Professor granted prestigious scholarship for innovative research on political networks

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020

Professor Michael Cullinane has been awarded £43,900 by the Leverhulme Trust for a research project on the political networks of Roosevelt.

Image - Professor granted prestigious scholarship for innovative research on political networks

Using big data and new, innovative technology to map it, Professor Cullinane will investigate and map the network connections of former President Theodore Roosevelt, his cabinet and others connected to the presidency in the progressive era, demonstrating how American pluralism works in a visual way.

Whilst President Roosevelt is often credited with the major changes that happened in the progressive era, such as workers’ rights, public health and conservation, many other people were involved in making these changes happen. Native Americans, immigrants, women, farmers and other marginalised groups fed ideas, which were implemented by a cabinet of white, married men who fit into political society and knew how the system worked.

The visual network that Professor Cullinane is developing will use innovative software that can map all of these people, showing who everyone in this wide political network is, how they are connected and what they did, shedding light on the complex network of individuals who were instrumental in giving he aptly named Progressive Era its reputation.

Professor Cullinane says ‘this era of American History is pivotal to where we are today, and by using big data we are, for the first time, able to visualise in a simple, digestible way the vast, complicated network that created ideas and implemented significant change. It is hoped that this approach can be rolled out to other presidencies to build a visual pathway through American presidential history, crediting all the individuals, not simply the ones we know’.


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