Dr Daniel Conway

Dr Daniel Conway

My work is situated at the intersection of Feminist International Relations, political sociology and queer theory, focusing on the politics of LGBTQ+ rights and activism. I held a 2018-19 Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship studying 'The Global Politics of Pride: LGBTQ+ Activism, Assimilation and Resistance', and conducted comparative fieldwork on LGBTQ+ Pride events across Africa, Asia and North America.

My earlier work on white South African conscientious objectors and white anti-apartheid activists explored how militarisation was gendered and how contesting this process was destabilising for the state, but also subject to significant pressures to appear respectable and to conform with the heteronormative logics of the state. I have also explored how accounts of anti-war activism contribute to white liberal discourses that seek to obscure and reconstitute white privilege in South Africa. I extended this interest in whiteness as a mode of privilege in my co-authored monograph on the everyday lives of white British-born migrants in South Africa. This qualitative project investigated British migrants transnational (and national), raced and classed identities as well as experience of places, spaces and belonging.

I joined the University of Westminster in September 2015 after having worked as Lecturer at the Open University and Loughborough University. I was an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Post-Doctoral Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Bristol between 2006 and 2007. I have also held Visiting Research Fellowships at Goldsmiths, University of London, University College London, the University of Bristol and the University of Cape Town.

I have BA (Hons) in History and Politics from the University of Exeter and an MSc with Commendation in International Relations from the University of Bristol. I was awarded a PhD in Politics by Rhodes University, South Africa.

  • The Global Politics of Pride: LGBTQ+ Activism, Assimilation and Resistance

This project, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship, investigates Pride as a transnational and global phenomenon, documenting and analysing the contemporary politics, performances, effects and trajectories of Pride across selected national contexts, with a particular focus on non-Western and Global South Pride events. This fills an important gap in contemporary LGBTQ+ politics scholarship in contemporary global contexts. The research assesses earlier literature on Pride, which has mainly focused on the history of Pride and on Pride in Global North (primarily the US). It also interrogates existing theorisations of queer activism, as a distinct form of activism, which has predominantly been considered in Western-centric terms. The research develops an understanding of the roles, importance, problematics of Pride and conceptions and practices of queer activism. 

  • Migration, Space and Transnational Identities: The British in South Africa

This British Academy funded project focused on the lives, identities and histories of white British-born migrants in contemporary South Africa. Working with Professor Pauline Leonard (School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton), we interviewed over sixty British immigrants in South Africa and did ethnographic work in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg. In the (2014) book 'Migration, Space and Transnational Identities: The British in South Africa'  we explored the everyday lives of migrants, political and social attitudes and relationships with the places and spaces of South Africa, as well as expectations of the future, the complexities of transnational, raced and classed identities and senses of belonging.

I spoke about this project and the book on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed programme in 2015.

  • Masculinities, Militarisation and War Resistance: The End Conscription Campaign in South Africa

This Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Rhodes Postgraduate Scholarship funded body of work explores the gendered dynamics of militarisation and the possibilities and restraints on protest and dissent. In focusing on apartheid-era South Africa's militarisation, I analysed the defiance of compulsory military service by individual white men and the anti-apartheid activism of the white men and women in the End Conscription Campaign (ECC). The ECC was the most significant white anti-apartheid social movement in South Africa.

In the (2012) book 'Masculinities, Militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign: War Resistance in Apartheid South Africa' I analyse the interconnections between militarisation, sexuality, race, homophobia and political authoritarianism and draw upon a range of materials and disciplines in producing this socio-political study. I also explored the activist identities and repertoires of action that the ECC, as a new social movement, undertook

I have also developed this research by analysing and conceptualising the tensions of complicity, ignorance and ongoing racial privilege in accounts of activist pasts by white liberals in South Africa. 

PhD supervision

I welcome applications to supervise PhD students in the areas of masculinities and politics; gender and militarisation; South African history, politics and society; social movements and protest; critical whiteness studies; sexuality, Queer theory and politics and critical migration studies.

  • Centre for the Study of Democracy
  • Centre for Social Justice Research

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

LGBTQ+, Activism, South Africa, sexuality, queer theory, LGBTQ+ Pride, whiteness, masculintiies, feminist international relations, political sociology, queer international relations, protest, Pride, Gay Pride and LGBTQ+ Pride

Skills / expertise

qualitative research

Supervision interests

feminist international relations, activism, LGBTQ+, gender and politics, sexuality, race and racism and South and southern Africa
Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship

Leverhulme Trust