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Author CV

Author Biography

The Regulation of Political Finance Indicator was developed by Dr William C R Horncastle. William is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Bedfordshire's School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS). His research interests focus on electoral regulation, political finance, large-N comparative methods.

William completed his PhD in Political Science at the University of Birmingham's Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), in 2023. Prior to this, he undertook undergraduate and postgraduate study at the University of Bedfordshire, where his award winning research focussed on corporate criminality and the 2008 Financial Crisis. During his time at POLSIS, he has spent time as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne, funded by the Universitas 21 network. In 2021, William took up a post of Lecturer in Criminology in SASS. Alongside his academic commitments, William has a background in third sector employment, having worked for the global children’s charity World Vision between 2013 and 2019. Contact details and further information on William's research are available here.


William C R Horncastle

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University of Birmingham, UK

PhD in Political Science

Thesis Title: ‘How do nations control political finance and why do reforms occur? A nested mixed-method analysis of Political finance reform in Canada, New Zealand, and Commonwealth Caribbean Small States’

Supervised by: Dr Stephen Holden Bates & Dr Natascha Neudorfer

Thesis Panel: Prof Ingrid van Biezen, Prof David Cutts & Prof Tim Haughton

Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Research Methods (ESRC Accredited), Distinction

University of Bedfordshire, UK

MA (Hons) Criminology, Distinction.

BA (Hons) Criminology, 1st Class. Winner of the Gill Blowers Dissertation Prize

Research & Publications

Journal Articles

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2023) ‘Scandals and Competition as Primary Drivers of Reform? A Congruence Analysis of Australian Political Finance (1980–2020)’, Party Politics, Online First, pp.1-17. doi: 10.1177/13540688231202600.

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2022) ‘Model based clustering of political finance regimes: Developing the regulation of political finance indicator’, Electoral Studies, 79 (1) pp.1-12. doi: 0.1016/j.electstud.2022.102524. Winner of the 2023 Michael K. O’Rourke Best Publication Award


Horncastle, W.C.R. (2018) ‘Marx’s Renaissance: Explaining the Growth of the left in the UK and beyond’, Political Insight, 9 (3) pp.16-19. doi: 10.1177/2041905818796575.

Published Datasets

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2022) Regulation of Political Finance Indicator (RoPFI) v1.0. Available at:

Selected Conference Papers

Horncastle, W.C.R. and McMenamin, I. (2024) ‘Democratic Institutions and the Regulation of Political Finance’, ECPR General Conference, University College Dublin, 12-15 August.

Horncastle, W.C.R. and Paulissen, T. (2024) ‘Political Finance and Direct Democracy: Introducing the ‘Referendum Campaign Finance Regulation Index’ (RefCFRI)’, After (Neo-) Liberalism – Towards and Alternative Paradigm: 74th PSA Annual International Conference, University of Strathclyde, 25-27 March.

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2023) ‘Towards an Integrated Theory of Political Finance Reform: Process Tracing the Diverse Cases of Canada, New Zealand, and Saint Lucia’, Political Futures: 73rd PSA Annual International Conference, University of Liverpool, 3-5 April.

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2022) ‘Competition, Organization or Ideology? Process Tracing the Development of Australian Political Finance Reforms (1980—2020)’, REPRESENT Mini-Workshop, University of Nottingham, 10 November.

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2021) ‘Electoral Competition or Party Ideology? Examining the Incentives Behind Political Finance Reform’, Random Access Memories. PSA Early Careers Network, 5-9 July. Available at:

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2020) ‘Patterns of Political Finance: Explaining Political Finance reforms in liberal democracies’, Research Methods Seminar Series. School of Government, University of Birmingham, 25 March.

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2019) ‘Comparative political finance: Towards a unified approach for measuring and categorising political finance systems’, Making Sense of Contemporary Politics. PSA Early Careers Network, University of Exeter, 24 June.

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2018) ‘Assessing the current state of the Left in the UK: how did we get here and what does the future hold?’, The Future of the Left in the UK and Germany’ Symposium. Institute for German Studies, University of Birmingham, 10 October.

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2018) ‘Neoliberalism, Political Finance, and Inequality: A mixed-methods investigation into the relationship between political finance regulation and income inequality’, A Platform for the Researchers of Tomorrow. Westmere House, University of Birmingham, 15 March.

Guest Blog Entries & Working Papers

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2022) ‘A novel dataset of global political finance regimes’, ECPR The Loop, 10 October. Available at:

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2021) ‘The Parliament of New Zealand’, PSA Parl: Parliamentary Overviews, 20 April. Available at:

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2020) ‘The 2020 election was the most expensive in history, but campaign spending does not always lead to success’, LSE US Politics and Policy, 27 November. Available at:

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2020) ‘The scale of US election spending explained in five graphs’, The Conversation, 15 October. Available at:

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2020) ‘Ten years on, the legacy of Citizens United still threatens representative democracy in the United States’, LSE US Politics and Policy, 21 January. Available at:

Horncastle, W.C.R. (2019) Measurement Tools for Comparative Political Finance: Excessive Reductionism or Valuable Simplicity? Electoral Regulation Research Network and Democratic Audit of Australia Working Paper No.54.

Works in Progress


Political Finance in Westminster Democracies - solo authored monograph


The Referendum Campaign Finance Regulation Index (RefCFRI) - with Toine Paulissen

Journal Articles

Developing a Westminster Model of Political Finance Reform: Congruence Analysis of Institutional Change in Canada, New Zealand, and Saint Lucia


Democratic Institutions and the Regulation of Political Finance - with Iain McMenamin


Which MPs are Elevated to the House of Lords? - with Stephen Holden Bates

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