The combination of disciplinary strength and interdisciplinary effectiveness across the School allows colleagues to develop collaborative teaching and research projects, to generate research income and to further develop effective knowledge transfer activities. The research projects below, are listed by department.
What happened to the multicultural city? Effects of nativism and austerity (Sept 2018 – Aug 2022)
Lead academic: Dr Licia Cianetti
This project – supported by a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship - investigates how four European cities that have nominally embraced the 'multicultural' label govern their multiculturalism in practice, under the double pressure of nativism and austerity. It looks at the working and evolution of equality and inclusion departments in city councils in Birmingham, Lisbon, Riga and Turin to better understand how inclusive institutions are made and unmade over time.
The project uses an innovative multimethod approach that combines process-tracing, policy analysis, discourse analysis, and ethnography-inspired collaborations with local artists. The academic-artist collaboration has resulted in a collaborative multimedia output.
Output: Cianetti, L. 2020. Governing the Multicultural City: Europe’s ‘Great Urban Expectations’ Facing Austerity and Resurgent Nativism. Urban Studies https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019884214
What Makes America Great? National esteem, grand strategy and intra-state ideological contest (Sep 2019 – Dec 2023)
Lead academic: Adam Quinn
This project is supported by a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. It is a study of the contest of ideas between American intellectuals focused on US grand strategy. More specifically, it focuses on the clash of worldviews between American intellectuals who embrace ‘liberal order’ as the central concept of US strategy, and critics who offer a ‘realist’ counterpoint. Much of the project is conceptual, aiming to generate a new framework for analysing the topic that synthesises elements of theoretical literature on international relations, grand strategy, ideology, nationalism, status and self-esteem. It also involves some empirical field research, in the form of interviews with relevant intellectuals working at think tanks and universities in the United States. The intended outputs from the project are a book and a series of articles.
Gendering Europe: British national identity from EEC accession to EU secession
Lead researcher: Dr Charlotte Galpin
This project seeks to create a new understanding of (Anglo-) British national identity during the UK’s EEC/EU membership by analysing the role of gender and its intersections with sexuality, class and race. ‘Europe’ has functioned as an ‘external Other’ against which national identity has been constructed. However, existing literature overlooks the significant body of feminist work on gender and national identity. Using a feminist methodology that uncovers dominant and marginalised identity narratives, Gendering Europe argues that two phenomena usually imagined as separate – Britain’s shift towards/away from Europe, and struggles over gender, sexual and racial equality – are actually deeply intertwined.
Workers between Precarity and Ecological Crisis in Chile and Italy (May 2021 – April 2024)
Lead academic: Dr Lorenzo Feltrin
This project – supported by a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship – focuses on the relationship between workplace-centred and community-centred mobilisations around 'noxiousness', that is, production-induced health damage and environmental degradation. Despite widespread assumptions on workers as environmentally regressive, they bear little responsibility for environmental degradation while being highly affected by it. Workers thus have an interest in the defence of the environment and have in many instances acted upon it, yet the need to protect employment and job security often remains an obstacle to working-class environmentalism. This research explores how different affected organisations address such dilemma and envision alternatives to it. For further details, contact Dr Lorenzo Feltrin
Queering the census: LGBT advocacy and the inclusion of a sexual orientation question in the 2021 UK census (April 2020 – September 2022)
Lead researcher: Dr Laurence Cooley
This project – supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant – investigates the role of organisations representing LGBT+ people in successfully advocating for the addition of a question about sexual orientation to the 2021/22 censuses of England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Through document analysis and interviews with census officials and LGBT+ organisations involved in advocating for the addition of the sexual orientation question, the project explores these advocacy efforts and strategies and analyses how activists navigated tensions between the perceived practical and symbolic importance of recognising LGBT+ identities in the census on the one hand, and concerns about privacy and the difficulty of enumerating potentially fluid sexual identities on the other. For further details, please see the project page.
Completed research projects