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Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Politics, Aston University

Joseph is a senior lecturer in international relations and politics in the politics, history and international relations department at Aston University where he teaches courses on researching politics, security and technology in politics and is the author of "French Muslim in Perspective: Nationalism, Post-colonialism and Marginalisation Under the Republic" (Palgrave, 2019).

He has previously been LSE fellow Nationalism and Migration at the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Marie-Curie fellow at the Laboratory of Mediterranean Sociology, CNRS and the Université Aix-Marseille and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has published widely on politics and security in France, concentrating on minority communities. He has also been widely consulted by broadcast and print media.

Joseph Downing received his PhD from the European Institute, London School of Economics in 2014. His thesis ‘Between Policy, Recognition and Rioting: Analyzing the role of urban governance, historical commemoration and public culture in defining inclusion in Marseille, Paris and Lyon’ involved significant fieldwork in France. He was awarded the AHRC block grant “European Languages and Culture” full scholarship for the 2009-2012 period and taught as a fellow at LSE until 2016.


  • 2020–present
    Senior lecturer, Aston University
  • 2017–2020
    LSE Fellow, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • 2016–2018
    Marie Curie Fellow, CNRS, Aix-Marseille University, SOAS University of London
  • 2013–2017
    Guest Lecturer, London School of Economics and Political Science


  • 2014 
    LSE, PhD European Studies
  • 2005 
    SOAS, MSc Middle East Politics
  • 2004 
    SOAS, Certificate in Political Studies
  • 2003 
    Kings College London, BSc Environmental Sciences


  • 2020
    new media & society, 22(3) 449-469, Tweeting Grenfell: Discourse and networks in critical constructions of British Muslim social boundaries on social media
  • 2019
    French Politics 17 (3), 257-278, #MacronLeaks as a “warning shot” for European democracies: challenges to election blackouts presented by social media and election meddling during the 2017 French presidential election
  • 2019
    2019 Critical Studies in Terrorism 12:2 250-272, Blurring European and Islamic Values or Brightening the Good – Bad Muslim Dichotomy? A Critical Analysis of French Muslim Victims of Jihadi Terror online on twitter and in Le Monde Newspaper
  • 2016
    International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Fighting cultural marginalisation with symbolic power in a Parisian banlieue: post-colonial culture and the voluntary association les Oranges
  • 2016
    Ethnicities, June 2016 vol. 16 no. 3 452-469, Influences on state–society relations in France: Analysing voluntary associations and multicultural dynamism, co-option and retrenchment in Paris, Lyon and Marseille
  • 2015
    Ethnic and Racial Studies 36 (9), 1557-1572 , European influence on diversity policy frames: paradoxical outcomes of Lyon's membership of the Intercultural Cities programme
  • 2015
    Fennia - International Journal of Geography 193 (2), 185-197, Contesting and re-negotiating the national in French cities: examining policies of governance, Europeanisation and co-option in Marseille and Lyon
  • 2015
    Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 15 (2), 336-351, Understanding the (Re)Definition of Nationhood in French Cities: A Case of Multiple States and Multiple Republics

Grants and Contracts

  • 2016
    Marie Curie Individual Fellowship
    Fellow at the CNRS France
    Funding Source:
    European Commission
  • 2009
    AHRC Block Grant
    PhD Scholarship
    Funding Source:
    Arts and Humanities Research Council

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow Higher Education Academy