University of Leeds and Sciences Po, Paris
Adrian Favell, Chair in Sociology and Social Theory, University of Leeds, England. Also chercheur associé of the Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparée, Sciences Po, Paris, France, and professorial research associate of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, UEA, Norwich, England.
The core of my work addresses pervasive power asymmetries and methodological nationalism in comparative understanding, in cross-Atlantic, European, East Asian, and global contexts. I have variously tackled these questions through applied conceptual work in migration and mobility studies, citizenship studies, comparative urbanism, and creative/cultural (post-growth) economy. I am sympathetic to a thoroughly de-centred, de-colonial, and de-imperial agenda, but it will not be advanced unless we can also address issues in the empirical operationalisation of our ideas: basic questions of epistemology, data gathering and comparative research design, and challenging mainstream social science on its own terrain. Equally, some of the settled positions and canons of thought in critical theory in the humanities and arts need to be challenged and re-thought. For a taste of my work, try the article posted online in the GDC readings, ‘Rebooting migration theory: interdisciplinarity, globality and postdisciplinarity in migration studies’ (2009), a programmatic concluding essay from my 2014 collection, Immigration, Integration and Mobility: New Agendas in Migration Studies (ECPR Press). I currently live and work in England — the original heartland and centre of complacent colonial power-knowledge. Much of my current work is thus caught up with critiquing the dangerous “white shift” in both politics and mainstream social science analysis in Europe, that is attempting to explain and justify Brexit, populist democracy and (basically) the return of fascism. These alarming trends, however, do suggest new resources for a broader coalition of de-colonial ideas that is currently imagined by its leading advocates. All my work can be found via my website: www.adrianfavell.com