Dr Nicola Smith

Dr Nicola Smith

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Senior Lecturer in Political Science

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 7569
+44 (0)121 414 3496
Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Nicola Smith is a political economist working on a variety of areas including the intersections between feminist political economy and queer theory; neoliberal discourses of globalization; and the global sex trade.

Feedback and office hours

Tuesdays 2-4pm

Thursdays 2-3pm

(term-time only)


  • PhD Political Science (Birmingham)
  • MA Research Methods (Political Science) (Birmingham)


Nicola achieved her PhD here at the University of Birmingham on Ireland's experience of globalisation in 2003 and since then she has published on a variety of issues surrounding globalisation, neo-liberalism and social justice.  Among other themes, Nicola's current research explores: the intersections between feminist political economy and queer theory; the nature of 'International Political Economy' and 'Political Science' as disciplinary terrains; the global political economy of commercial sex; and the body in/and global capitalism.

Nicola is currently Director of the MA Programme in IPE for POLSIS, and she is Senior Tutor, Quality Assurance Officer, Exams Officer, and Plagiarism Officer for the new cross-College Liberal Arts & Sciences Programme.  She also serves on the Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) Ethics Committee.  In 2013 Nicola received the Award for Excellence in Teaching and Supporting Student Learning for the College of Social Sciences, and along with 17 other colleagues from across the University she was selected for the University’s pilot Emerging Leaders' Programme in 2013-14.

Nicki also edits (with Adrienne Roberts and Juanita Elias) the new book series on Global Political Economies of Gender and Sexuality for Rowman & Littlefield International.


Postgraduate supervision

I have co/supervised a number of PhD projects through to successful completion and am currently co/supervising the following projects:

  • Lindsay Murch, Military Technologies & the Body (PhD)
  • Hena Singh, Neo-Liberalism and Women's Rights (PhD)
  • Christian Hernandez, Globalisation and Latin America’s Emergence (PhD)
  • Corina Filipescu, EU Enlargement & Romania(PhD)
  • Shardia Briscoe-Palmer, Masculinity & HIV (PhD)
  • Bethan Irvine, Body Building & Gender Logics (MRes)

I welcome applications from potential PhD students in the following areas:

  • Critical Approaches to IPE
  • Feminist, Queer & Tran* Theories
  • Philosophy of the Body
  • Global Social Justice
  • Global Ethics
  • Sex Work


Research groups: Gender and Feminist Theory Research Group, International Political Economy

Research and academic interests

  • Global political economy
  • (Trans)disciplinarity
  • Global ethics & social justice
  • Feminist, queer & trans* theory
  • Sexual labour

Current and recent projects

Other activities

Other professional appointments

  • 2013-present: External Examiner (International Relations, PG programmes), University of Bristol
  • 2011 - present: External Examiner (Politics, UG programmes), Oxford Brookes University
  • 2009 - Co-Convenor of the Centre for Sex Work Research and Policy (CSWRP) UK
  • 2006 - present: Editorial Associate of the journal 'British Politics'
  • 2007 - 10: Co-Director (with Donna Lee) of the BISA Working Group on Small States
  • 2005 - 08: Membership Secretary of the Global Studies Association

Associate member of the UK Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and the Higher Education Academy; active member of the Centre for Sex Work Research and Policy (CSWRP) EU.


Selected publications (see https://bham.academia.edu/NicolaSmith for pre-print versions):

Authored Books

Edited Books

Journal Special Issues/Sections

Journal Articles

Book Chapters



  • Sex work
  • Queer & trans* politics
  • Anti-globalisation

Media experience

  • BBC Five Live (on male escorting in the UK)
  • The Voice of Russia (on students who sell sex)