|Position||Deputy Director of the International Centre for Participation Studies, Senior Research Fellow in Peace Studies|
|Location||Ashfield Building T1.1f|
|Academic School||School of Social and International Studies|
|Department or Division||Peace Studies|
|Telephone||+44 (0) 1274 234802|
I am postgraduate admissions tutor for the Division of Peace Studies.
Earlier in life I worked in a variety of contexts from agriculture to transport to prisons and these experiences taught me to appreciate and value the trade union movement, its history and means of organising. I was awarded a scholarship with the support of my union – the Public and Commercial Services Union (then - CPSA) to study at Ruskin College in Oxford where I won the Hind Prize for outstanding scholarship in Labour Studies. Afterwards I entered Higher Education and have spent my time since studying, writing, teaching about, and participating in, various forms of collective action concerned with social justice and social change.
I have held previous posts as Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Local Policy Studies at Edge Hill University and as Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.
My areas of interest include social movements, complexity theory, biopolitics, governmentality and participatory democracy. I have published widely in these areas, including a major re-theorisation of global social movements, a ‘seminal’ work on social movements and economic regeneration, and articles and chapters on globalization and security, research methodologies, ethics and social theory. My most recent book is Social Movements – The Key Concepts, which was published by Routledge in 2011.
At the core of my research is the relationship between agency, participation and social change in the context of global complexity. This includes a focus upon the production and exercise of political power, the establishment of social norms and the analysis and subsequent contestation of these processes by social movements. It also includes analysis of the role ‘radical theory’ plays in shaping and developing the self-understandings and knowledge-practices of social movements (autonomist, complexity and critical theories), as well as the contextualisation of these processes within the multiple ‘crises’ associated with the democratic deficit, market failure, climate change and resource depletion.
A number of these interests came together in my work on social movement and civil society networks using complexity theory, which drew upon participatory research in social movement networks across the UK and Europe. This work was published as Complexity and Social Movements: Multitudes at the Edge of Chaos (with Ian Welsh, Routledge, 2006).
I remain committed to the ‘co-production of knowledge’ and have worked with various movements, journalists and others to disseminate social movement knowledge on an array of issues.
Key Publications – Books:
Key Publications - Articles: