Dr Laura Jenkins

Dr Laura Jenkins

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Lecturer in Political Science

Contact details

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Laura Jenkins specialises in feminist political ideas, contemporary political theory, and British politics.


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


Laura joined POLSIS as a Lecturer in 2013. She studied at University of Birmingham as both an undergraduate and postgraduate and achieved her PhD on a Genealogical Politicisation of the Body in 2008.

Laura’s training is in political science but the majority of her work involves applied political theory, grounded in critical theory (broadly conceived) and feminist theory. Her main research interests are in the area of feminist political ideas, contemporary political theory, and British politics. She has published journal articles on depoliticisation, governance and the state, women in academia, the politics of the body, and emotions and politics. Currently she is working on a new project concerning political commitment and emotions.


  • POLS 103 Politics as a Vocation
  • POLS 234 Feminist Political Ideas

Postgraduate supervision

I am (co)supervising three projects:

Melany Cruz (Politics of Lynching); Emily Burn (Measuring Political Interest) and Ioana Chis (The Politics of Disablement in Precarious Work).

I welcome applications from potential PhD students in the fields of feminist political theory, contemporary political theory and British politics.


Research groups: Political Theory, Gender and Feminist Theory (GAFT) and British Politics 

Major research interests 

  • Feminist political ideas
  • Critical theory (especially Foucault, Adorno and Bloch)
  • Depoliticisation, governance and the state
  • Women in academia
  • The politics of the body 

Until recently, the main focus of Laura’s work has been on the concept of (de)politicisation, and its application to the politics of the body. This has been explored in a series of papers in academic journals and chapters in books. 

Laura is a committed feminist and her published work has examined the barriers and limitations that women and other marginalised groups face in the academy.

In her current research, Laura aims to explore political commitment and to examine ways in which feelings support and sustain political individuals such as elite politicians, political spouses and partners, protest groups and movements. In this project, Laura seeks to develop understanding of enduring, intense and sustained political participation over time. An important focus of this work will be how and why political activity continues in adversity, how people maintain political commitment when goals or objectives appear unrealisable or in the face of significant obstacles – suffering, imprisonment, etc. Thus far, Laura has published an article on the topic of emotions and democratic disenchantment. 


2018 “Why do all our feelings about politics matter?” British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 20, 1

2015 “Metaphors of Women in Academia: A review of the literature 2004-2013” co-authored with Fran Amery, Heather Savigny and Stephen Bates, Advances in Gender Research: At the Center: Feminism, Social Science and Knowledge, Vol 20, p. 247-268

2015 “Gender and journal authorship: an assessment of articles published by women in three top British political science and International Relations journals” co-authored with Williams, H, Bates, S. Luke, D. and Rogers, K. European Political Science, 14, 2, p. 116-130.

2013 “(De)Politicisation and the Father’s Clause Parliamentary Debates” co-authored with Fran Amery and Stephen Bates, part of a special issue on Depoliticisation, Governance and the State (edited by Matthew Flinders and Matthew Wood) Policy and Politics, 42, 2, p. 243-258

2012 “Women in the Profession: The Composition of UK Political Science Departments by Sex”, co-authored with Stephen Bates and Zoe Pflaeger, Politics, 32/3, (2012), pp.139-152.

2011 “The Difference Genealogy Makes: Strategies for Politicisation or How to Extend Capacities for Autonomy”, Political Studies, 59(1), pp.156-174.  

2007 “In Defence of Pluralism in the Teaching of Ontology and Epistemology: A Reply to Hay, Marsh and Furlong” co-authored with Stephen Bates, Politics, 27(3), pp.208-211

2007 “Teaching and Learning Ontology and Epistemology in Political Science” co-authored with Stephen Bates, Politics, 27(1), pp.55-63

2005 “Corporeal Ontology: Beyond Mind-Body Dualism?” Politics, 25(1), pp.1-11

** Awarded the PSA Prize for the Best Paper in the Journal Politics **

View all publications in research portal