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Personal profile

Research interests

A social theorist and cultural geographer, my research focuses on the politics of affect and experience, on classical and emergent thinking on authority and on forms of experience in late capitalist life, contributing to ongoing debates on power, authority, affect and the commons. My research falls into the following three areas:

Experiential forms of late capitalist life

The principal conceptual thread running through my research interests is an ongoing concern with the relationship between politics, affect and experience. My PhD research focused primarily on recent theoretical work on embodiment, politics and affect, and developed a politics of the body through an engagement with Spinoza and his relation to critical theory, particularly through new materialist thinking.

I have worked on various projects exploring modes of experience of late capitalist life, including my PhD research on landscape, practice and identity, a project on the experiential politics of debt in the UK, and research on the emergence of cultures of militarism in Britain during the war in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2015. My most recent research has been focused on the relationship between deindustrialisation and modes of endurance and temporality through fieldwork in a former nuclear town in Lithuania, and focuses on emergent forms of social and collective life in the wake of deindustrialisation and urban decline.

Postfoundational approaches to authority

I have an ongoing interest in accounts of authority in classical and poststructural social theory. In collaboration with other members of the Authority Research Network, I explore understandings of authority-production and the emergence of a politics of immanence through an engagement with the classical work on authority of Weber, Foucault and Arendt, as refigured through postfoundational thought, leading to an edited collection Authority, Experience and the Life of Power (Routledge, 2014). In particular, I am concerned with experiential forms of authority, particularly as articulated through cultural “figures of authority”. In the light of this, I am currently working on a monograph which engages with the figure as a conceptual and methodological tool in social and cultural critique.

My research on authority has led me to think about the idea of the common as a means of understanding alternative political subjectivities to neoliberal individualism. This interest spans the historical and imaginary understandings of the “commons”, the idea of the common in contemporary philosophy and the material production of common life through practice. This has led to the production of an edited collection: Space, Power and the Commons (Routledge, 2015)

Methodological innovations in cultural critique

My interest in affect theory has led me to develop expertise in methodological innovations for the humanities and social sciences. These draw on theoretical work from feminist science studies and non-representational theory in the production of experimental and critical approaches to the production of academic knowledge. I work closely with colleagues at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick through the development of theoretical and methodological work on the concepts of the figure and of figuration, specifically examining how figures are used in the work of Foucault and Haraway and in recent critical thought.

Supervisory Interests

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD students whose interests intersect with my own. Potential areas of interest could include:

Cultural geography, geographies of affect and non-representational theories

Deindustrialisation: politics, aesthetics and experience

Infrastructure, modernity and change

Nuclear spaces

Spaces and landscapes of authority

Post-humanist geographies

Temporalities and futures

Scholarly biography

Prior to working at Brighton I worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and as a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. I completed an AHRC-funded PhD in Cultural Geography in 2012 at the University of Exeter. I am part of a research collective called the Authority Research Network. Together we experiment with ways of working and writing on issues around power, alienation, participatory practice, and the making of the commons. Our latest book is Space Power and the Commons: the promise of alternative futures (Routledge, 2015).

External positions

Committee Member

1 Sep 2012 → …

Fellow, Royal Geographical Society


Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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politics Social Sciences
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Research Output 2007 2019

“Choose your moments”: Discipline and Speculation in the Indebted Everyday

Kirwan, S., Dawney, L. & Walker, R., 8 May 2019, The Sociology of Debt. Featherstone, M. (ed.). Bristol, p. 176-213

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearchpeer-review


Dawney, L., 30 Jun 2018, Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods. Uprichard, E., Last, A., Lury, C., Fensham, R., Heller-Nicholas, A., Lammes, S. & Michael, M. (eds.). London

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearchpeer-review


Dawney, L., 2 Jul 2018, Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods. Fensham, R., Heller-Nicholas, A., Lammes, S., Last, A., Lury, C., Michael, M. & Uprichard, E. (eds.). London

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearchpeer-review

Figurations of Wounding: Soldiers’ Bodies, Authority, and the Militarisation of Everyday Life

Dawney, L., 11 Oct 2018, In : Geopolitics. 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

everyday life
key technology

"Sentindo-se conectado": a prática da natureza, da nação e da classe através da trilha litorânea

Dawney, L., 28 Jun 2018, In : Aurora: Revista de Arte, Mídia e Política. 11, 31, p. 182-200 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access