Staff Research Interests
Our staff have a wide range of research interests across politics, international relations, philosophy and religion.
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.
I am interested in moral issues at the intersection of feminist theory, political philosophy, and health policy and practice. I'm especially interested in issues related to social justice, truth-telling, social and personal identity, authenticity and agency, and issues at the margins of life. My most recent work has focused on public health promotion campaigns (specifically around obesity), the way that these manipulate the political discourse, and how they undermine and distract from government responsibilities to citizens. I am currently working on authenticity and normative authority in so-called 'agency dilemma' cases, and on health promotion campaigns as propaganda.
My current research interest is consent: what is it? How does it work? What does it require to work? These broad questions have an application in a wide range of areas, including medical ethics - see recent papers on adolescent consent, biobank consent, research ethics, consent to organ donation. My work with Onora O'Neill on some of these topics can be found in Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics (CUP, 2007). I am currently working on a number of papers on philosophical aspects of consent - some to do with the "fundamentals" of consent, and some to do with topics in the applied philosophy of consent.
My research is concerned with resistance, power, political violence, protest, and social change. I'm interested in how and why people practice resistance, how activists 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 far-right religious nationalists. I am also interested in understanding the relationship between space, place and protest, both in the UK and internationally.
After fifteen years of researching into intellectual property rights I decided in 2010 to refocus my research. While still interested in the law and the normative role of legislation and its justification, my ongoing research now is concerned with the discourse of the Rule of Law and its function as the 'common-sense' of global politics. My monograph on the rule of law was published in 2014. I am currently editing a research handbook on the rule of law for Edward Elgar that should be published during 2018.
I also have an ongoing interest in the political economy of global corporations; my most recent outputs on this theme are Global Corporations in Global Governance (Routledge Global Institutions series) and articles in Palgrave Communications and Third World Quartely (see publicatons list).
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.