Image of Alex Kirby-ReynoldsAlex Kirby-Reynolds

MA Social Anthropology (hons) University of Aberdeen
MA Development and Rights, Goldsmiths, University of London
MA Social Research, University of Sheffield


Twitter: @akirbyreynolds

Thesis title / scope of research

Brexit and the (Il)liberal Colonisation of Time: Structures of Feeling and Actually Existing Democracy

As part of the White Rose DTP Brexit Aftermaths Network, my research specifically looks to explore people's everyday experiences of democracy, disaffection and the state in relation to Brexit. Much academic and public commentary in this area rushes to 'populism' as a means of both explaining Brexit and the contemporary political moment in which normative political frameworks are becoming increasingly challenged. This doctoral research project aims to engage with leave voters in Rotherham, as an example of the supposedly 'left-behind' place that fuels demand for populism, to consider whether our understanding of people and their relationships to national politics might be enriched through a closer look at their emotional relationships to past, present and future formal structures of power. This will be conducted through an ethnographic study centred around a co-produced media experiment in which participants may create one or more films that explore their actual and desired relationships with democracy. Working with civil society partners, these co-productions will provide an opportunity to input in grassroots efforts to create an alternative democratic local media platform.


Research interests / other experience

  • Affect
  • Imagination
  • Temporality
  • Democracy
  • Brexit
  • Populism
  • Nationalism
  • New Materialism
  • Multimodal Ethnography
  • Filmmaking
  • Co-production

Other experience

After completing my undergraduate studies I have worked as a policy researcher in the community sector and as an independent research consultant in the humanitarian sector. Alongside this I have also been involved in community organising projects related to anti-racism and Brexit. At present I am a graduate editorial assistant for the journal International Political Sociology (IPS) and a coordinator for the national Researching Brexit PGR/ECR Network.

Awards and scholarships

  • 2017 Pat Caplan Prize for best departmental postgraduate dissertation

  • ESRC White Rose Social Science DTP 1+3 Network Award