Staff Research Interests
Our staff have a wide range of research interests across politics, international relations, philosophy and religion.
My research focuses on the relationship between religion and politics in modern South Asia.
In particular, my work brings history into dialogue with anthropology in order to consider Hindu devotional traditions of service and Hindu nationalism.
I am very interested in how Hinduism and Hindu nationalism relate to beef consumption, conversion, and 'love-Jihad' in modern India. Especially how non-elite actors think about these issues.
I am currently writing a monograph on the means by which Hindu nationalism emerges in everyday spaces as a conservative project of moral reform.
I received my MA and PhD in the Study of Religions from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. I teach courses on Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as theory and methods in Religious Studies. I am author of the book The Character of the Self in Ancient India: Priests, Kings, and Women in the Early Upanishads (http://www.sunypress.edu/details.asp?id=61397) and co-editor of the book Gender and Narrative in the Mahabharata (with Simon Brodbeck; http://www.routledge.com/books/Gender-and-Narrative-in-the-Mahabharata-isbn9780415544719). I am currently doing research on Indian secularism and ethics in Indian philosophy.
My primary areas of research are:
- Indian Philosophy
- Dialogue in Indian religious and philosophical traditions
- Indian Ethics
- Multiculturalism, social justice, and secularism in South Asia
- Gender in Indian religion and philosophy
I recently co-organised an international conference: 'Asian Values and Social Justice' (26-28 September 2011).
I am currently writing two articles on ethics in Indian philosophy
Sarah's principal research interests regard the ethical, social, and legal implications of emerging and hypothetical biotechnologies and interventions.
She is also interested in ethical issues raised by pronatalism, and in the implications of the use of in vitro gametogenesis for reproductive purposes in socially infertile persons, as well as how the intervention would change assisted reproduction in a broader sense.
My major research interests lie within the philosophy of science and medicine, especially philosophy of psychiatry. My research focuses on conceptual problems around psychiatric classification, and on understanding concepts of disorder and health. My most recent book, Diagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Karnac, 2014), has just been published, and examine issues with the DSM-5, the latest edition of the classification of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. My earlier monograph Classifying Madness (Springer, 2005) also concerns philosophical problems with psychiatric classification. I am also very interested in problems having to do with the concept of disorder. I am trying to work out what makes a condition count as a disorder, as opposed to a moral failing, or normal variation. I have written widely on this problem, and hope to finish off a book on the issue in the next couple of years. My other major publications include Psychiatry and the Philosophy of Science (2007, Acumen) which examines the ways in which psychiatric science is like and unlike more established sciences.
Ever since A-level studies in Sociology and Religion I've been fascinated by the interface of religion and modern society. Originally explored through the academic study of Christianity in South America, I now also engage this interface through the discourse and practice of minority religions and nonmainstream religiosity across the global-modern world.
I am a political anthropologist interested in borders, citizenship and non-citizenship, human rights and new security technologies. I study the European Union, in particular its governance of justice and home affairs, including immigration and asylum. I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Poland and Ukraine to understand the human consequences of the transformation of the border between those two countries into an external border of the EU. The outcome of this project is my book Building Fortress Europe. The Polish-Ukrainian Frontier published by University of Pennsylvania Press in 2012. My current research follows up on these interests, encompassing projects which concern maritime migration across the Mediterranean, accounting for human rights breaches in Europe, and digital rebordering and cybersecurity.
My research is chiefly concerned with UK Politics, with particular reference to the relationship between ideas and practice; the Conservative Party; and think tanks. I am currently working on books concerning British Foreign Policy (with Simon Mabon and Robert Smith), and the coalition government (with Pete Dorey).
I am Senior Lecturer in Foreign Policy and International Relations Theories, and Programme Director for our MAs in Diplomacy (including distance-learning). I am specialised in naval affairs, maritime security and ocean governance, as well as in European security and the geopolitical actorness of the EU.
My research interests cover the maritime dimension of the European Union, maritime security, current naval developments, maritime strategy and maritime geopolitics, ocean governance, the European Union's geopolitics (including its geopolitical vision and discourse), energy security and the Arctic region, and frontiers in IR.
I am a member of the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) with a research project that tackles maritime security and piracy discourses in Europe, and of Security Lancaster (contribution to projects on maritime security).
My research interests have evolved in several directions. My main focus is on complexity theory and public policy. My recent book publications, including co-authored and co-edited books, are Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy, 2014; Complexity and Public Policy, 2010; Complexity, Science and Society, 2007 and Riding the Diabetes Rollercoaster, 2007. I have also written various articles in this field and have featured in six short films:
Introduction to the film series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO9lbEPWbZoComplexity and public policy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wz6RIHu83kMoving from complexity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zz2w5zRYjsComplexity and the Stacey Diagram: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10sTkUlylGI Complexity and health an interview with Dr Samir Rihani http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyuVDo1DmBIComplexity and social policy an interview with Professor Eileen Munro, author of the influential Munro Review of Child Protection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3n9cWLuGXg
My other core area of research is in EU social and health policy with a particular emphasis on drug advertising policy. My key publications include a co-authored book, Integrating UK and European Social Policy, 2005 and single authored book Exploring European Social Policy, 2000 and a number of related articles. My other areas of interest are in international political economy, Scandinavian social democracy, European politics in general.
Within critical development studies, her research interests include the international politics of aid, civil society, social movements and migrant workers within the historic and contemporary context of North-South relations. Her research interests have evolved in three main directions: the global political economy of civil society in African countries; the labour movement in Argentina; and trade union mobilization among low paid Latin American migrant workers in London.
Martin Heidegger’s thought, especially from the period 1936–1949; Heidegger’s discussion of Karl Marx; Heidegger’s reading of Hölderlin as an interpreter of the Presocratic Greeks; G. W. F. Hegel’s earlier thought (in the ‘Jena period’); philosophical conceptions of work and technology; Presocratic Greek thought; philosophies of subjectivity; the philosophy of management; Ernst Jünger and work; Gender and Queer studies.
Continental philosophy and religious thought, especially debates in contemporary theology between 'radical orthodoxy' and 'secular theology'; the dialectical tradition in philosophy and theology (Hegel and post-Hegelian thinkers such as Gillian Rose, Charles Taylor, Rowan Williams and Slavoj Zizek); religion and psychoanalytic thought (especially in the work of Freud and Michel de Certeau); religion and political thought, particularly the origins and development of the Christian Socialist tradition; the philosophical and cultural history of atheism and secularism; contemporary debates on the nature of atheism and secularism.
My research develops a localised perspective of the growth and expansion of Global Christianity. From anthropological and sociological perspectives I accentuate the heterogeneity and plurality of lived Christian experience in different contexts, thus bringing to focus the interface between culture, worldview and belief. I am also increasingly interested in the impact of globalisation and migration on religious belonging and the resulting changes on contemporary Christianity. Within the broad academic research on the hybridisation of religion, I particularly work on Christianity, with special interest in the social and political implications of Christian growth particularly in Asia and Africa.
I have an eclectic range of research interests broadly converging around the politics of cultural diversity and the relationship between culture, wellbeing, institutions and circumstance. I have written about such topics in Ethnicities, Social Indicators Research, Educational Theory, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Journal of Medical Ethics, British Journal of Educational Studies, Australian Journal of Politics and History, several edited books, including The Legacy of Marxism (Bloomsbury Continuum), and my monograph, Evaluating Culture: Wellbeing, Institutions and Circumstance (Palgrave). I am the founding editor of the journal, Global Discourse, which is published quarterly by Taylor and Francis and have taught at the Universities of Newcastle, Queensland, Iceland and York.
I am the principal investigator on a participatory project entitled A Cross-Cultural Working Group on ‘Good Culture’ and Precariousness, which involves non-academic community co-researchers from Ashington, a former coalmining community in my native North East of England, and Aboriginal Australian communities from around Brisbane, Australia, working together through exchanges to each other’s communities to examine and develop guidelines for ‘good’ cultural responses to precariousness. The project has been funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, a British Academy Rising Start Engagement Award, two FASS Knowledge Exchange Fellowships and The Centre for Community Policy, Research and Development, Australia (formerly Murri Mura Aboriginal Corporation). Two films covering the project have been produced by Brightmoon Media. An archive of video material, interviews and media coverage produced during the project is available at the project YouTube channel.
I am a social anthropologist and Buddhist studies scholar interested in gender and religion, dissemination of knowledge and moral values, social justice and wellbeing, charismatic power(s) of monastic practitioners, and more recently on how natural disasters have affected Buddhist communities and their interactions with both local and international humanitarian organisations in creating civil society. I am fluent in vernacular Myanmar and Japanese (my first degree was in Spanish though) and have conducted research on the Buddhist monastic community in Myanmar for the last 25 years. My most recent publication is Renunciation and Empowerment of Buddhist Nuns in Myanmar-Burma (2013 Brill) http://www.brill.com/renunciation-and-empowerment-buddhist-nuns-myanmar-burma
I lead a programme of research in the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) focused on the transmission of ideas, beliefs and values in social context. My research interests include the theorization of space and place; the interrogation of religious and political spaces; spatial metaphors in religious and political discourse; the relationship between religion and non-religion; the 'secular sacred'; media representations of religion; and religion and its intersections with migration, diasporas, diversity and ethnicity.
In 2014 my book Security, Technology and Global Politics: Thinking with Virilio was published. The book examines the work of Paul Virilio, a French urbanist and philosopher who has written since the 1970s on war, security, cities and politics: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415576048/
My current research projects are:
Cyberwar/Cybersecurity. I am currently writing a book on new perspectives on cyberwar with Dr Daniel Prince.
Apocalyptic International Politics: Six questions on Paul Virilio and the future of Security and War. I am currently working on this book project based on a course I teach in the department, The Politics of GlobaL Danger.
'Event Management': new technologies and urban conflict in Dhaka. This project examines the new terrains of policing and protest in Bangladesh. The project is based primarily on interviews and fieldwork in Dhaka. The first fieldwork trip took place in January 2014.
Science fiction and the Future of war and security. This project explores how science fiction can help us understand emerging ethical, political, technological and strategic challenges in war and security.
I am theme lead for Security Futures: Security Futures is an interdisciplinary space to examine the ethical, economic, legal and technical implications of new technologies - to identify new areas of research and to examine the optimism or fear in debates over emerging trends and moral panics about new technologies.
I am the lead editor in the Routledge book series, Conflict, Security and Technology: http://www.routledge.com/books/series/CST/
My research is in the field of bioethics, especially focused on the ethical and social implications of genetics and medical technologies. I am interested in public perceptions of genetic research and technologies, including children and young people's perceptions as well as those of adults and experts. My recent research and publications include the ethics of 'making better humans', the relevance of 'criminal genes' to professional practice, children on the National DNA database and lay perceptions of nature and nurture and their role in behaviour. I am interested in the way health policy and information is communicated to publics, for example, in health promotion. My second research area, which is related to lay people's ethics and to education, is focused on religiosity and religious education in schools.
My research interests fall broadly within the International Relations of the Middle East and are driven by the interaction of three themes: Sovereignty; Religion and politics; and Political Violence. I am especially interested in the following areas:
- Sovereignty and its challenges
- The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran
- Political Islam(s)
- The Arab Uprisings
- The role of religion in political structures
- Regime-society relations
- Formal and informal structures and their impact upon agency
- Giorgio Agamben
- International Political Theory and its application to the Middle East
- Securitization Theory in the Middle East
- Environmental Politics
My current research explores the interaction of these themes in the post Arab Uprisings Middle East. My next monograph Houses Built On Sand (forthcoming with Manchester University Press) will explore the fragmentation of state-society relations in the post Arab Uprisings Middle East using the ideas of Giorgio Agamben and Hannah Arendt.
My research is concerned with resistance, power, political violence, protest, and social change. I am deeply interested in how and why people practice resistance, how oppositional actors pursue political change, and how people make sense of their journeys through political contention. My approach is interdisciplinary, employing primary and archival data to understand different forms of contentious politics, from transnational social movements to violent militant networks, grassroots activists and those practicing everyday forms of resistance. I have explored movements committed to a range of ideological positions including militant Islamists, anti-fascists, radical environmental activists and religious nationalists. I am also interested in understanding the relationship between space, place and protest, both in the UK and internationally.
While still interested in the law and the normative role of legislation and its justification, my ongoing research will now look at the discourse of the Rule of Law and its function as the 'common-sense' of global politics. This builds on sectoral work on capacity building and technical assistance that I conducted in relation to IPRs. However, this new research seeks to understand the inculcation of the norm in policy actors, as well as identifying the mechanisms and processes of normative reproduction. Alongside this work, I will also be looking to establish a genealogical perspective on the norm of the Rule of Law itself, stretching back to its (relatively) formal origin in the twelfth century (and possibly beyond).
My research lies in the field of international relations in the twentieth century, with particular interests in US foreign policy towards Latin America and diplomatic relations between the US and Great Britain. My first book, Post-War Planning on the Periphery, explored Anglo-American relations in South America during the Second World War in the broader context of the post-war economic diplomacy undertaken by the wartime allies. My current research projects include a collaborative project exploring Anglo-American relations in Latin America throughout the 20th century; an exploration of the role of British and American business groups in economic diplomacy; and a project exploring Britain's emerging role in Latin America at the turn of the 21st century. I also have a side interest in the political and cultural significance of the 1960s British pop group, the Beatles.
My current preoccupation concerns interrogation of violence in the political process. There are three interrelated intellectual queries I am pursuing while using violence as the abiding theme. The first one examines the Politics of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts. The second one evaluates the Role of Violence in the Sacred. And the third one explores ways of Managing Violence in Post-Conflict Societies.
My other subsidiary research interests are: ethno-politics; conservative nationalism; religious radicalism; and peace-building in deeply divided societies.
I received my PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Manchester, Department of Middle Eastern Studies. My research covers two key strands: the classical and pre-modern intellectual and textual traditions, particularly Qur’an hermeneutics and ritual law; and Muslim responses to modernity, with a focus on how twentieth century and contemporary Muslim women scholars read the tradition to intellectually and socially develop their religious authority as knowers of the tradition. I have written on ritual purity, metaphor in post-classical Qur’an interpretation and Arabic rhetoric, feminist hermeneutics of the Qur’an, and contemporary female exegetes and jurists in Islam. In recent years, I have developed an interest in Islam in Britain, co-authoring a study of change in conceptions of God in modern Britain and leading a research project entitled Muslim Women Reading Religious Texts in Britain and Egypt (2010-2011). The project investigated how core Islamic texts are read by ‘ordinary’ Muslim women in light of their contexts. I have also been involved in supporting Islamic studies in the UK through my work with HEFCE's Islamic Studies Network until 2012, and currently through my capacity as interim Co-chair of the British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS).
My research interests fall in the intersection of contemporary Chinese politics and international relations, broadly conceived, and critical theories of global politics. I am particularly interested in the contemporary deployment of concepts drawn from Chinese history, such as harmony (hexie), civilisation (wenming), hegemony (baquan), or All-under-heaven (Tianxia), and their relation to contemporary continental philosophy, particularly the thought of Jean Baudrillard and Jacques Derrida.
Within this scope I have written on alternative conceptions of time, space and world order; the politics of mega events (particularly Expo 2010 Shanghai China); Chinese censorship and resistance throughout history; Chinese discourses of online resistance and wordplay (egao); the 'Chinese school' of IR; the policy concepts of 'harmonious world' (hexie shijie) and 'harmonious society' (hexie shehui); soft power; East Asian regionalism and regionalisation; and spatial and temporal aspects of difference in the work of Derrida and Baudrillard.
My work focuses on esoteric spiritualities, belief in the paranormal, and countercultural discourses. I also have a particular interest in the social significane of popular music. I co-edit the series Studies in Popular Music (Equinox) and Studies in Religion and Popular Music (Bloomsbury).
Comparative philosophy, especially phenomenology, epistemology, metaphysics and theories of consciousness; comparative studies of India and China; classical Indian thought; history of Hinduism; Hindu theology; contemporary Indian politics and religion; multiculturalism and British society; comparative political philosophy
My research interests lie in the area of political parties and elections - especially European politics, British politics and multi-level governance. I focus comparatively on the relationship between parties and public policy, and have published in journals such as 'Representation', 'The Political Quarterly', and the 'Australian Journal of Political Science', as well as in a monograph for Routledge.
I am presently researching the policies of political parties that prefer to be identified as ‘Euro-realist’ as opposed to ‘Euro-sceptic’, especially those affiliated to the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) - and have published the following article recently in the journal, Representation:
'Euro-realism in the 2014 European Parliament elections: the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and the democratic deficit'
I am also working on a project with my Lancaster colleague, Mark Garnett, analysing the way left of centre parties use political communication - to be published in an edited volume in 2017 by Palgrave Macmillan.
Alison’s main research interests are in Feminist philosophy and Post-Kantian continental philosophy including Hegel and German Idealism; Marx and Marxism; critical theory and existentialism. Alison’s books are Petrified Intelligence: Nature in Hegel's Philosophy (2004), Luce Irigaray and the Philosophy of Sexual Difference (2006), An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy (2007), Feminism, Psychoanalysis and Maternal Subjectivity (2011), and The Value of Popular Music (2016). She edited The Edinburgh Critical History of Philosophy Volume 5: The Nineteenth Century (2011) and has co-edited the Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy. She co-edits the journal the Hegel Bulletin and has been an Associate Editor of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy.
Currently I am focusing on the nature of emotion and imagination with a view to outlining their roles in value judgement. As part of this project I am also working on buck-passing accounts of value, evaluative disagreement and relativism, the phenomenology of evaluative experience, meta-cognition, and the nature of epistemic emotions.
My research has spanned several areas of philosophy. In metaphysics, I have written and am writing on the identity conditions for events, properties, and for physical objects that persist and change through time. In the theory of knowledge, I have written and am writing on the underdetermination of theories by data. In the philosophy of language, I have written and am writing on the nature of truth and its importance. In ethical theory, I have written on technical issues concerning how ethical judgements fit together (the ‘Frege-Geach problem’). In the philosophy of mind, I have written on the nature of colour. I am also interested in early modern philosophy, especially Locke and Kant.
Stephen Wilkinson's most recent research is on reproductive ethics and the regulation of reproductive technologies, especially the ethics of selective reproduction (practices that involve choosing between different possible future people). A book on this topic (Choosing Tomorrow’s Children, Oxford University Press) was published in 2010.
A previous phase of work focused on the commercial exploitation of the human body and culminated in his first book, Bodies for Sale (Routledge, 2003).
He has also written on various other ethics topics including: biomedical research, conjoined twins, futility, mental illness, passive euthanasia, and resource allocation.
He is the holder of a Wellcome Senior Investigator Award (jointly with Professor Rosamund Scott of King’s College London) on reproductive donation (http://reproductivedonation.com/).
My research interests fall across ethics, political theory and applied ethics. One of my main interests, in all three of these areas, is in the many facets of the concept of responsibility. In ethics, I also work on Kant, and in political theory, I have a special interest in Hannah Arendt. In applied ethics, I am involved in collaborative research on children, health and public policy, including the EU-funded project I.Family which investigates diet and health-related behaviours in a large cohort of families across Europe. I also work on ethical issues in collaborative design of public services, and have worked on ethical issues in biomedical research.