Davina Cooper is a Research Professor in Law and Political Theory. She is an interdisciplinary scholar, whose work focuses on concepts, transformative politics, state activism, and experimental communities.
Between 2018-22, she directed the ESRC funded research project on the Future of Legal Gender - which explored the implications and stakes of abolishing legal sex and gender status. In October 2022, Davina started work on a two-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship on conceptual activism, prefigurative politics and gender.
Her books include Challenging Diversity: Rethinking Equality and the Value of Difference (CUP, 2004); Everyday Utopias: The Conceptual Life of Promising Spaces (Duke 2014) and Feeling like a State: Desire, Denial, and the Recasting of Authority (Duke, 2019).
From 2004-2009, she directed the AHRC Research Centre in Law, Gender and Sexuality (based at the universities of Kent, Keele and Westminster); from 2000-2003, she was Research Dean for the Social Science Faculty at Keele.
She has been a specialist advisor to the Education and Employment Parliamentary Select Committee, a magistrate, and a local London councillor. She is a founding editor of the interdisciplinary Routledge book series, Social Justice.
She is an elected Fellow of the British Academy and elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Davina Cooper’s research combines two interdisciplinary areas. The first is conceptual innovation and the methodologies to support new conceptual thinking. Specifically, here, her work explores re-conceptualisations of the state, gender, property, and equality through a diverse range of research methods, including qualitative fieldwork, caselaw, and simulations of state and legislative practice.
Her second area of research addresses radical, utopian, and transgressive forms of state and non-state governance, from everyday utopias to municipal state activism, paying particular attention to governance innovations and conflicts to do with gender, sexuality, and religion.
- 2019: Feeling like a State: Political Withdrawal and the Transformative Imagination [Duke University Press for Global and Insurgent Legalities series]
- 2017: ‘Prefiguring the State’, Antipode 49 (2) 335-356
- 2016: ‘If the State Decertified Gender, What Might Happen to its Meaning and Value?’ Journal of Law and Society 43 (4): 483-505 [co-author, Flora Renz]
- 2014: Everyday Utopias: The Conceptual Life of Promising Spaces (Duke University Press, Durham, NC) [awarded Charles Taylor Book prize]
- 2004: Challenging Diversity: Rethinking Equality and the Value of Difference (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge)
- 1998: Governing Out of Order: Space, Law and the Politics of Belonging (Rivers Oram, London and New York University Press, NY)
Cooper, D., Dec 2022, In: Journal of Law & Society. 49, 4, p. 800-823 24 p. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.1111/jols.12393
Cooper, D., 28 Oct 2022, (Accepted/In press) In: Legalities. 2, 2, p. 133-149 17 p., 2. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Cooper, D., 9 Oct 2022, (Accepted/In press) In: Feminist Theory. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Renz, F. & Cooper, D., Jul 2022, In: Feminist Legal Studies. 30, 2, p. 129-155 27 p. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10691-021-09481-3
Cooper, D., 8 Nov 2020, In: Feminists@Law. 10, 2, p. 1-32 32 p., 947. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/03/fal.968
Cooper, D., 1 Sep 2020, In: SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW. 68, 5, p. 893-916 24 p. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038026120915148
Cooper, D. & Herman, D., 1 Feb 2020, In: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. 38, 1, p. 40-59 20 p. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.1177/2399654419851187
Cooper, D. & Emerton, R., 2020, In: feminists@law. 10, 2, p. 1-36 Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/03/fal.938
Cooper, D., 6 Sep 2019, 1 ed. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 272 p. (Global and Insurgent Legalities) Research output: Book/Report › Book › peer-review
Cooper, D. S., Aug 2019, Reimagining the State: Theoretical Challenges and Transformative Possibilities. Routledge, p. 171 190 p. (Social Justice). Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter