Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Contact Details

Research Students

Dr Jonathan Dean

Associate Professor of Politics

I specialise in the theory and analysis of resistance and political participation, with a particular interest in feminist theory and politics. All my scholarship and teaching is underpinned by a broad understanding of politics, faithful to the feminist insight that the “personal is political”, and sensitive to the crucial role that gender, race and popular culture play in shaping political practices and identities.

I came to Leeds in 2010, having previously held posts at the London School of Economics (Gender Institute) and the University of Essex (where I completed my PhD in 2007).

Research Interests

My current research examines the changing nature of left politics in contemporary Britain. I am principle investigator on a two-year research grant, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, entitled ‘Left-wing Populism in an Age of Anti-Politics’, in collaboration with Bice Maiguashca (University of Exeter). The project aims to map the nature and scope of Corbynism, the Green Party and left-wing celebrity activism, as well as to intervene into ongoing theoretical debates about populism. 

In 2013-14, I was awarded funding by the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grants Scheme to carry out research on gender and feminism in British left-wing politics and activism, again in collaboration with Bice Maiguashca. In addition, I recently completed a small research project on representations of the history of post-1968 radical politics in media and academic texts. A paper on this topic – entitled ‘Tales of the Apolitical’ – was shortlisted for the 2014 Harrison Prize for best article in the journal Political Studies.

Further back, my ESRC-funded doctoral and post-doctoral research was published in 2010 by Palgrave Macmillan as a monograph entitled Rethinking Contemporary Feminist Politics. The book examines new forms of feminist politics and activism in the UK, offering a cautiously optimistic analysis of contemporary feminism, in opposition to the then widely held view that feminism was in decline.

All my research is underpinned by a commitment to interrogating and diversifying dominant understandings of politics. In so doing, my work engages with various strands of contemporary social and political theory including, but not limited to: feminism, Marxism and post-marxism, poststructuralism, discourse theory, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, cultural studies, intersectionality, critical race theory, queer theory, and the “affective turn”.


I currently teach on the following modules:

  • Freedom, Power and Resistance (level 1)
  • Revolution and Reaction (level 2)
  • Reimagining Politics: Gender, Race and Popular Culture (level 3)

PhD Supervision

I welcome proposals from prospective PhD candidates in any of the following areas:

  • Gender and politics
  • Feminist politics and feminist theory
  • Left-wing politics and protest movements
  • Critical and continental political theory

Key Publications

Journal Articles

  • ‘Politicising Fandom’. British Journal of Politics and International Relations 19 (2): 408-424, 2017.
  • Pulling Together in a Crisis? Anarchism, Feminism and the Limits of Left-wing Convergence in Austerity Britain’ (co-authored with Dan Keith and Bice Maiguashca). Capital and Class, forthcoming 2016.
  • Angelic Spirits of ‘68: Memories of Sixties Radicalism in Responses to the 2010-11 UK Student Protests’. Contemporary British History, advance online publication, 2015.
  • ‘Feminism Resurgent? Mapping Contemporary Feminist Activisms in Europe’ (co-authored with Kristin Aune). Social Movement Studies, advance online publication, 2015.
  •  ‘Radicalism Restored? Communism and the End of Left Melancholia’. Contemporary Political Theory, volume 14, number 3: 234-255, 2015 – first published online 2014.
  • ‘Tales of the Apolitical’. Political Studies, volume 62, number 2: 452-467, 2014 – first published online 2013.
  • ‘On the March or On the Margins? Affirmations and Erasures of Feminist Activism in the UK’. European Journal of Women’s Studies, volume 19, number 3: 315-329, 2012.
  • ‘Feminism in the Papers: Contested Feminisms in the British Quality Press’. Feminist Media Studies, volume 10, number 4: 391-407, 2010.
  • ‘Who’s Afraid of Third Wave Feminism?: On the Uses of the “Third Wave” in British Feminist Politics’. International Feminist Journal of Politics, volume 11, number 3: 334-352, 2009.
  • ‘Feminist Purism and the Question of ‘Radicality’ in Contemporary Political Theory’. Contemporary Political Theory, volume 7, number 3: 280-301, 2008.
  • ‘No (Parliamentary) Gender Gap Please, We’re British’ (co-authored with Nick Allen). The Political Quarterly, volume 79, number 2: 212-220, 2008.


  • Rethinking Contemporary Feminist Politics. Palgrave MacMillan, Gender and Politics series, 2010. 

Journal special issue

  • ‘New Feminisms in Europe’. Special issue of Social Movement Studies, co-edited with Kristin Aune, forthcoming 2015.

Chapters in Books

  • Corbynism, Populism and the Re-shaping of Left Politics in Contemporary Britain’ (co-authored with Bice Maiguashca), in Giorgos Katsambekis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis (eds.). The Populist Radical Left in Europe. Routledge, forthcoming 2017.
  • Feminist Politics’, in Carolyn Williams and Mary Evans (eds). Gender: Key Concepts. Routledge, 2012.
  • ‘Gender, Power and Politics,’ in Kate Nash, Alan Scott and Edwin Amenta (eds.). The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology. Blackwell, 2012.

Book Reviews

  • David Graber, The Democracy Project (Allen Lane, 2013). Global Discourse, volume 4, number 2-3: 377-380, 2014 (with response from the author).
  • Srila Roy, Remembering Revolution (OUP, 2012). Feminist Review, volume 106: e9-e10, 2014.
  • Christina Scharff, Repudiating Feminism (Ashgate, 2012). Feminist Theory, volume 15, number 2: 211-213, 2014.
  • Angela McRobbie The Aftermath of Feminism (Sage, 2009). NORA – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, volume 18, number 2: 144-147, 2010.

Working papers

  • The Lady Doth Protest Too Much: Theorising Disidentification in Contemporary Gender Politics.’ Working Papers in ideology and Discourse Analysis, no. 24, June 2008.

Blogposts and Media Work

Media Contact Areas

  • Left-wing politics in Britain
  • Contemporary Feminism
  • Gender Relations in the UK
  • Protest, activism and social movements

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