Sophie E. Hill

Sophie E. Hill


My research lies at the intersection of political economy and political behaviour. I am interested in the ways that structural economic changes – like the rise of the “knowledge economy” – have reshaped the political landscape across a wide range of rich democracies.

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  • Elections
  • Public opinion
  • Political economy


  • PhD in Government, (in progress)

    Harvard University

  • MA in Political Science, 2016

    Columbia University

  • MMathPhil in Mathematics & Philosophy, 2013

    Oxford University, Balliol College


Under construction…


The Tories’ ‘chumocracy’ over Covid contracts is destroying public trust

21 November 2020   •   The Guardian

Under the cover of an emergency, the government awarded £18bn in coronavirus-related contracts during the first six months of the pandemic, most with no competitive tendering processes. Meanwhile contracts totalling £1.5bn have gone to companies with connections to the Conservative party. Call it a “chumocracy” or straightforward incompetence: it’s clear there’s been a woeful lack of transparency when it comes to how taxpayers’ money is spent.

Will the Knowledge Economy Survive the Pandemic?

19 November 2020   •   Political Insight

While many highly-skilled white collar workers have been relatively insulated from the economic impact of the pandemic, the sudden transition to remote working has challenged fundamental assumptions about the knowledge economy. Can a geographically dispersed workforce collaborate effectively? How many employees will choose to work from home permanently if their employer allows? Who will be the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ of this new labour market divide?

What I Learnt About the Great Procurement Scandal: Building ‘My Little Crony’

13 November 2020   •   Byline Times

“My hope is that tools like mine can help citizens to make sense of complex and fast-unfolding stories and – above all – that greater transparency will fuel action, not apathy.”

Parties have failed voters — but they are still our best hope

12 December 2019   •   UK in a Changing Europe

“To borrow Schattschneider’s famous phrase: moving beyond the Brexit gridlock is unthinkable save in terms of parties. But with political trust falling and alienation growing, the question remains: will the parties rise to this challenge before it is too late?”

Shiny apps

Interactive apps built in R with Shiny


My Little Crony

Visualizing links between Tory politicians and firms that won contracts during the pandemic

Z-score visualization

An app to help students understand z-scores.

Confidence Intervals Simulation

A simulation app to help students understand and interpret confidence intervals.

Base Rate Fallacy

An app to help students understand the “base rate fallacy”.

Bayes’ Rule Visualization

An app to help students visualize and understand Bayes’ rule.


European Social Survey

  • ESS-Partyfacts crosswalk: Crosswalk between ESS codes for political parties to Partyfacts ID. Allows you to merge in information from various party-level datasets (Manifesto Project, ParlGov, etc.)

  • ESS cumulative dataset: R script to build a cumulative dataset from ESS rounds 1-9, with harmonized variables for vote intention, education, and social class. Also provides an example of using the Partyfacts ID to merge in information from an external dataset: in this case, I use the Manifesto Project data to add a variable for the party family.

Recent Posts

Pray to Play?

Following on from the original My Little Crony map, this visualization zooms in on the government contracts being awarded to firms linked to an Evangelical Christian sect: the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

My Little Crony

A visualization of the connections between UK politicians and companies being awarded government contracts during the pandemic