Research excellence at the University of Kent

profile image for Professor Davina Cooper

Professor Davina Cooper

Professor of Law and Political Theory

Kent Law School


Law professor Davina Cooper has won the Charles Taylor Book Award 2015 for her book Everyday Utopias: The Conceptual Life of Promising Spaces (Duke University Press, 2014).

The annual award is presented at the American Political Science Association for the best book in political science that employs or develops interpretive methodologies and methods. Everyday Utopias explores how innovative spaces contribute to new ways of thinking about equality, markets, care, property and work. Rejecting the idea of utopias as perfect, unattainable places, Davina Cooper examines real spaces that provide education, trading, speaking, sex and government in progressive, sometimes controversial, often experimental ways.

Having been a local politician on Haringey Council while doing her law degree, Davina Cooper’s first academic position was at University of Warwick Law School (from 1991-1998). She then moved to a Chair at Keele University, where she was Research Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences for three-and-a-half years, before joining the University of Kent Law School in 2004 where she also directed the AHRC Research Centre for Law, Gender & Sexuality, a three-university partnership involving Kent, Keele and Westminster.

Davina Cooper’s main areas of research are at the interstices of socio-legal studies, political theory, social diversity and the transformational potential of state and non-state sites. She has explored these themes in articles, book chapters and books over 20 years, including: Challenging Diversity: Rethinking Equality and the Value of Difference (2004); Governing out of Order: Space, Law and the Politics of Belonging (1998); Power in Struggle: Feminism, Sexuality and the State (1995); and Sexing the City: Lesbian and Gay Politics within the Activist State (1994).


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Last Updated: 10/09/2015

Banner photo (c) Simon Tollington, DICE