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Dr Sarah Cooper

Lecturer in Politics

+44 (0)1392 725401


Amory B203A

In terms of both research and teaching, my interests lie firmly in the field of public policy and administration, both in domestic UK politics and at a supranational, EU level. More specifically, I explore ideas of new institutionalism and Europeanization, particularly in relation to women's issues, and often within the healthcare domain. To date, this has included the regulation surrounding access to, and delivery of, reproductive technologies such as abortion and IVF, and the management of more criminal matters such as rape, prostitution and pornography.

My first book 'Regulating Women: Policymaking and Practice in the UK' was published in February 2016 and critiques the legislative approach to abortion, prostitution, porn and rape in the UK. As part of the Public Health Policy Reserach Series with Palgrave, my current project, titled 'Analysing Gender in Health Policy: The Politics of Sex and Reproduction', considers government decision making around themes such as sex education in schools and access to assisted reproductive technologies, and will be published later this year. 



My research and teaching interests are largely reflective of my training to date; I received my law degree from the University of Birmingham in 2006 before deciding to diversify my knowledge, and completing an MA in International Studies here at the University of Exeter, in 2007. Having become fascinated by the interface between law and politics, I then went on to undertake a PhD entitled 'Comparing Abortion Policy in the UK and Republic of Ireland; An Unexpected Case of Europeanization?' under the supervision of Dr Claire Dunlop and Professor Claudio Radaelli. My doctorate was successfully examined without corrections by Professor Dorte Martinsen and Professor Andrew Massey in February 2012.

Throughout my postgraduate study and early postdoctoral career, I have taught on a number of undergraduate modules providing me with a great insight into the array of subjects tackled by our students. Since moving into a full lecturing position, I now convene the modules 'Public Policy and Administration' and  'Women in the Criminal Justice System', at Level 2 and Level 3 respectively, and the MPA's 'Applied Studies'. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and was honoured to receive a Guild Teaching Award for Best Supervisor in 2015.

In addition to these teaching resposnibilities, I am delighted to have also assumed the position of Academic Lead for 'Widening Participation' for the College until 2016. In such role I relished the freedom to be able to design and deliver such events as our annual 'PPE Residential Summer School' and 'Civic Literacy Project': a primary school based initiative encouraging different forms of community engagement:

Moving forwards for 2016/17, I will act as academic lead for employability within Politics. I have also assumed the role of Convenor for the Poltical Studies Association 'Public Policy and Administration' Specialist Group, and am Assistant Editor of 'Public Money and Management.

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