I am a Lecturer in UC Berkeley’s Department of Political Science, in its Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Program, and postdoctoral coordinator for The Network for a New Political Economy. My research centers on the relationship between culture, liberal democracy, and the nation-state, analyzing how modern societies should evolve in the face of deepening diversity and disagreement. My first book project Rethinking Liberal Multiculturalism: Culture, Meaning and Pluralism explores the consequences of cultural diversity for liberal democracy, ultimately arguing that modern multiculturalism requires more polycentric and pluralist forms of social organization. My other research runs parallel to the book project, using historical and philosophical analysis to connect multiculturalism and political economy with contemporary debates, including those surrounding Brexit, the resurgence of populism and nationalism worldwide, and the legacies of empire. I have edited two books, Multiculturalism in the British Commonwealth: Comparative Perspectives on Theory and Practice (University of California Press, 2019) and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Britain: Policy, Law and Theory (Routledge, 2019). My article, “Pluralism, National Identity and Citizenship: Britain After Brexit,” published in The Political Quarterly was one of the top twenty most downloaded articles from that journal in 2016-17.
I moved around within the UK a lot as a child, but call Winchester home. I read Theology at Oxford, before heading to London to go to law school and practice as a Solicitor. I spent four years working for a leading US-UK firm specializing in tax and trust law, and two years as a legal aid lawyer in South London—where I also lived—acting for the homeless and tenants of social housing. During this period I studied the Theory and Practice of Human Rights at the University of Essex, which is where I first began to focus on the political theory of multiculturalism, and was the Vice-Chair of Governors at a school for children with emotional and behavioral difficulties in Southwark, where I experienced first-hand the practical problems raised by the intersection of demographic diversity and social exclusion.
When I’m not working, I like cooking/eating, trying to stay healthy, and reading books that don’t hurt my brain (fantasy and sci-fi mainly, Banks, Gaiman, Jemisin, Le Guin, Pratchett, and Pullman are particular favorites). I also spend a lot of time wishing Southampton FC and the Miami Dolphins were better at their respective footballs (I miss Le Tissier and Marino).
In short, I was young once, used to be a lawyer, and am still fairly British (albeit a bit less so than I used to be).
If any of this sounds interesting, I’d love to hear from you.