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Senior Leverhulme Research Fellow and Assistant Professor in Sociology, University of Warwick

Alexander Smith is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick as well as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sociology at Kansas University in the USA. His research has been funded by the British Academy, British Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Leverhulme Trust and the New York-based Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

He currently holds a Senior Leverhulme Research Fellowship and is conducting ethnographic research on American politics, religion and science as part of the five-year, £1.65 million research programme ‘Making Science Public: Challenges and Opportunities’, an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Universities of Nottingham, Sheffield and Warwick. He also maintains research interests in the UK, particularly in relation to conservatism, nationalism, Scottish politics and debates over multiculturalism, religion and secularism.

Dr Smith is the author of Devolution and the Scottish Conservatives: banal activism, electioneering and the politics of irrelevance (2011, Manchester University Press) and over a dozen academic articles. With John Holmwood, he edited Sociologies of Moderation: problems of democracy, expertise and the media (2013, Wiley Blackwell), which was published as part of The Sociological Review’s prestigious monograph series. He is also edits the prize-winning book series ‘New Ethnographies’ for Manchester University Press.

A South Australian by birth, Dr Smith is a graduate of the University of Adelaide. He came to the UK on a British Chevening scholarship in 1999, just after the devolved Scottish Parliament opened, to study at the University of Edinburgh, where he completed both an MSc by Research (Distinction) as well as a PhD in Social Anthropology. He currently also belongs to the prestigious Warwick Writing Programme, where he is completing an MA part-time. Dr Smith is currently writing a literary memoir about growing up in an Anglophone household in provincial Australia. It explores the impact of the Second World War across three generations as well as themes of memory, place, sacrifice and suffering and the legacy of colonialism, empire and family secrets.


  • –present
    Senior Leverhulme Research Fellow and Assistant Professor in Sociology, University of Warwick