School of Social and Political Science

SPS graduate wins best PhD thesis in the field of gender and politics



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Congratulations to Dr Ashlee Christoffersen, whose PhD thesis has been named the year’s best from across Europe in the field of gender and politics.

Ashlee received the 2021 Joni Lovenduski prize from the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) for her thesis ‘The politics of intersectional practice: Representation, coalition and solidarity’.

The Joni Lovenduski prize is awarded by the ECPR’s Standing Group on Gender and Politics to the best PhD thesis in gender and politics.

Ashlee completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science (SPS) in 2020. She defended her thesis under the supervision of Professor Richard Freeman and Professor Nasar Meer at SPS and Professor Akwugo Emejulu of the University of Warwick.

Ashlee said: “I am incredibly humbled to have won this prize. I am deeply indebted to my supervisors, my research participants, and examiners Gail Lewis and Sharon Cowan.

“Particularly as a white woman receiving this prize for this particular thesis, I also want to acknowledge that there are many Black and of colour potential, current and completed PhD students who have been denied the same opportunities I have had, and/or had negative experiences in the discipline of political science in the UK and Europe.”

The ECPR Standing Group on Gender and Politics said Ashlee's thesis was "…a great example of how to combine sound empirical research, theoretical innovation and the kind of egalitarian and authentic intellectual position most feminists aspire to."

Congratulations, Ashlee!

Read more about Ashlee’s thesis on the School of Social and Political Science website.

ECPR Standing Group on Gender and Politics

More about Ashlee’s work

Ashlee’s research is concerned with the historic and contemporary operationalisation of the Black feminist theory of intersectionality in equality policy and practice, its influence and possibilities, as well as the discursive and material resistance it faces. She also has a particular interest in intersectional research methodology.

Her most recent work appears in Policy & Politics and Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Ashlee speaks more about her research in this video in the Intersectionality, unfiltered series.

She will soon be launching a report for practitioners and policy makers, an animation and videos related to her PhD research, supported by the SPS Communications and Engagement team.

Prior to undertaking her PhD, Ashlee completed a BA in Political Science and Women’s Studies (as a ‘first gen’, at Simon Fraser University, Canada), an MA in Gender Studies (SOAS, University of London), and held research and practitioner roles at the Equality Challenge Unit (now Advance HE), centred (a London-based LGBTQ community development organisation), the Trades Union Congress, and the Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy, and Health Research and Methods Training Facility, at Simon Fraser University.

Photo of Ashlee Christoffersen