Home > Research > Researchers > David Landy

Dr David Landy

Formerly at Lancaster University

David Landy

Current Teaching

In 2010-11 I will be teaching the following courses

  • SOCL 243 Race relations and social change (undergraduates)
  • SOCL 310 Nation, migration, multiculturalism (undergraduates)
  • SOCL 907 Social and cultural theory (postgraduates)
  • Ethnography and research design modules on SOCL 201 (undergraduates)

I will also be co-convening the Department Seminar Series

Research Interests

My key interests are in understanding transnational social movementsand the tensions betweenthe object of activism and activists themselves. I am also interested in critical race theories, and how the practices of racialisation structure social understandings and state practices.

My PhD thesis was on Israel-critical Jewish groups in the UK. The work investigates the interaction between ethnic identity and political ideology within a transnational movement for social change and justice. I described how the Israel-critical Jewish movement in the UK directs Jewish criticism of Israel, and how the distant and local objects of activism are constructed and affected in this process. I used Pierre Bourdieu's theory of practice to theorise the activities of this movement and transnational social movements more generally arguing that the process of contesting the local fields - ambient political and ethnic Jewish - enables this movement. However, it is interaction with distant fields which provides an important impetus for field transformation.

I was particularly interested in how this movement related to the object of activism - which in this case is Israel/Palestine, and Palestinians. I argued that the key dynamic in this distant issue movement and in other similar movements is between the local field of contention, the subjectivity of the actors (which while often unacknowledged, is necessary for any solidarity movement to promote, particularly one engaged in contentious politics) and the subjectivity of the object of solidarity.

Current research interests

Drawingon Bourdieu, I theorised transnational movement activists asimperfect translators from one field to the next. My future research plans are to build on the models developed during the PhD to research how transnational movements for social justice are enabled and constrained in their work, and how they construct their fields of practice. Iam alsoexploring how Bourdieu's field theory relates to practices of governmentality in the regulation of migrants and ethnic minorities in Ireland.

Additional Information

Publications and conferences

BOOKS (Forthcoming)

2011 Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights: Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel. London: Zed


2008 'Authenticity and political agency on study trips to Palestine.' in Ronit Lentin (ed) Thinking Palestine London: Zed


2003. '90 Inca Israeli-Jews: Recruiting for Israel's Demographic War' Race & Class 2003/44: 1-18

2007. 'Zionism, multiculturalism and the construction of Irish-Jewish identity' Irish Journal of Sociology. Vol. 16(1): 62-79

2009 'The mirror stage of movement intellectuals? Jewish criticism of Israel and its relationship to a developing social movement.' Interface 1 (1) 188-215


2006. 'Jewish involvement in Israel-critical groups: Identity politics, solidarity movement or a disparate group of people doing their separate things?' in Colin Barker and Mike Tyldesley (eds). Eleventh International Conference on Alternative Futures and Popular Protest. Manchester Metropolitan University: 19-21 April


2006. 'Which side would you support in a war, then?' The 2005 Ireland-Israel football match and the limitations of Irish multiculturalism. Presentation at the Sociological Association of Ireland Annual Conference: Sligo IT, 3-5 May 2006

2008. Institutionally channelled into oblivion? NGO responses to the Immigration, Residence, and Protection (IRP) bill. Presentation at the Sociological Association of Ireland Annual Postgraduate Conference. Trinity College Dublin, 8 November 2008

2008. 'Coming out Jewish. Coming out Activist.' Transformation narratives in the development of Israel-critical Jewish identities. Presentation at Transformation and the Dynamics of (Radical) Change Conference. Queens University Belfast, 28-29 November 2008

2009. The use of universalist discourses in social movements: How Israel-critical Jewish activists deploy and are constrained by human rights talk. Presentation at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference. Cardiff University, 16-18 April 2009

2010. Distant issue movements and Pierre Bourdieu. Accounting for change and for stasis in social movements. Presentation at Fifteenth International Conference on Alternative Futures and Popular Protest. Manchester Metropolitan University: 29-31 March.

2010. Solidarity, splits and panic stations: reflections on an interesting year for the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Presentation atSocial movements, activist and militant research workshopNUI Maynooth: June 18th - 20th>