School of Politics and International Relations
  
 

Image of Mathew Humphrey

Mathew Humphrey

Professor of Political Theory, Faculty of Social Sciences

Contact

Biography

Professor of Political Theory and Co-Director, Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies.

I left school at 16 and joined what was then British Rail, on the footplate. After a decade or so I'd had enough of driving trains around the Kent countryside, and couldn't imagine doing it for another forty years without succumbing to some kind of madness. Education seemed like a way out, so I took some part-time A-levels, applied to go to university, and eleven years after joining BR I left, heading for Bath to read Economics and Politics as a mature student. It was culture shock, but I adapted rather better than I ever expected to, and came out with a good enough degree to then go to Oxford for an MPhil. If Bath was like going to another country, Oxford was like interplanetary travel. Deeply weird but, after some deep breaths, also very inspiring.

Now Professor of Political Theory and (from Jan 1st 2021) Editor of the Journal of Political Ideologies.

DPhil, Nuffield College, Oxford 1998

MPhil, Nuffield College, Oxford, 1995

BSc. Economics and Politics (1st Class Hons), Bath, 1993

Expertise Summary

Theories of Ideology

Environmental Political Theory

Riders' Rights and the Politics of Motorcycling

Research Summary

My current research involves the conceptual analysis of ideological discourse, in particular the study of political ideas as they operate at the 'everyday' level. Recent work in this field includes a… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

My current research involves the conceptual analysis of ideological discourse, in particular the study of political ideas as they operate at the 'everyday' level. Recent work in this field includes a conceptual history of the idea of 'authenticity' across various domains, and an analysis of crowd-sourced comments and images on key political concepts such as justice, freedom, and community. Publications include:

  1. Humphrey, M., Umbach, M & Clulow, Z. (forthcoming 2019) 'The Political is Personal: An Analysis of Crowd-Sourced Political Ideas and Images from a Massive Open Online Course' Journal of Political Ideologies 24(2)
  2. Authenticity: The Cultural History of a Political Concept London: Palgrave Pivot (Jan 2018) ISBN: 978-3-319-68565-6 (50% with M. Umbach).

From 2015-2017 I was also a lead-educator on a 'Massive Open Online Course' Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life, convened in conjunction with The British Library.

My other main area of interest is in environmental politics. I currently have two projects running in this area.

1. I lead the UoN Social Science strand for 'ENOS: Enabling Onshore CO2 Storage in Europe'. This is a multidisciplinary Euro12.3m Horizon 2020 funded project working with partners in The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and elsewhere, working to test the viability of onshore CO2 storage technology, from experimental work to pilot sites.

2. The second area of work explores public attitudes to shale gas in the UK. University of Nottingham surveys on public attitudes to shale gas have been running since 2012 and have featured prominently media stories about shale gas development.

I am Co-director of The Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies (CSPI), established with Michael Freeden and Maiken Umbach in 2013. Viewing ideology as neither (necessarily) a form of false consciousness, nor as rigid, doctrinaire political thinking, but rather as a term for structured patterns of political concepts that help people to make sense of the world around them, we are engaged with a number of research projects relating to 'vernacular' forms of political thinking. This includes comparative work with colleagues in the North America and China.

School of Politics and International Relations

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

Contact us