
- The effects of welfare state universalism on immigrant integration
- The implications of class identity for social policy preferences
- The attitudinal effects of the structure of inequality across the income spectrum
- The equality and welfare content of party manifestoes
- The use of targeted versus universalistic party appeals
Insiders and Outsiders
What factors shape relations between insiders and outsiders? Building from research he conducted as part of his PhD, he has explored the division between groups that have historically been protected by social policy and labour market regulations (i.e. insiders) and those we have excluded from that protection (i.e. outsiders). Some of the topics he has addressed with this research include:
- The drivers of social assistance reforms
- The relationship between care work, inequality, and job satisfaction
- The effect of labour market vulnerability on attitudes toward immigrants and asylum-seeking policy
- The impact of the insider/outsider divide on generalised trust
- The institutional and political determinants of coverage extension (book - open access copy)
Anthony has been teaching at the university-level since 2013. He has a broad training in political science, and his teaching has covered topics in Comparative Politics, Political Behaviour, International Relations, Political Theory, and Research Methods.
He has taught on a variety of modules at Loughborough, including:
- Comparative Political Economy
- British Politics and Government
- Introduction to Philosophy
- Research Design
- Smart Scholarship
- Alexander Horn, Anthony Kevins, and Kees van Kersbergen. (OnlineFirst) “Workfare and Attitudes toward the Unemployed: New Evidence on Policy Feedback from 1990 to 2018”, Comparative Political Studies. doi.org/10.1177/00104140231178743
- Anthony Kevins. (OnlineFirst) “Distributing Democratic Influence: External Efficacy and the Preferred Influence of Policy Winners and Losers”, International Journal of Public Opinion Research. doi.org/10.1093/ijpor/edac035
- Anthony Kevins and Barbara Vis. (2023) “Do Public Consultations Reduce Blame Attribution? The Impact of Consultation Characteristics, Gender, and Gender Attitudes”, Political Behavior, 45: 1121–1142. doi.org/10.1007/s11109-021-09751-5
- Anthony Kevins and Seonghui Lee. (2023) “Projection in the Face of Centrism: Voter Inferences about Candidates’ Party Affiliation in Low-information Contexts”, Political Psychology, 44(2): 319-336. doi.org/10.1111/pops.12851
- Anthony Kevins and Naomi Lightman. (2022) “How Should the Government Treat Asylum Seekers? The Role of Labour Market Vulnerability and Ethnic Diversity in Europe”, Social Science Research, 104. doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2021.102666
- Anthony Kevins and Joshua Robison. (2021) “Who Should Get a Say? Race, Law Enforcement Guidelines, and Systems of Representation”, Political Psychology, 42(1): 71-91. doi.org/10.1111/pops.12688
- Carsten Jensen and Anthony Kevins. (2019) “Numbers and Attitudes Towards Welfare State Generosity”, Political Studies, 67(2): 496–516. doi.org/10.1177/0032321718780516
- Anthony Kevins and Stuart Soroka. (2018) “Growing Apart? Partisan Sorting in Canada, 1992-2015”, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 51(1): 103-133. doi.org/10.1017/S0008423917000713