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In Memoriam: Dr Craig McAngus
Craig McAngus (1986-2020), Lecturer in Politics (University of the West of Scotland)
It is with great sadness that Dr Craig McAngus passed away suddenly on 16th December 2020. At only 34 years of age Craig’s untimely passing has been devastating. He will be remembered as a very gifted scholar who was passionate about his research and teaching, and as a good colleague and friend to many in the PSA community and beyond.
Those who worked closely with Craig, and we were very fortunate to do so, will know that he had a good sense of humour and enjoyed talking about all kinds of subjects. Besides politics and history, he had an eclectic range of interests e.g. football, snooker, music, video games, and cinema. He was incredibly passionate and knowledgeable on all of these. With a quick wit and with a dry sense of humour, he had an infectious laugh that many colleagues will have enjoyed and will fondly remember. There was no mistaking that Craig was a true Scot. He was stocky and couldn’t spend too much time in the sun. He joked about this a lot himself!
Craig received a first-class BA in Politics at the University of Stirling and then moved to the University of Strathclyde to complete an MSc in Political Research. In 2013 he achieved his PhD at Strathclyde under the supervision of Professor James Mitchell and Professor Robert Johns. The focus of his thesis was how Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party have adapted to changed opportunity structures created by devolution in the UK. During this research he made many friends amongst both Welsh and Scottish based scholars and politicians. The findings of his work have helped shaping the debate on territorial politics in the UK in a profound way and will remain as a testimony of his huge talent.
After his PhD he moved back to the University of Stirling first as a Research Fellow for the Centre of Constitutional change on the Fairer, Caring Nation project and subsequently on the Scottish women for independence movement with Professor Kirstein Rummery. When Craig took up his position at the University of Aberdeen, he was able to combine his interests in territorial politics with his family roots. His late grandfather had been a fisherman and Craig developed a research agenda that would focus on the experiences of fishers, particularly in the context of Brexit. One of the highlights of Craig’s academic career was securing a major ESRC research grant ‘UK fisheries policy post-Brexit: multi-level challenges and opportunities’. This was no mean feat, especially as he was aged only 31 at the time.
We were always struck by Craig’s ability to get to the heart of research problems with great insight. This was just one of the reasons why we were delighted when, in 2017, he joined our team at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) as a Lecturer in Politics. We were particularly proud to work with Craig as co-researchers of the fisheries study (alongside Dr Christopher Huggins). Craig’s leadership on the project helped us produce innovative research and several outputs. Craig enjoyed engaging with fishing communities, academics, politicians and policy-makers across the country, as well as making close connections with the excellent people at UK in a Changing Europe. That was Craig’s nature – wherever he went or worked, he was quick to make friends. His honesty and integrity made him immediately likeable. We have lots of memories of good debates at scholarly events as well as ‘social activities’ in bars across the length and breadth of the country (perhaps you might have too!).
Most of all, Craig was a kind and wonderfully warm man and a good friend. He was a caring father who leaves behind a wife and two wonderful children, of whom he was so incredibly proud.
We will miss you, Craig.