Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Contact Details

Research Students

Dr Jonathan Dean

Lecturer in 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 motivated by a commitment to a broad understanding of politics, faithful to the feminist insight that the “personal is political”, and alert to the crucial role that gender, race and sexuality play in shaping political life.

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).

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)
  • Feminist Challenges to Political Theory (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

  • 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

  • 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.

Media comment pieces

Media Contact Areas

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

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