Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies
   
   
  

Centre Members

Co-Directors

Mat Humphrey

Co-Director; Professor of Political Theory, School of Politics and International Relations 

Mathew Humphrey joined the School of Politics and International Relations in 1998, and has been Head of School since 2012. His main area of research is in political theory and the environment, with an accompanying interest in theories of ideology. Work in the former field includes Ecological Politics and Democratic Theory (Routledge, 2007), and Preservation versus the People? (2002). He has also co-edited a special issue of Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy with Michael Freeden and Gayil Talshir, entitled 'Taking Ideology Seriously: 21st Century Reconfigurations'. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Political Ideologies.

 

MaikenUmbach

Co-Director; Professor of Modern History, Department of History 

Maiken Umbach joined the Department of History in 2011, after teaching at Cambridge and Manchester, and holding visiting appointments in the United States, Germany, Spain and Australia. Her work explores the relationship between political ideologies and cultural forms and practices, focusing on the role of visual and material culture in 'identity politics' in modern European history.

Key publications include German Cities and Bourgeois Modernism, 1890-1930 (OUP, 2009); Federalism and Enlightenment in Germany, 1740-1806 (London, 2000); Regionalism between Heimat and Empire: Identity Spaces under National Socialism (Palgrave, 2012); Vernacular Modernism: Heimat, Globalization and the Built Environment (Stanford UP, 2005). She is currently writing on private photography as a mode of ideological consumption in the Third Reich, and, jointly with Mathew Humphrey, on the role of ‘authenticity’ in political ideologies.

Management group

Katharine Adeney

Professor, School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Katharine Adeney holds a PhD in Politics from LSE. She joined the University of Nottingham in 2013 as a Professor, having previously held positions at Sheffield, Balliol College, Oxford and the LSE. Her principal research interests include: the countries of South Asia, especially India and Pakistan; ethnic conflict regulation and institutional design; the creation and maintenance of national identities; the politics of federal states, and democratisation in South Asia.

She is an author of two books, 'Contemporary India' (with Andrew Wyatt) (Palgrave, 2010) and 'Federalism and Ethnic Conflict Regulation in India and Pakistan' (Palgrave, 2007) and her work has been published in journals such as Publius, Political Studies, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics and Electoral Studies. She is co-editor of Government and Opposition (Cambridge).

 

Sascha Auerbach

Lecturer in Modern British History, Department of History

Dr Sascha Auerbach received his PhD in History from Emory University in 2001, and is currently a Lecturer in the History Department. He specializes in the history of modern Britain and the British Empire, with a particular focus on law and race in the late-19th and early-20th century. His first book, Race, Law, and 'the Chinese Puzzle’ in Imperial Britain, was published in 2009. A former Fulbright research fellow at King’s College London, his articles have appeared in the Journal of Social History, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the Journal of British Studies, the Journal of Policy History, and The Historian.

 

Dean Blackburn

Lecturer in Modern British History, Department of History 

Dr Dean Blackburn has been a Lecturer in Modern British History since September 2013. His research engages with the intellectual history of post-war Britain. It devotes particular attention to the dynamics of ideological competition and the way in which political parties and other institutions have modified their ideologies in response to changing environmental conditions. His recent publications have explored British social democracy in the 1980s and the character of ideological competition that took place in the 1970s.

 

Ben Holland

Lecturer in International Relations, School of Politics and International Relations

Ben Holland's research focuses on the intellectual history of the state and its interactions in the early modern period. He is currently working on a book examining the analogies upon which theorists of the state drew in working out what states were like. He is thus especially interested in how political discourse is often sustained by conceptual borrowings from other domains of human thinking.

Members

Michael-Freeden

Professor Michael Freeden

Emeritus Director; Professor of Political Theory

Michael Freeden was Professor of Political Theory at the School of Politics between 2013 and 2015. Prior to that he was Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford and Professorial Fellow at Mansfield College Oxford for over 30 years. Michael is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Political Ideologies. He held an ESRC research professorship from 2004-2007, and in 2012 he was awarded the medal for science by the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Bologna, and the Isaiah Berlin Prize of the UK Political Studies Association for lifetime contribution to political studies. His work focuses on liberal thought, on the structure of ideologies, and on the nature of political thinking.

 

Joseph Askew

Assistant Professor in Modern History, School of International Studies, UNNC 

My research on ideology goes to the intellectual history of modern China and how that has influenced China's foreign policy. From the late Qing to the People's Republic, China has re-defined both what it is to be Chinese and what China ought to be. While all the time resolutely maintaining a strong defence of the same borders. In my research, I attempt, by examining how Chinese people's views of themselves and their country evolved along with their political orientation, to follow and understand the twists and turns of China's foreign relations. 

 

Nick Baron

Associate Professor, Department of History

Nick Baron works on Russian and East European history and historical geography. Previous work includes books on Stalinism in a Russian region, Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War, and East European population displacements following the First and Second World Wars. His current research project considers the cultural and political history of Soviet cartography under Lenin and Stalin.

 

Fintan Cullen

Dean of Faculty of Arts and Education, Head of the Graduate School at UNNC and Professor of Art History at the University of Nottingham, UK 

Professor Cullen has a long term interest in the relationship between visual production and political ideology. Latterly, this interest has focused on museums as sites for national aspirations and while in China (2012-15), he is carrying out some research on the display of newly created museum art in newly created museums. At present, he is working on the China Art Museum in Shanghai and its specially commissioned artworks relating to Shanghai's history. As his specialism is western art history, this Chinese work will be firmly placed within a comparative framework where museum developments in China will be compared with how western museums have a used displays of national history in the past.

 

Rosaria Franco

Assistant Professor in Modern European History, School of International Studies, UNNC

Dr Rosaria Franco's main area of interest is the social impact of migration and forced migration on communities variously defined (by nationality, class, race etc.), and the specific welfare provisions or relief arrangements for children. Such welfare or relief may be granted either as a matter of social rights (in stable national welfare regimes) or as application of universal children's rights under the banner of humanitarianism (at time of emergency, especially if political borders are crossed).

All ideologies attribute a particular meaning to children as future citizens of the systems they aim at building ex novo or reproducing. However, the crossing of political or internal borders resulting from migration may affect children's citizenship and social citizenship or, if 'strangers', leave them in limbo. Relevant examples of such dynamics can be found in both the past and present. In her research, Dr Franco has explored the condition of the left-behind children produced by rural-to-urban migration in contemporary China, and she is working on the case of Chinese child-refugees in 1950s colonial Hong Kong.

 

Paul Gladston

Associate Professor, Department of Culture, Film and Media

Paul Gladston is Associate Professor of Culture, Film and Media and director of the Centre for Contemporary East-Asian Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham. Between 2005 and 2010 he served as inaugural head of the Department of International Communications and director of the Institute for Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. He has written extensively on the subject of contemporary art with particular reference to the concerns of critical theory and politics.

His recent book-length publications include Contemporary Art in Shanghai: Conversations with Seven Chinese Artists (Timezone 8 – Blue Kingfisher 2011), a special issue of the Journal of Visual Art Practice, 'Contemporary Chinese art and Criticality', co-edited with Katie Hill (Intellect 2012), 'Avant-Garde' Art Groups in China, 1979-89 (Intellect/University of Chicago 2013) and Contemporary Chinese Art: a critical history (Reaktion/University of Chicago, 2014). He is principal editor of the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and was an academic adviser to the exhibition Art of Change: New Directions from China, which was staged at the Southbank Centre in London in 2012.

 

Stephen Legg

Associate Professor, School of Geography

Stephen Legg is as Associate Professor in the School of Geography. His research focuses on the spatial politics of colonial India in the interwar period. He has published a book on urban governmentalities in Delhi as the capital of colonial India (Blackwell, 2007), has a forthcoming book on the regulation of prostitution in Interwar India (Duke University Press, 2014), and has edited a collection analysing Carl Schmitt’s Nomos of the Earth (Routledge 2011).

 

John Lowe

Associate Professor, School of Education, UNNC

John Lowe has a broad research interest in the relationship between society and the individual as mediated by education. Education is fundamentally ideological in nature, and it is a site of ideological competition in so many forms. He has a particular interest in the formation of personal ideologies amongst Chinese youth at school and – most particularly – at university as an outcome of the ideological competitions within which they are enmeshed. Official curricula, social and commercial media, peer groups and parents are some of the key sources of ideological messages with which these students engage at a very important stage in their personal development.

He is currently exploring notions of 'identity formation' as a way approaching this process of personal 'ideological negotiation'. He is interested in using Margaret Archer's approach to the central sociological problem of ‘agency’ and 'structure', through her accounts of 'morphogenetic cycles' and the individual 'internal conversation'. In collaboration with colleagues in China, he has submitted an application for funding for a project aimed at tracing, understanding and theorising changes in the sense of identity among undergraduate students in China during their time at university.

 

Anthony McKenna

EAP Tutor, Centre for English Language Education, UNNC

With a background in Film Studies, much of Dr Anthony Mckenna's research to date has been concerned with film production. His forthcoming edited collection, Beyond the Bottom Line: The Role of the Producer in Film and Television Studies (Bloomsbury 2014), contains his analysis of the recently retired head of China Film Group, Han Sanping. This essay focuses on the presentation of Party ideology through cinema in the years following the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His current research concerns the quest to spread Chinese cinematic soft-power, and focuses on the PRCs recent attempts to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. His future research plans involve an investigation of the political and ideological implications of the recent movie co-production deal with the United Kingdom.

 

Stephen L Morgan

Dean of Social Sciences, UNNC and Professor of Chinese Economic History at the University of Nottingham, UK

His main research interest is the economic and business history of China, but he also researches contemporary Chinese business, economy and management. The last bears directly on questions of ideology. Throughout the 20th century many Chinese have been interested in the ideas of scientific management (科学管理) and rationalization (合理化) in the workplace and government, particular in the 1920-40s and since the 1980s. Their aspiration has been to encourage the adoption of new approaches to organization and management for the advancement of China.

In many ways, these ideas are ideologies about organizational governance, focused on technologies of control in the organisation. How such management ideas mostly from outside China are transferred, adapted and innovated upon is a complex process of iterative learning, and an intensely political process involving structures and practices of authority in the organisation, that can be conceived of as an ideological process as much as a practical process aimed at achieving efficiency and welfare gains for China.

 

David O'Brien

Lecturer, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, UNNC

My research examines the construction of ethnic identity in China with a particular focus on the Han and Uyghur ethnicities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Chinese Communist Party adopted Stalin's definition of ethnic groups as historically constituted, stable communities of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture, and assigned ethnic identities to the various peoples living in China based on this definition.

Ethnic identity, to a large extent, only came into the defined existence that we know today under Communist rule. Yet these ethnicities have also been self-ascribed and exist as deeply-rooted conscious identities which have evolved over hundreds, indeed thousands of years of interaction among different groups living in the region. My work examines how these identities are in one sense the creation of an ideological system but also how their meaning only truly emerges from encounters, transactions, and oppositions between groups (Barth 1969).

 

Andrew Townsend

Associate Professor, School of Education

Andrew Townsend is Associate Professor in Educational Leadership in the School of Education at The University of Nottingham. An ex-teacher Andrew is interested in the politics of the governance of education. He has a particular interest in how particular ideologically motivated approaches to the governance of education affects the ways in which schools interact with each other, and the resulting implications of this for the teaching profession. Andrew is a proponent of action research in education and to that end is currently the coordinating editor of the journal Educational Action Research. He is also the author of the 2013 text Action Research: the Challenges of Understanding and Changing Practice, and co-editor of the book Action Research Innovation and Change: international perspectives across disciplines.

 

Yi Wang

Assistant Professor in Travel and Tourism, Nottingham University Business School, UNNC

Yi's research focuses on tourism politics, governance and policy-making, and political economy in the tourism industry. In the tourism domain, many researchers believe that there is a "critical turn" in the theoretical application, which means the researchers look back at those traditional theories in social science, and critically review and apply them in tourism industry.

Yi’s main works develop from Giddens' theory, "structuration theory", and critically review this with many political ideologies, such as neo-liberalism and institutionalism. Therefore, her interests would lie at some critical thinking of relevant political ideologies, and applications in various contexts. She is using them in the tourism industry, and especially in China, where political ideology differs from the west. She would also be interested in discussing how political ideology interrelates with economic initiatives in various development processes.

 

Shixin Ivy Zhang

Assistant Professor in Journalism Studies, School of International Communications, UNNC

Shixin Ivy Zhang takes journalism as an occupational ideology and examines the professional identity, values, ethics, perceptions of contemporary journalists and their news practices across multiple media platforms. Her focus is on professionalization of Chinese journalists in the context of advanced information technology and fast changing society. She studies how journalists give meanings to their work and conducts comparative analysis between Chinese and Anglo-American journalism as a response to the call for de-Westernisation of journalism.

 

Xiaoling Zhang

Head, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, UNNC and Associate Professor in Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK

Xiaoling Zhang's research interest lies in the analysis of discourses of various kinds, vernacular or visual, in their political, social and cultural contexts in order to identify ways in which discourses become meaningful. Zhang is most interested in examining discourses of the Chinese media since the early 1980s (from both the official mainstream media as well as the unofficial Internet-enabled social media) as significant sites where state and society are reproduced and/or challenged, where tensions arise over control of resources and space, as well as over definitions of culture, identity and progress.

 

Zhuang Meixi

Meixi Zhuang

PhD student, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, UNNC

Zhuang Meixi's research interests include China's civil society, mediated public sphere and social transformation. She is also interested in cultural politics and modernity in post-revolutionary China. Her current PhD research focuses on the role of Zhejiang's civil monitory organization and its relationship with media and the party-state.

 

Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 846 8135
cspi@nottingham.ac.uk