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Alexander Smith

alexander smith

Senior Leverhulme Research Fellow

Tel: (0)24 761 5195
Fax: (0)24 7652 349
Room: E0.14



Alex Smith is a Senior Leverhulme Research Fellow and Assistant Professor in Sociology at Warwick University as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sociology at Kansas University. He also holds an Honorary Lectureship in the Institute of Science and Society at Nottingham University. Alex is engaged in long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area as part of a four-year research project he is leading entitled 'Science, religion and the making of publics in the UK and US'. This project forms part of the major Leverhulme Trust-funded research programme 'Making Science Public: Challenges and Opportunities', an interdisciplinary collaboration being led by Nottingham University with colleagues from Sheffield and Warwick Universities. Born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia, Alex has held postdoctoral fellowships at Birmingham, Edinburgh and Keele Universities in the UK. He has a PhD in Social Anthropology from Edinburgh University and edits the 'New Ethnographies' book series for Manchester University Press.


Alex possesses sociological expertise on both American and British politics and is the author of 'Devolution and the Scottish Conservatives: banal activism, electioneering and the politics of irrelevance' (2011, Manchester: Manchester University Press). He conducts ethnographic research on politics, religion and science in both countries and has been funded by the British Academy, the British Council, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Leverhulme Trust and the New York-based Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. He was Principal Investigator on an ESRC seminar series called 'Rhetorics of Moderation: politics and pragmatics', which was an interdisciplinary collaboration between Huddersfield, Edinburgh and Nottingham Universities.

Current Research Projects

Selected Publications

  • Smith, Alexander Thomas T.,Holmwood, John, (2013) Sociologies of Moderation: problems of democracy, expertise and social justice, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell
  • Smith, Alexander Thomas T.,Holmwood, John, (2013) 'Sociologies of Moderation' Sociological Review 61 (S2), 6 - 17
  • Smith, Alexander Thomas T. (2013) 'Democracy begins at home: moderation and the promise of salvage ethnography' Sociological Review 61 (S2), 119 - 140
  • Smith, Alexander Thomas T. (2011) Devolution and the Scottish Conservatives: banal activism, electioneering and the politics of irrelevance , Manchester: Manchester University Press
  • Smith, Alexander Thomas T. (2010) 'Faith, science and the political imagination : moderate Republicans and the politics of embryonic stem cell research' Sociological Review 58 (4), 623 - 637