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Sociology: People


Sophia Woodman

Sophia Woodman
Sophia Woodman
Senior lecturer
3.09 18 Buccleuch Place Edinburgh UK EH8 8LN
44 (0)131 651 4745
Research Interests
Citizenship, human rights and social movements; contemporary China; law and society; regional autonomy frameworks; migration and translocality.

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Fridays, 10:30am-12:30pm

Research interests
My research focuses on citizenship, human rights and social movements in contemporary China; political sociology and social movements, particularly transnational movements; migration and translocality, including for mobility for education; local citizenship and the politics of sustainability; constitutionalism, law, politics and governance in modern China and beyond; gender and the state; asymmetry and formal autonomy in state systems.

Selected publications

  • Sophia Woodman. 2018. All citizenship is local: using China to rethink local citizenship. In Place and Citizenship: Case Studies on the Borders of Citizenship, edited by Cherstin M. Lyon and Alison F. Goebel. Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Sophia Woodman. 2018. The cultural politics of women’s human rights in transnational China: from the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women to now. In Gender Dynamics, Feminist Activism and Social Transformation in China, edited by Guoguang Wu, Yuan Feng and Helen Lansdowne. Basingstoke: Routledge.
  • Sophia Woodman and Guo, Zhonghua. 2018. Practicing Citizenship in Contemporary China. London: Routledge.
  • Sophia Woodman and Guo, Zhonghua. 2017. Introduction: practicing citizenship in contemporary China. Citizenship Studies, 21, 7: 737-754.
  • Sophia Woodman. 2017. Legitimating exclusion and inclusion: ‘culture’, education and entitlement to local urban citizenship in Tianjin and Lanzhou. Citizenship Studies, 21, 7: 755-772.
  • Sophia Woodman and Charles R. Menzies. 2017. Justice for the salmon: indigenous ways of life as a critical resource in envisioning alternative futures. In (Post)colonialism, Indigeneity and Struggles for Food Sovereignty edited by Marisa Wilson. Basingstoke: Routledge.
  • Sophia Woodman. 2016. Local Politics, Local Citizenship? Socialized Governance in Contemporary China. The China Quarterly, 226: 342-362.
  • Sophia Woodman. 2015. Segmented Publics and the Regulation of Critical Speech in China. Asian Studies Review 39, 1:  100-118.
  • Yash Ghai and Sophia Woodman. 2013. Practising Self-government: A Comparative Study of Autonomous Regions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pitman Potter and Sophia Woodman. 2012. Boundaries of tolerance: Charter 08 and debates over political reform. In Liu Xiaobo, Charter ’08 and the Challenges of Political Reform in China, edited by Jean-Philippe Béja, Hualing Fu and Eva Pils. Hong Kong University Press.
  • Sophia Woodman. 2011. Law, translation and voice: the transformation of a struggle for social justice in a Chinese village. Critical Asian Studies 43, 2:  185-210.
  • Yash Ghai, Sophia Woodman and Kelley Loper. 2010. Is there space for “genuine autonomy” for Tibetan areas in the PRC’s system of Nationalities Regional Autonomy? International Journal of Minority and Group Rights, Vol. 17: 137-186.
  • Yash Ghai and Sophia Woodman. 2009. Unused powers: autonomy legislation in the PRC. Pacific Affairs 82, 1: 29-46.

Topics interested in supervising

I am interested in supervising students doing research on topics in political sociology, including citizenship, human rights and social movements, particularly those that have ecological or gender angles, or seek to analyze welfare regimes. I welcome projects using innovative methodologies, such as action research. I'm especially open to projects that have transnational engagements and/or relate to China or other parts of Asia.

If you are interested in being supervised by Sophia Woodman, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Sociology; MSc (R) Sociology