About Jesus College/Our community/ People
Dr Matthew Williams

Roles and subjects

Access Fellow



Academic background

I took my undergraduate degree in politics at Bristol University. I then came to Oxford in 2006 for my Masters and DPhil. During and after my doctorate I held lectureships at seven Oxford colleges, including stints as the organising tutor for politics at Wadham and Univ.

Undergraduate teaching areas

Introduction to Politics (Prelims), Comparative Government, Political Sociology, British Politics and Gov’t since 1900, Modern British Gov’t, US Gov’t and Politics.

Research interests

In my research I analyse the language of politics. I have created new data that describes how the language of legislation has changed over the past century. I also consider the effects of these changes on litigation strategies and public administration. My recent publications include:

  • What role has the language of legislation played in changes to the constitutional role of senior judges?
  • Indeterminate sovereignty and the rule of law: A descriptive analysis of changes to parliament’s use of language.
  • Neoliberalism and the dehumanising language of modern politics (forthcoming).
  • How language works in politics: Parliament’s use of language and its impact on policy (forthcoming book)
  • What effect does legislative language have on policy delivery? A natural experiment of homelessness provision in England and Wales (forthcoming).
  • Legislative language and judicial politics: Why the UK government increasingly loses immigration cases (forthcoming).


See also the The Department of Politics and International Relations website.