Kate has a long-standing interest in developing inter-disciplinary conversations in which the sociological imagination is valued and put to work. She has contributed to debates in political sociology, normative political theory, feminist theory and media studies, particularly in terms of debates around citizenship and human rights. The thread that runs through Kate’s work is ‘cultural politics’ – an understanding in which ‘culture’ is taken as ‘signifying practices’, crucial to establishing (more or less unjust and unequal) social order (and not confined to the realm of ‘culture’ interpreted narrowly).
For a number of years now, Kate has been focussing on the study of human rights, an area in which, until recently, sociologists had relatively little to contribute directly (though cultural sociologists have influenced work on human rights indirectly through IR). The Cultural Politics of Human Rights (CUP 2009) and The Political Sociology of Human Rights (CUP 2015) are contributions to this growing area of interest amongst sociologists.
Kate is currently researching narratives of feature-length human rights films and the processes of production, distribution and consumption through which they are developed. In her article published in Public Culture in 2018, she argues that these films are generally organised around a narrative of self-responsibilisation – regardless of any commitment the viewer may make then to either organised political action or to ethical deconstruction of a film’s narrative. It is in this way that human rights films contribute to transnational human rights culture. Kate is co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy at Goldsmiths, where she has been helping to organise the Human Rights Film Series for a number of years as well as discussions and conferences. She is also a Fellow of the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University. She been Visiting Professor at the New School for Social Research, New York; the Vincent Wright Professor at Sciences Po, Paris; Visiting Professor at the UN University for Peace, Costa Rica; and Leading Research Environment Guest Professor, Stockholm University.
Kate currently convenes and teaches on 'Constructing Human Rights', a core course of the MA in Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice; and a third-year option 'Citizenship and Human Rights'. She supervises a number of MA dissertations each year, especially for students on the MA in Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice.
- Social, cultural and political theory;
- Globalisation, cosmopolitanism and nationalism;
- Citizenship and human rights;
Areas of supervision
Kate is especially interested in supervising PhD students working on issues of cultural politics in relation to human rights, citizenship, social movements and media.
- Marco Perolini ‘Migrant Mobilisations‘
Completed PhD students
- Jaqueline Kinghan ‘Lawyers Changing Lives: A Contemporary History of Progressive Lawyers’ (CHASE-AHRC funded)
- Miranda Iosoffidis '”Uprisings don’t enter musemus”: Invoking the 1973 Athens Polytechnic Uprising, A Study of Political Myths’ (ESRC Funded)
- Hilde Stephenson 'Making global publics? Communication and knowledge production in the World Social Forum' (ESRC funded) 2011
- Elisa Fiaccadori 'The War on Terror and the State of Exception' (ESRC Funded) 2011
- Laurence Pawley '“Constructing the Audience”: Manifestations of Citizenship in the BBC' (ESRC funded) 2009
- Jennie Munday 'Crisis in the Countryside? An Investigation of the Countryside Alliance as a Rural Social Movement' (ESRC funded) 2008
- Madeleine Kennedy McFoy 'Situated Citizenships, Routed Belongings: Learning and Living French and British Citizenship at School' (ESRC funded) 2007
- Francis R White 'British Indie Music In the 1990s: Public Spheres, Media and Exclusion' (ESRC funded) 2006
- Heidi Lempp 'Medical Education: the Transition from Student to Pre-registrar Doctor' 2004.
Publications and research outputs
Nash, Kate. 2010. Contemporary Political Sociology: globalization, politics, power. Chichester, Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9781444330755
Nash, Kate. 2009. The Cultural Politics of Human Rights: Comparing the US and UK. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521618670; 9780521853521
Nash, Kate. 1998. Universal Difference: Feminism and the Liberal Undecidability of "Women". Basingstoke: Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-21004-3
Abraham-Hamanoiel, Alejandro; Freedman, Des (D. J.)
Nash, Kate; Amenta, Edwin and Scott, Alan, eds. 2012. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology. Chichester, Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4443-3093-9
Nash, Kate. 2019. Human Rights, Global Justice, and the Limits of Law. In: Bardo Fassbender and Knut Traisbach, eds. The Limits of Human Rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198824756
Nash, Kate. 2015. Is it social movements that construct human rights? In: , ed. The Oxford Handbook of Social Movements. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 743-752. ISBN 978-0-19-967840-2
Nash, Kate. 2014. ‘The Promise of Pragmatic Sociology: Human Rights and the State’. In: Simon Susen and Bryan Turner, eds. The Spirit of Luc Boltanski: essays on the pragmatic sociology of critique. London: Anthem. ISBN 9781783082964
Nash, Kate. 2012. Towards a political sociology of human rights. In: Kate Nash; Edwin Amenta and Alan Scott, eds. The New Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology. Chichester, West Sussex; Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 444-453. ISBN 9781444330939
Nash, Kate. 2007. Out of Europe: human rights and prospects for cosmopolitan democracy. In: Chris Rumford, ed. Cosmopolitanism and Europe. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 978-1-8463-1047-8
Nash, Kate. 2022. Beyond Suffering, Towards Justice? Human Rights Films and the Critique of Humanitarian Culture. Human Rights Quarterly, 44(4), pp. 784-805. ISSN 0275-0392
Nash, Kate. 2019. Neo-liberalisation, Universities and the Values of Bureaucracy. The Sociological Review, 67(1), pp. 178-193. ISSN 0038-0261
Nash, Kate. 2019. The cultural politics of human rights and neoliberalism. Journal of Human Rights, 18(5), pp. 490-505. ISSN 1475-4835
Nash, Kate. 2016. Politicising human rights in Europe: challenges to legal constitutionalism from the Left and the Right. The International Journal of Human Rights, 20(8), pp. 1295-1308. ISSN 1364-2987
Nash, Kate. 2012. Human Rights, Movements and Law: On not researching legitimacy. Sociology, 46(5), pp. 797-812. ISSN 0038-0385
Nash, Kate. 2008. Global citizenship as showbusiness : the cultural politics of Make Poverty History. Media, Culture and Society, 30(2), pp. 167-181. ISSN 0163-4437
Nash, Kate. 2007. The Pinochet case : cosmopolitanism and intermestic human rights. British Journal of Sociology, 58(3), pp. 417-435. ISSN 0007-1315
Nash, Kate. 2007. Transnationalizing the Public Sphere: Critique and Critical Possibilities. Theory Culture & Society, 24(4), pp. 53-57. ISSN 14603616
Nash, Kate and Bell, Vikki. 2007. The Politics of Framing: An Interview with Nancy Fraser. Theory Culture & Society, 24(4), pp. 73-86. ISSN 14603616
Nash, Kate. 2006. Political culture, ethical cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitan democracy. Cultural Politics, 2(2), pp. 193-211. ISSN 1743-2197 ; e-ISSN 1751-7435
Nash, Kate. 2005. Human rights culture: solidarity, diversity and the right to be different. Citizenship Studies, 9(4), pp. 335-348. ISSN 13621025
Nash, Kate. 2003. Cosmopolitan political community : why does it feel so right? Constellations, 10(4), pp. 506-518. ISSN ISSN 1351-0487 ; Online ISSN 1467-8675
Nash, Kate. 2002. Human rights for women: an argument for 'deconstructive equality'. Economy and Society, 31(4), pp. 414-433. ISSN 0308-5147
Nash, Kate. 2002. Thinking political sociology: beyond the limits of post-Marxism. History of the Human Sciences, 15(4), pp. 97-114. ISSN 0952-6951