Research in Critical Education Studies (RiCES)

What are we doing?

Our work explores the relationship between knowledge, education and social power. We have special interests in two areas: the relationship between social forces and educational thinking, practice and institutions; and the development of critical and co-operative forms of education for democratic societies. Our researchers examine these themes in studies of alternative, co-operative and popular education; critical pedagogy; curriculum; discourse; educational policy and policy affecting education; educational reform; knowledge and ideology; labour; the organisation and political economy of education; social movements; and technology. 

Why is it important?

Education is a key site of cultural, economic and political power, with the capacity to reinforce social inequalities and injustices or to challenge and overcome them. It is both consequential in the lives of individuals and communities and a key site of domination and resistance in global political economy. Understanding the politics of education critically is thus vital for students, educators, communities and publics.

How are we different?

RiCES researchers are members of an international community of scholars, educators and activists working to advance understandings of the politics of education in society, and to transform educational thinking and practice in the interests of social justice. In addition to producing academic theory and research, we co-operate with educators, educational leaders and educational activists to design research-based approaches to strengthening praxis.


Academic Staff


Dr Joss Winn

Senior Lecturer 

Dr Helen Childerhouse

Mr Daniel Bishop

Senior Lecturer in Education

Principal Lecturer - Sport and Exercise Science


Associate Members


Ms. Laura Stratford


Dr. Janet Jones

Prof. Richard Hall


Graduate Student Members 


Ms. Hadiza Abdulrahman

Ms. Jane Trowell  

Ms. Kathleen Taylor

Research Projects:

'The Ethics and Politics of Possibility: Principles and Practices of Prefigurative Knowledge and Research'
Funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation (2016) 
Dr. Sarah Amsler

'Co-operative Leadership in Higher Education’ (2016–17)'
Funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (2016–17) 
Prof. Mike Neary and Dr. Joss Winn

'Practices of Possibility in Neoliberal Social Systems'
Funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation (2015–16)
Dr. Sarah Amsler

'Beyond Public and Private: A Model for Co-operative Higher Education'
Funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation (2015–16)
Dr. Joss Winn and Prof. Mike Neary



Amsler, Sarah (2017) “Insane with courage”: free university experiments and the struggle for higher education in historical and contemporary perspective. Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences.

Amsler, Sarah and Facer, Keri (2017) Contesting anticipatory regimes in education: exploring alternative educational orientations to the future. Futures: The Journal of Policy, Planning and Future Studies, DOI

Amsler, Sarah and Hanrahan, Nancy (2017) Critique and possibility in cultural sociology. In: The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology (Second edition). Routledge.

Amsler, Sarah and Motta, Sara C. (2017) The marketised university and the politics of motherhood. Gender and Education, DOI 10.1080/09540253.2017.1296116.

Amsler, Sarah (2017) What do we mean when we say 'democracy'? Learning towards a common future through popular higher education. In: Out of the ruins: the emergence of radical informal learning spaces. PM Press.

Amsler, Sarah (2017) Learning hope: an epistemology of possibility for advanced capitalist society. In: Social sciences for an other politics: women theorizing without parachutes. Palgrave.

Hall, Richard and Winn, Joss (2017) Mass intellectuality and democratic leadership in higher education. In: Mass intellectuality and democratic leadership in higher education. Bloomsbury, London.

Hall, Richard and Winn, Joss (2017) Mass intellectuality and democratic leadership in higher education’.Bloomsbury Academic.

Neary, Mike and Winn, Joss (2017) There is an alternative: a report on an action research project to develop a framework for co-operative higher education. Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, 10 (1).

Mayes, Eve and Bakhshi, Shukria and Wasner, Victoria and Cook-Sather, Alison and Mohammad, Madina and Bishop, Daniel C. and Groundwater-Smith, Susan and Prior, Megan and Nelson, Emily and McGregor, Jane and Carson, Krista and Webb, Rebecca and Flashman, Lily and McLaughlin, Colleen and Cowley, Emily (2017) What can a conception of power do? Theories and images of power in student voice work. International Journal of Student Voice.

Winn, Joss (2017) Co-operation, learning and co-operative values. Journal of Education Policy, 32 (2). pp. 253-254.


Amsler, Sarah and Shadymanova, Jarkyn (2016) Market-driven, state-managed diversification of higher education in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan. Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, 2 (8). pp. 10-11.

Gregory, Karen and Winn, Joss (2016) Marx, Engels and the critique of academic labor. Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, 28.

Jones, Janet Rosemary (2016) Teaching undergraduate sociology: the effects of transformational teaching practices on student learning experiences in an English further education college. EdD thesis, University of Lincoln.

Neary, Mike (2016) Teaching Excellence Framework: a critical response and an alternative future.Journal of Contemporary European Research, 12 (3). pp. 690-695.

Neary, Mike (2016) Value: critical pedagogy, participatory art and higher education - a new measure and meaning of the common(s). In: Against Value in the Arts and Education. Disruptions. Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 355-374.

Neary, Mike and Saunders, Gary (2016) Student as producer and the politics of abolition: making a new form of dissident institution? Critical Education, 7 (5).

Neary, Mike and Winn, Joss (2016) The University of Utopia. Post-16 Educator (84). pp. 13-15.

Neary, Mike and Winn, Joss (2016) Against academic identity. Higher Education Research and Development, 35 (2). pp. 409-412.

Simbürger, Elisabeth and Neary, Mike (2016) Taxi Professors: academic labour in Chile - a critical practical response to the politics of worker identity. Workplace: a journal for academic labour, 28, pp. 48-73.

Winn, Joss and Gregory, Karen (2016) Marx, Engels and the critique of academic labour [special issue of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour]. University of British Columbia. 


Amsler, Sarah (2015) The education of radical democracy. Routledge Research in Education. Routledge.

Amsler, Sarah (2015) Education should not be run for profit. Reclaiming Schools.

Amsler, Sarah (2015) Co-operation and education: a review of Tom Woodin's 'Co-operation, learning and co-operation, learning and co-operative values'. Post-16 Educator, 78. pp. 15-17.

Davy, Zowie and Amsler, Sarah and Duncombe, Karen (2015) Facilitating LGBT medical, health and social care content in higher education teaching. Qualitative Research in Education, 4 (2). pp. 134-162.

Neary, Mike (2015) Educative power: the myth of dronic violence in a period of civil war. Culture Machine, 16. pp. 1-28.

Neary, Mike (2015) Debate: on the authority of the HE teacher. In: Enhancing learning and teaching in higher education: engaging with the dimensions of practice. Open University Press, Maidenhead, pp. 167-170.

Neary, Mike and Beetham, Helen (2015) The nature of academic space. In: Enhancing learning and teaching in higher education: engaging with the dimensions of practice. Open University Press, Maidenhead, pp. 83-103.

Neary, Mike and Winn, Joss (2015) Beyond public and private: a model for co-operative higher education. Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy.

Simbuerger, Elisabeth and Neary, Mike (2015) Free education! A 'live' report from the Chilean student movement, 2011-2014 - reform or revolution? [A political sociology for action]. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 13 (2). pp. 150-196.

Winn, Joss (2015) Academic labour and the capitalist university: a critique of higher education through the law of value. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

Winn, Joss (2015) Open Education and the emancipation of academic labour. Learning, Media and Technology, 40 (3). pp. 385-404.

Winn, Joss (2015) Democratically controlled, co-operative higher education. openDemocracy.

Winn, Joss (2015) The co-operative university: Labour, property and pedagogy. Power and Education, 7 (1). pp. 39-55.



Amsler, Sarah (2017) Educators on the edge: flight, resistance and the politics of possibility amongst teachers in managed neoliberal regimes. In: Education Research Seminar, 9 March 2017, University of Brighton.

Hall, Richard and Winn, Joss (2017) Social co-operatives and the democratisation of higher education.In: The Co-operative Education and Research Conference, 5-6 April 2017, Manchester, UK.

Neary, M. (2017) Students as co-producers: co-creating future learning. In: Learning Innovation for Tomorrow seminar, University of Gloucester, 9 June 2017.

Neary, M. (2017) Pedagogy of hate. In CASS School of Education and Communities seminar, University of East London, 12 June 2017.

Neary, M. (2017) Critical theory as a critique of labour, featuring academic work; or, how do revolutionary teachers teach? In: Marx and Philosophy Society, 24 June 2017.

Neary, Mike and Venezuela Fuentes, Katia and Winn, Joss (2017) Co-operative leadership and higher education: four case studies. In: The Co-operative Education and Research Conference, 5-6 April 2017, Manchester.


Abdulrahman, H. K. (2016) ‘Contested representations of Northern Nigeria’s Almajirai and Qur’anic Schooling’, presented at Bodies of Text: Learning to be Muslim in West Africa, Birmingham, 30 June–1 July 2016 and New Voices in the Study of Islam in Africa I: The Production and Contestation of Muslim Institutions in Contemporary Africa, African Studies Association 59th Annual Meeting/Washington, DC, 1–3 December 2016.

Amsler, Sarah and Balaban, Corina (2016) University futures. [Video]

Amsler, Sarah (2016) Pedagogies of pluriversality. In: Universities in the Knowledge Economy (UNIKE), 14-17 June 2013, Copenhagen Campus, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Amsler, Sarah (2016) Other learning is possible. In: 'The Idea of Higher Education' lecture series, 12 May 2016, Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society.

Amsler, Sarah (2016) Educating radical democracy: theorising counter-capitalist possibility in neoliberal social systems. In: Sociology Seminar Series, 2 March 2016, University of Warwick.

Amsler, Sarah (2016) Pedagogies of autonomy, self-management and cooperation. In: Marx in the Key of Hope, 29 January 2016, University of Bath.

Bishop, Daniel and Miller, Kirsty and Keeley-Smith, Leanne and Muzangaza, Kudzai (2016) Student and academic co-chairs in Subject/Programme Committees - help or hindrance? In: RAISE - Researching, advancing and student engagement: Student engagement: Excellence in Student Engagement, 8th - 9th September 2016, Loughborough University.

Neary, Mike and Winn, Joss (2016) Beyond public and private: a framework for co-operative higher education. In: Co-operative Education Conference 2016, 21-22nd April 2016, Manchester.


Amsler, Sarah (2015) Other learnings are possible: autonomous education, decolonization and radical democracy. In: Plymouth Institute of Education Research Seminar Series, 16 December 2015, University of Plymouth.

Amsler, Sarah (2015) Higher education for social justice. In: What is to be Done in the Age of Austerity and Autonomy?, 17 April 2015, University of Birmingham (Conference of Socialist Economists).

Amsler, Sarah (2015) 'Either we do this or we die. There is no alternative': learning from struggles for autonomous higher education. In: Universities in the Knowledge Economy: Transforming Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific Rim and Europe, 10–13 February 2015, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Amsler, Sarah and Dinerstein, Ana Cecilia (2015) Learning and organising hope. In: Utopias, Futures and Temporalities: Critical Considerations for Social Change (AHRC Connected Communities and Care for the Future), 19-20 May 2015, Bristol Zoo.

Amsler, Sarah and Facer, Keri (2015) Neither colonising nor abandoning the future: democratic education in an age of anticipation. In: Anticipation (first international conference on), 5-7 November 2015, Trento, Italy.

Bishop, Daniel (2015) Conceptualising the Student-University relationship within a UK higher education institute. In: 5th Cambridge Student Voice Seminar, 22 - 24 June 2015, University of Cambridge.

Neary, Mike and Winn, Joss (2015) Beyond public and private: a model for co-operative higher education. In: College of Social Science Research Conference 2015, 2 July 2015, University of Lincoln.

Winn, Joss (2015) Communes, commonism and co-ops: rethinking the university as a hackerspace. In: British HCI Conference 2015, 13-17 July 2015, Lincoln, UK.

Winn, Joss (2015) A short history of hacking: values and principles for co-operative higher education.In: Student as Producer conference, 27 March 2015, Newcastle College.

Winn, Joss (2015) Labour, property and pedagogy: theory and practice for co-operative higher education. In: Universities in the Knowledge Economy: Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific and Europe, 10-13 Feb 2015, Auckland, New Zealand.