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Samantha Ashenden

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Sam has published on the works of Foucault, Habermas, and Luhmann, as well as on problems of power, authority and legitimacy within constitutional states, the role of guilt in the constitution of political communities, and on feminist theory, child sexual abuse and the contemporary regulation of surrogacy agreements.

She has taught on the London Consortium PhD Programme, and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, as well as at Queen Mary University of London, the University of North London, and Kingston University.

Sam is Chair of the BA Politics, Philosophy and History and of the MSc Social and Political Theory,  a member of the editorial board of the journal Economy and Society and is reviews editor for the journal Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

Research interests

  • Social and political theory, feminist theory, governance and theories of the state, legal theory and the sociology of law.
  • Sam's current research has two strands, one centred on guilt, violence and legitimacy; the other centred on law, reproductive technologies, and the governance of families.
  • If you are interested in pursuing research in any of these areas, you should first read our advice on how to apply for MPhil/PhDresearch before submitting an application.

Teaching

  • Political Sociology (postgraduate)
  • Political Theory and Contemporary Politics (postgraduate)
  • Problems of Explanation and Interpretation (undergraduate)
  • Conceptions of the Human from the Enlightenment to the Present (undergraduate)
  • Capitalism and the Politics of Markets (undergraduate)

Education

  • BA (Hons) Applied Social Science, Kingston University
  • MPhil Social and Political Theory, University of Cambridge
  • PhD Sociology, University of London

Select publications

  • 'Totalitarianism and Justice: Hannah Arendt's and Judith N. Shklar's political reflections in historical and theoretical perspective' (co-authored with Andreas Hess, UCD), Economy and Society Vol 45, Nos 3-4, 2016, pp 505-529.
  • Foucault, Ferguson and Civil Society', Foucault Studies, Issue 20, December 2015 pp. 36-51.
  • 'The persistence of collective guilt', Economy and Society Volume 43, No 1, February 2014, pp. 55-82.
  • 'Romantic guilt and identity' (co-written with James Brown, Dept of Politics, Birkbeck), Economy and Society Volume 43, No 1, February 2014, pp. 83-102.
  • 'On violence in Habermas's philosophy of Language', published online European Journal of Political Theory August 2013.
  • 'Reproblematising relations of agency and coercion: surrogacy' in Gender, Agency and Coercion, edited by Sumi Madhok, Anne Phillips and Kalpana Wilson, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2013, pp. 195-218.
  • 'Re N (A Child)' in Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice, edited by Rosemary Hunter, Clare McGlynn and Erika Rackley, Hart, Oxford, 2010, pp. 89-95.
  • Legality and Legitimacy: Normative and Sociological Approaches, Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2010 (co-edited with Chris Thornhill, University of Glasgow).
  • 'Legality, legitimacy and the circumstances of sociology' in Legality and Legitimacy: Normative and Sociological Approaches, Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2010 (co-edited with Chris Thornhill, University of Glasgow), pp.56-76.
  • 'Surrogacy, law and parenthood: reproblematising relations of government and freedom', CRESC workshop 2008 accessible at http://www.archive.cresc.ac.uk/projects/government_and_freedom/documents/SamanthaAshenden.pdf
  • 'The Problem of Power in Luhmann’s systems theory’, Luhmann on Law and Politics: Critical Appraisals and Applications, edited by M. King and C. Thornhill, Hart, Oxford, 2006, pp 127-144.
  • 'Structuralism and post-structuralism’, Modern Social Theory, ed. A. Harrington, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005, pp 196-214.
  • Governing Child Sexual Abuse: negotiating the boundaries of public and private, law and science, Routledge, London, 2004.
  • 'Policing Perversion: the contemporary governance of paedophilia’, Special Issue of Cultural Values: Journal for Cultural Research on ‘Culture and Governance’, edited by M.Dillon and J. Valentine, Routledge, London, January-April 2002, Volume 6, Issues 1 & 2, pp. 197-222.
  • Foucault contra Habermas: recasting the dialogue between genealogy and critical theory, Sage, London, 1999 (co-edited with David Owen, University of Southampton).
  • 'Questions of criticism: Foucault and Habermas on Civil Society and Resistance’, in Foucault contra Habermas: recasting the dialogue between genealogy and critical theory, edited by S. Ashenden and D. Owen, Sage, London, 1999, pp. 143-165.
  • 'Introduction: Foucault, Habermas and the Politics of Critique’, co-authored with David Owen in Foucault contra Habermas: recasting the dialogue between genealogy and critical theory, Sage, London, 1999 pp. 1-20.
  • 'Habermas on discursive consensus: rethinking the welfare state in the face of cultural pluralism’, Welfare and Culture in Europe: Towards a New Paradigm in Social Policy, eds P. Chamberlayne, A. Cooper, R. Freeman & M. Rustin, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, 1999, pp. 216-239.
  • 'Pluralism within the limits of reason alone? Habermas and the discursive negotiation of consensus’, Special Issue of Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy on ‘Pluralism and Liberal Neutrality’, edited by R. Bellamy and M. Hollis, Frank Cass Publishers, London, Autumn 1998, Volume 1, Number 3, pp. 117-136.
  • 'Feminism, postmodernism and the sociology of gender’, Sociology after Postmodernism, ed. D. Owen, Sage, London, 1997, pp. 40-64.
  • 'Reflexive governance and child sexual abuse: liberal welfare rationality and the Cleveland Inquiry’, Economy and Society, Routledge, London, February 1996, Volume 25, Number 1, pp. 64-88.

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 6781

Fax: +44 (0)20 7631 6787

Email: s.ashenden@bbk.ac.uk