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Personal profile

Research interests

Feminist political economy

Queer theory


British politics

Sex work


Neoliberal discourse

Body politics



Nicola Smith's research focuses on the intersections between feminist political economy and queer theory, and her publications span topics such as sex work, body politics, austerity, and neoliberal discourse. She is co-convenor of the International Political Economy (IPEG) working group of the British International Studies Association. In 2015 her article with Donna Lee on 'What's Queer About Political Science' was the Runner-Up for the Best Article Prize from the British Journal of Politics and International Relations. Her book, Capitalism's Sexual History (Oxford University Press, 2020), was shortlisted for the BISA Susan Strange Best Book Prize, and the BISA IPEG Book Prize, and the PSA Mackenzie Book Prize.

Nicola Smith teaches on global politics, international political economy, and feminist and queer theory, and in 2013 she was awarded the College of Social Sciences Award for Outstanding Performance in Teaching and Support of Student Learning. She has supervised a number of PhD projects to successful completion and in 2016 was Highly Commended for the College of Social Science's Award for Excellence in Doctoral Supervision. Nicola is currently Deputy Head of Department and Postgraduate Director for POLSIS.


PhD Political Science (University of Birmingham)
MA Research Methods (Political Science) (University of Birmingham)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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