Jack is a Research Associate at the Bennett Institute working on an audit of the UK constitution as part of a collaboration with the Institute for Government. His background is in political science, with a focus on British politics, English devolution, and local government, as well as other interests in social security policy, regional studies, and social ontology.
Previously, Jack was a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey on the LIPSIT research project, which analysed local economies and the design of regional government. This led to a focus on the ‘levelling up’ agenda, and authorship of academic, media, and policy pieces, which included a major report: ‘Delivering Levelling Up’.
In his doctoral research at the University of Leeds, Jack focused on ‘ontological assumptions’ in Conservative Party welfare policy. His thesis developed innovative tools for analysing policy assumptions, and led to publications on discourse analysis, the structure-agency debate, and David Cameron’s ‘modernisation’ project. Jack also has an MA Politics from the University of Leeds and a BA Politics from the University of Liverpool.
Underpinning Jack’s empirical work is a contribution to the development of critical realist social theory, social ontology, and mixed-methods research. He has published papers in the Journal of Critical Realism and the Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. He is also an organising member of the Critical Realist Network, playing a leading role in the delivery of the international ‘Introducing CR’ webinar series.
Jack is a member of the Regional Studies Association, the Political Studies Association, the Social Policy Association, the International Public Policy Association, and the Money, Security, and Social Policy network.