Dr Amarjit Lahel joined the Aston Centre for Europe (ACE) as a Research Fellow in September 2012. She gained her PhD at Aston in 2012; and a double First in her first degree in Politics and Sociology. She is currently working with Professor John Gaffney on a two-year Leverhulme funded project entitled: ‘The nature and process of the construction of contemporary leadership discourse and persona’. Ed Miliband, leader of the UK Labour Party is the case study as used in this research. The overarching research questions for the project are: what is the architecture and what are the mechanics of leadership persona construction and performance in contemporary politics? In answering these questions, Professor Gaffney and Dr Lahel have laid the foundations for the construction of a heuristic analytical model which can be applied to a range of political leaders in order to appraise leadership performance. The project is multidisciplinary, involving the theories and methods of political science, as well as rhetorical, media, and performance studies. They hope to establish the discursive, iconographic, and stylistic elements of the political performance of contemporary political leadership personae.
The research that Amarjit is working on is close to her PhD in which she undertook a comparative analysis of the leadership performance of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. At Aston, she will continue her research interests on political leadership, culture, political institutions and the contemporary media as well as pursue new research on political parties, ideologies and the media.
Previously, Amarjit studied at Central St. Martins School of Art and Design; she is an accomplished painter and combines her art and political science background in her portraits of political leaders, and other political and social subjects of study.