Affiliated Research Fellows

Meet our Affiliated Research Fellows

Babak Amini

Amini, Babak (Dr) 

Babak Amini received his PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics. He is a comparative historical sociologist with research interests in radical labour movements, the history of socialist movements and ideas, critical state theory, and sociology of political parties. His PhD dissertation analyzes some of the earliest and most radical instances of movements towards “council democracy”, conceptualized as a particular form of democratic socialism that strives towards radically participatory and democratic forms of organization. The thesis focuses on the making of such movements during the First World War and their trajectories in the immediate aftermath of the war in Germany during the German Revolution (1918-1919) and in Italy during the biennio rosso (1919-1920).

Amini’s current research project concerns alternative socioeconomic models to capitalism. It critically examines the landscape of debates on alternatives between the Great Recession and the Global Pandemic. He is also the co-lead investigator (with Marcello Musto) of an international project to bring together a global history of the dissemination and reception of Karl Marx’s Capital since its publication in 1867.

In addition to a number of publications in prestigious journals, he is the co-editor of the forthcoming book, "Routledge Handbook of Marx’s Capital: A Global History of Translation, Dissemination and Reception" (Routledge, 2022). He also serves on the editorial board of Socialism and Democracy and an assistant editor of the book series, "Marx, Engels, Marxisms" (Palgrave MacMillan).


A, Rong (Dr)

Rong received her PhD degree in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2020. Her research interests focus on civil society, political engagement, environmental governance, and Chinese society. In her PhD dissertation  (Title: Managing the Dream of a Green China: Chinese ENGOs’ Daily Practices and Controversies), Rong explored how Chinese environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) intervene with environmental crises in an authoritarian context. Drawing on the data from ten-month ethnographic fieldwork in China, she showed that the emergence and development of Chinese ENGOs in the past three decades have been embedded in multiple overlapping historical processes in China. Using a field theory approach, she discussed how different actors compete to gain more capitals and collectively create the field rules, which helps explain Chinese ENGOs’ behavioural patterns. She argued that the field of Chinese ENGOs is witnessing the increasingly dominant technocratic trends, the loss of connection to political discourses, and the resistances to bureaucratisation. Currently, she is interested in comparing the strategies of NGOs in China and the UK. 

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Birgen 200x200

Gökmenoğlu, Birgân (Dr)

Birgan is an Affiliated Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics (LSE). She holds a PhD in Political Sociology from LSE, an MA in Sociology from the University of Southern California (USC), and a BA in Social and Political Sciences from Sabanci University. She is a political ethnographer with an expertise in social movements in contemporary Turkey.

Birgan’s current research is concerned with temporality as a subject and instrument of political contention from a comparative perspective. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Temporality and Social Movements: A Political Ethnography of Activism in Contemporary Turkey (2016-2018)” investigated the ways in which grassroots oppositional movements were affected by the accelerated authoritarian turn in Turkish politics after the 2016 military coup attempt.

Birgan’s research and teaching interests are in political ethnography, contentious politics, social movements, authoritarian transitions, democratic theory, and contemporary politics in Turkey, with a focus on the role of temporality in political struggles. She has taught “Introduction to Sociology” at Bogazici University as a Visiting Lecturer, “Middle East Politics in Transnational Perspective” in the Government Department at LSE as a Guest Teacher, and “Political Sociology” and “Researching London: Advanced Methods” in the Department of Sociology at LSE as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She has also organized numerous international workshops, including the weekly Contentious Politics Workshop at the LSE’s Government Department from 2017 to 2019. 

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Naamneh, Haneen (Dr)

Haneen Naamneh is an Affiliated Research Fellow with the Sociology department at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), a researcher with the project Archival City – Bridging Urban Past and Future, and a fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany. She holds a PhD in Sociology from LSE, LLM from The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and LLB from Haifa University.

Her research is concerned with the social and legal history of Arab Jerusalem between 1948–1967. Through a study of the Jerusalem municipality archival records, she traces the political, social, legal and economic transformation in Arab Jerusalem after 1948. Specifically, she studies the city’s urban loss and revival, including in the areas of municipal law and labour rights, local economy, tourism and infrastructure. Haneen’s essay ‘A Municipality Seeking Refuge – Jerusalem Municipality in 1948’, published in the Jerusalem Quarterly journal, won the 2019 Ibrahim Dakkak Award for Outstanding Essay on Jerusalem.

In the past, Haneen worked as a lawyer, and later as a research assistant with the LSE Middle East Centre. She is a translator with several research centres, and has contributed to a number of Arab newspapers and cultural media platforms, including Assafir al-Arabi and Jadaliyya.

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Ling Tung Tsang 200x200

Tung Tsang, Ling (Dr) 

Ling Tung Tsang received his PhD in Sociology from LSE in 2021. His PhD research focuses on the examination of Chinese sportsmen’s identities and their processes of identification; it is further connected to the contexts of culture, power, gender, and race and ethnicity to argue that Chinese athletes—perhaps also applicable to Chinese people in China at large—identify with both collectivism and individualization in the day-to-day circumstances of their everyday lives. The investigation has sought to counter the notion of “Eastern collectivist vs. Western individualist binary” and develop new conceptual paradigms that transcend such stereotypical discourses.

In addition to his PhD studies at LSE, Ling Tung was awarded and undertook a Visiting Fellowship with The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University (affiliated with the Department of Sociology) in the fall semester of 2019/2020. Currently, Ling Tung is a Demonstrator in the Department of Sociology at The University of Hong Kong. He is particularly involved in the Department’s Master of Social Sciences in Media, Culture and Creative Cities programme, supervising students’ theses and providing teaching and learning support.

Joining the Department of Sociology as a Visiting Fellow, Ling Tung plans to beyond his existing work of sociological inquiry. He will further enrich his research expertise on the areas of identity, gender and race, and forge greater theoretical linkages between the three inter-related fields of knowledge. 

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