Ruth graduated from Queen Mary University of London with a BA History and Politics and was awarded an SSRC doctoral research scholarship to study at Nuffield College Oxford. She has been working at Loughborough since 1992.
Her research has been funded by the ESRC (ES/N006860/1 Anarchy as a constitutional principle: constitutionalising in anarchist politics) the Independent Social Research Foundation (Art Activism and Political Violence) and the British Academy (2005 and 1993).
Ruth is a political theorist and historian of ideas with research interests in anarchism, nineteenth and early twentieth-century socialist thought, utopianism and contemporary radicalism. Her book William Morris: The Art of Socialism was published in 2000 by University of Wales press; she has since published The Beginner's Guide to Anarchism (Oneworld, 2005/2009), Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition (University of Edinburgh, 2016) and The Government of No One (Pelican, 2019). She is editor of the Bloomsbury Companion to Anarchism (2012) and co-editor of Anarchism and Utopianism (Manchester University Press, 2009), Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red (Palgrave & PM Press, 2012) and Anarchism 1914-18: Internationalism, Anti-militarism and War (Manchester University Press, 2017). She is currently working on a book about anarchist constitutionalising with Alex Prichard and collating a collection of essays exploring the relationship of anarchism and nationalism with José Antonio Gutiérrez .
At Loughborough, Ruth is a member of the Anarchism Research Group and the Politicised Practice Research Group. She has been editor, now co-editor, of the journal Anarchist Studies since 2008 and is series editor of Rowman and Littlefield's Radical Subjects in International Politics: Action and Activism. She was co-convener of the Anarchist Studies Network (a specialist group of the UK Political Studies Association) from 2008-2020 and a member of the PSA Executive 2008-2009. She member of the Association for Political Thought, Political Studies Association, William Morris Society, Utopian Studies Society, British Association for Victorian Studies.
She has written for The Conversation, Strike! Magazine, DIY Culture, The Big Issue, Novara Media, Institute of Arts and Ideas News, Dope and Gata Negra. She isauthor of the Great Anarchists pamphlet series by Dog Section Press – now availableas a book – and is working on a new series. She is co-author with Alex Prichard, Thomas Swann and Seeds For Change of Anarchic Agreements, a guide to anarchist constitutionalising. A book version is forthcoming with PM Press. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Ideas in Our Time and Start the Week, contributed to British Socialism: the Grand Tour, The Moral Maze (‘The Morality of Disobedience’), BBC Radio 3’s Nightwaves, ITV News Channel, How the Light Gets In and Sky News. Online interviews include Five Books on Anarchism, Russell Brand’s Under the Skin, Robert Elms’ BBC Radio London programme and Beth Matthews Radio 3CR Melbourne.
Ruth has been involved in programme design and curriculum development throughout her career. She was recipient of a University teaching prize in 2005 and served as Associate Dean for Teaching (Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2010-11) and School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences (2011-2014).
She convenes the final year Dissertation, the specialist module No Gods! No Masters! Anarchism Past and Present and co-teaches History of Political Thought.
With Uri Gordon she co-authored the Political Studies Association Teachers’ Topic Guide on Anarchism and Ideology (2015/2019). She has recorded online lectures for Massolit on anarchism for A-level Politics students, in 2020 presented the anarchy night school – Five Weeks of Anarchy - at Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham and contributed to the Incite seminars.
Current postgraduate research students
- Sebastian Averill: "Mikhail Bakunin at the margins of Slavoj Žižek"
- Jon Bigger: "Anarchists in the UK General Election 2015: an ethnographic Study of Class War"
- Sam Garrett: “Political subjectivity and identity politics in contemporary radical organisation’
- William Godfrey: “Towards a materialist animal liberation”
- Shane Little: "The Politics Behind the Unbridgeable Chasm: Revisiting the relationship between social anarchism and individualism"
- James McIntyre: "Hometime for Humanity: on Working our Way towards a Workless Society"
- Richard Valliere, Advisory Committee, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Guelph, Canada.
Previous postgraduate research students
- Simon Stevens (2018) "State and Citizens or Home and the Outsiders? A Genealogy of Citizenship in the UK"
- Elisabeth Vasileva (2018) "Postanarchist Ethics and the Possibilities for Resistance: An Analysis of the Tension Between Poststructuralism and Ethical Politics"
- Teresa Fernandes (2017) "The postanarchist, an activist in a “heterotopia”: building an ideal type"
- Jim Donaghey (2016) "Punk and Anarchism: UK, Poland, Indonesia"
- Anthony Fiscella (2015 Lund University) "Universal Burdens: Stories of (Un)Freedom from the Unitarian Universalist Association, The MOVE Organization, and Taqwacore"
- Cris Iliopoulos (2014) "Nietzsche & anarchism: an elective affinity, and a Nietzschean reading of the December 08 revolt in Athens"
- Osama Abu Irshaid (2013) "The dialectic of religion and politics in Hamas’ thought and practice"
- Süreyyya Evren (2012) "What is anarchism? A reflection on the canon and the constructive potential of its destruction"
- Matthew Wilson (2012) "Rules without rulers: the possibilities and limits of anarchism"
- Alex Prichard (2008) "Justice, order and anarchy: the international political theory of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)"
- Kazuko Sumino (2007) "The relevance of William Morris"
- Mahmood Abdulla (2007) "Aspects of Qur'anic exegetical concept of self and human nature past and present"
- ‘What is Anarchist Internationalism?’ Nations and Nationalism, (online first, December 2020)
- ‘Heretical Constructions of Anarchist Utopianism’, History of European Ideas, 46 (8), 2020.
- ‘Occupy and the Constitution of Anarchy’ with Alex Prichard and Thomas Swann, Global Constitutionalism 8 (2), 2019.
- ‘Anarchism and non-domination’ with Alex Prichard, Journal of Political Ideologies, 24 (3) 2019.
- ‘Using the Master’s Tools: Rights and Radical Politics’, in Davina Cooper, Nikita Dhawan & Janet Newman eds. Reimagining the State: Theoretical Challenges and Transformative Possibilities (Routledge: 2019).