The school is delighted to announce that this year both Professor Melinda Cooper and Dr Rebecca Pearse joined the faculty. Their collective expertise in feminist theory, inequality, climate change and economic sociology will greatly enhance the School's research capacity and education activities in these areas.
Professor Melinda Cooper’s research focuses on the interaction between neoliberal and new conservative practices of government. Her most recent monograph, Family Values (2017) sought to theorize the principle of family responsibility as a lynchpin between neoliberal and new conservative approaches to political life. Her current projects are 1) a political theory of the resurgent far right and its relationship to financial crisis and 2) an inquiry into the neoliberal politics of public finance. She currently leads an ARC Discovery Grant exploring the impact of Virginia school neoliberalism on the fiscal politics of the American and Australian state. Melinda Cooper is editor, with Martijn Konings and Stefan Eich, of the Stanford University Press series, Currencies: New Thinking for Financial Times.
Dr Beck Pearse works at the intersection of social theory and political economy. Her teaching and research focuses on environmental inequalities, policy and social change. Beck’s current projects investigate the possibilities for rapid and just energy transition, with particular focus on land and labour relations. She is a Chief Investigator on two ARC Discovery Projects: Decarbonising Electricity (Goodman et al. 2018-21) and Environmental Justice and the Making of Just Food and Energy Policy (Schlosberg, Pearse and Rickards 2020-22). Beck previously held a teaching fellowship in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney, where she was also a Key Researcher at the Sydney Environment Institute (2017-20). In 2016-17, Beck was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Sociology at Australian National University, working on the ARC project Gendered Excellence in the Social Sciences investigating gender inequality and disciplinarity in the academy. Before that she worked as a Research Associate contributing to the The Coal Rush and Beyond and Global Arenas of Knowledge ARC Discovery Projects.