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The TheoryLAB explores the points of convergence and connection between different kinds of critical theory within, and beyond, the study of Politics.


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The TheoryLAB was established at the School of Politics and International Relations in May 2013.

Why a lab in a School of Politics and International Relations? The idea of a laboratory for theory signals a characteristic of thinking that is central to critical political theory: it is experimental and engages creatively with spaces beyond its disciplinary boundaries. A laboratory builds connections, encounters new materials, has a transformative capacity, given its open, process-led form.

The TheoryLAB thus supports experimentation, and the production of nascent forms of thought entailed by this idea of a laboratory.

Its members currently research in the areas of continental political thought and philosophy, international relations, and the history of political ideas.


The TheoryLAB runs a series of events designed to encourage the dissemination of research and start discussions on the results and topics raised. Guest speakers come from both the University sector and related industries, such as NGOs, think tanks and government departments.

Staff, students and members of the public are welcome to attend the events.

Please see our  Events page for additional upcoming, and past events.

Theory Lab Reading Group: Re-reading Orientalism
Every Thursday from November 17th to December 15th 2016, QMUL, Arts One, Room 2.18

It seems pertinent to re-read Edward Said’s Orientalism in 2016. On one hand, recent events in the Middle East brought the agency of the ‘orient’ back to the center of academic debate. On the other, recent developments in Europe, most recent of which is Brexit, highlighted the ubiquity of exclusionary discourses in former imperialist states. This all occurs while the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Said’s birthplace, remains a reminder that the age of imperialism is yet to be gone. Rereading Orientalism in (and through) such historical context would highly reward our understanding of both Said’s seminal post-colonial text and our contemporary post-colonial history. Click here [PDF 415KB] for further information

For enquiries, please contact: Hesham Shafick Abdelbary,

TheoryLAB Members

Sadiya Akram / Alexander Blanchard / Madeleine Davis / Miri Davidson / Jean-François Drolet / Kimberley Hutchings / Jef Huysmans / Mike Kenny / Matheus Lock Santos / Robbie Shilliam / Lasse Thomassen / Alen Toplišek / David Williams

Caroline Williams is Director of the TheoryLAB and can be contacted by email

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