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Claire Blencowe


Dr Claire Blencowe

Associate Professor of Sociology

Director Social Theory Centre

Research Theme Lead: Justice, Authority & the Geopolitical


Room: E0.16 Social Sciences

Telephone: +44(0)24 761 51706


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I specialise in social theory and the politics of knowledge, culture and spirituality in the context of modernisation, capitalist development and its attendant violence. My contribution to the discipline includes an innovative account of the role of values and knowleges associated with creativity, vitality and evolution to the constitution of modern political power - primarily set out in Biopolitical Experience: Foucault Power & Positive Critique. It also includes collaborative work with the Authority Research Network to establish the interdisciplinary study of ‘emergent authority’, insisting on the continued significance of authority, culture and spirituality for understanding power relations and politics. With Anna Harpin in Theatre I currently hold an IATL academic fellowship to develop MA teaching and community action on the social and political basis of mental dis-ease and healing.

New Paper: 'Ecological Attunement in a Theological Key: Adventures in Anti-Fascist Aesthetics' GeoHumanities

Areas of Expertise: Post-structuralist and Cultural theory; Foucault; Political sociology; Authority Studies; Capitalism and Religion; Political Spirituality/Spiritual Activism; Biopolitics and Vitalism; Mental health.

PhD Supervision

  • Sam Burgum 'Occupy London: Post-Politics versus Politics Proper in an Era of Consensus' (2014)
  • Morteza Hashemi Madani 'Social Theory and the Secular Fundamentalisms' (2015)
  • Leonardo Vasconcelos de Castro Moreira 'Church without borders: The Universal Church of The Kingdom of God in Madrid, Kiev and Geneva'
  • Wonseok Kim 'The Origins and Transformation of ‘Educational Neutrality’ in South Korea after 2000'
  • Kathryn Medien 'Writing Oneself: Genealogies of the Western Academic Feminist'
  • Seb Rumsby 'Social Factors Affecting Economic Development in Vietnam's Highlands'


I am passionate about teaching sociology. My teaching practice is bound up with my interests as a critical sociologist and social/political theorist - through teaching I strive to foster capacities for agency, critique and collaboration. I teach the following modules:



Research Groups & Leadership

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