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Alex Mankoo
Lecturer in Public Policy
T: +44 (0)1273 876875


My primary research interest is in understanding how forms of scientific and technical knowledge legitimate, and are legitimated by, technologies of social and political control. My work also interrogates how ideas of care become entangled with attempts at social control in science and technology policy. Empirically, I primarily focus on Chemical and Biological weapons (CBW) disarmament, and more recently on digital and machine learning technologies.

My ESRC-funded PhD research project, which I completed at UCL in 2019, was titled "A Historical Sociology of Teargas in Britain and the Empire, 1925-1965'. I investigated how teargas became a technology for policing and riot control in 20th century Britain and the empire, showing how scientific conceptions of 'non-lethality' emerged with forms of social order that were entangled with imperial ideas of care. I traced out how teargas thereby came to occupy a range of roles in British policy from 1925-65: as a technology of colonial control in the interwar period, as a civil defence technology in WWII, and as a 'riot control agent' in the 1950s and 60s.

My broad research interests include: science and technology studies; sociology of science and technology; critical security studies; history of science and technology; governing emerging technologies; postcolonialism.