Professor Simon Tormey

BA PhD (Wales)

A26 - R.C. Mills Building
The University of Sydney


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Biographical details

Simon Tormey is a political theorist based in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Prior to his appointment at Sydney in 2009 he was Professor and Head of the School of Politics and International Relations and founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) at the University of Nottingham UK. He was educated at the University of Wales, Swansea receiving his doctorate in 1991. He was a Research Scholar and Lecturer at the University of Leicester before joining Nottingham in 1990. In 2005 he was awarded a personal chair ('professorship') in Politics and Critical Theory.

Simon is the author of numerous books and articles including Making Sense of Tyranny: Interpretations of Totalitarianism (Manchester University Press, 1995), Politics at the Edge (co-edited with C Pierson) Agnes Heller: Socialism, Autonomy and the Postmodern (Manchester University Press, 2001), Anti-Capitalism (Oxford: Oneworld, 2004, revised edition 2013), and Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism (London: Sage, 2006). He has published articles in journals such as Radical Philosophy, Thesis Eleven, The Journal of Political Ideologies, Political Studies, Critique of Anthropology and Historical Materialism. His work has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Turkish, Polish, Italian, French, Hungarian and German. His current writing project concerns the contemporary crisis of representative politics, and whether this presages the onset of new styles of modes of mobilisation, organisation or governance.

Simon is co-editor of 'Reappraising the Political' a monograph series with Manchester University Press (with Jon Simons - Indiana). For many years he was an editor of Contemporary Political Theory, one of the leading theory journals in the world.

Research interests

Among his current research and teaching interests are:

  • Global Civil Society/Alter-Globalisation – The theory and practice of transformative movements; social forums; Deleuze, Guattari and rhizomatic politics; social movements; indigeneity and the anthropology of stateless societies.
  • Contemporary Political Theory and Global Politics – theories/critics of totalitarianism/modernity/postmodernity; concepts of democracy/representation/difference/identity. The idea of 'development'; theories of 'Global Justice'.
  • 'Critical Theories' – Neo and Post-Marxisms; the work of the Budapest School; Castoriadis; Laclau & Mouffe; Zizek. French thought after 1968; Postcolonial theory (Spivak, Bhabha, Wittgenstein); critical pedagogy and education ('global citizenship'; 'global dimension in HE'/the RAE etc.)

He welcomes applications from students looking for honours, masters or PhD supervision on any of the themes above.

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2012

  • The Sydney Social Justice Project; Carney T, Celermajer D, Connell R, Freebody P, Goodwin S, Graycar R, Ivison D, Keane J, Kinley D, Meagher G, Schlosberg D, Sluga G, Tormey S; DVC Research/Research Network Scheme (SyReNS).

2011

  • Political effects of Cyber-protest in China; Sullivan J, Tormey S; DVC Research/Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme.

2007

  • Social Movements in the Developing World; Tormey S; University of Nottingham/Research Support.

2006

  • Dean's Fund - to support the development of taught postgraduate programmes on the theme of global; Tormey S; University of Nottingham/Research Support.
  • Feasibility Study to investigate developing the global dimension in Education with specific referenc; Tormey S; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)/Research Grant.
  • 'Global Civil Society' scoping project; Tormey S; University of Nottingham/Research Support.
  • University of Nottingham Graduate School - course development fund; Tormey S; University of Nottingham/Research Support.
  • principal applicant for three five year postdoctoral fellowships on the theme 'China, gloabalisati; Tormey S; Research Councils UK (RCUK)/Research Pilot Study.

2005

  • University of Nottingham Research Committee funding for a Centre for the Study of Social and Global; Tormey S; University of Nottingham/Research Support.
  • Travel Grant - ECPR Joint Workshops, Granada, Spain; Tormey S; University of Nottingham/Travel Grant.
  • University of Nottingham Research Leave Enhancement Scheme; Tormey S; University of Nottingham/Research Support.

2004

  • Travel Grant - Conference on 'Intensities', Ontario, Canada; Tormey S; University of Nottingham/Travel Grant.

2002

  • Travel Grant - international symposium on the work of Agnes Heller, Budapest, Hungary; Tormey S; University of Nottingham/Travel Grant.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Tormey, S. (2013). Anti-Capitalism: A Beginner's Guide. London, UK: Oneworld.
  • Tormey, S., Townsend, J. (2006). Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism. UK: Sage Publications.
  • Tormey, S. (2004). Anti-Capitalism: A Beginner's Guide. UK: Oneworld.
  • Tormey, S. (2001). Agnes Heller: Socialism, Autonomy and the Postmodern. USA: Manchester University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (1995). Making Sense of Tyranny: Interpretations of Totalitarianism. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Edited Books

  • Tormey, S., Pierson, C. (2001). Politics at the Edge: The PSA Yearbook 1999. UK: Macmillan Press.

Book Chapters

  • Tormey, S. (2012). Anarchy. In George Ritzer (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization, (pp. 60-62). UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Tormey, S. (2012). Anti-capitalism. In George Ritzer (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization, (pp. 69-71). UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Tormey, S. (2012). Discourse theories and post-structuralism. In Rodney Smith, Ariadne Vromen, Ian Cook (Eds.), Contemporary Politics in Australia: Theories, Practices and Issues, (pp. 46-55). Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2012). Resistance movements. In George Ritzer (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization, (pp. 1801-1805). UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2011). Resisting 'global justice': disrupting the colonial emancipatory logic of the West. In A.Banai, M. Ronzoni, C. Schemmel (Eds.), Social Justice, Global Dynamics: Theoretical and empirical perspectives, (pp. 61-74). London, United Kingdom: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Tormey, S. (2010). Ernesto Laclau (1934-) and Chantal Mouffe (1943-). In Jon Simons (Eds.), From Agamben to Zizek: Contemporary Critical Theorists, (pp. 144-160). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2010). Global Justice Movement. In Nigel Young (Eds.), The Oxford International Encyclopaedia of Peace, (pp. 269-273). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2010). Living in Smooth Space: Deleuze, Postcolonialism and the Subaltern. In Simone Bignall, Paul Patton (Eds.), Deleuze and the Postcolonial, (pp. 20-40). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S., Robinson, A. (2009). Is Another World Possible? Laclau, Mouffe and Social Movements. In Adrian Little and Moya Lloyd (Eds.), The Politics of Radical Democracy, (pp. 133-157). Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S., Robinson, A. (2009). Utopias without transcendence? Post-left anarchy, immediacy and utopian energy. In Hayden, Patrick~el-Ojeili, Chamsy~ (Eds.), Globalization and Utopia: Critical Essays, (pp. 156-175). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Tormey, S. (2006). After Gleneagles: Where next? In David Harvie, Keir Milburn, Ben Trott, David Watts (Eds.), Shut Them Down! The Global G8, Gleneagles 2005 and the Movement of Movements, (pp. 337-349). United States: Autonomedia.
  • Tormey, S. (2006). The two faces of democracy in the work of Agnes Heller. In Mihaly Vajda and Janos Boros (Eds.), Ethics and Heritage: Essays on the Philosphy of Agnes Heller, (pp. 197-224). Pecs Hungary: Brambauer.
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2005). 'Horizontals', 'Verticals' and the Conflicting Logics of Transformative Politics. In Patrick Hayden and Chamsy el-Ojeili (Eds.), Confronting Globalisation: Humanity, Justice and the Renewal of Politics after Postmodernism, (pp. 208-226). Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave.
  • Tormey, S. (2005). What is Tyranny? Considering the contested discourse of Domination in the Twenty-First Century. In Koivukoski, Toivo & Tabachnick, David E. (Eds.), Confronting Tyranny: Ancient Lessons for Global Politics, (pp. 67-79). UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.
  • Tormey, S. (2004). Jean-Francois Lyotard (1924-98). In Jon Simons (Eds.), Contemporary Critical Theorists: From Lacan to Said, (pp. 152-167). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2002). Karl Marx. In Jon Simons (Eds.), From Kant to Levi-Strauss: The Background to Contemporary Critical Theory, (pp. 50-64). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2002). Ludwig Wittgenstein. In Jon Simons (Eds.), From Kant to Levi-Strauss: The Background to Contemporary Critical Theory, (pp. 197-212). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2001). Agnes Heller: "radical universalism" after the "grand narrative". In Lawrence Wilde (Eds.), Marxism's Ethical Thinkers, (pp. 169-191). United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Tormey, S. (2000). Introduction. Politics at the Edge: The PSA Yearbook 1999, (pp. xii-xix). UK: Macmillan Press.

Journals

  • Moffitt, B., Tormey, S. (2014). Rethinking Populism: Politics, Mediatisation and Political Style. Political Studies, 62(2), 381-397. [More Information]
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2012). Beyond the state: Anthropology and 'actually-existing-anarchism'. Critique of Anthropology, 32(2), 143-157. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2012). Occupy Wall Street: From Representation to Post-Representation. Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, (5), 132-137.
  • Tormey, S. (2009). Not in my Name: Representation and its Discontents. Arts: the Proceedings of the Sydney University Arts Association, 31, 92-107.
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2009). Resisting ''Global Justice'': disrupting the colonial ''emancipatory'' logic of the West. Third World Quarterly, 30(8), 1395-1409. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2009). Simon Tormey interviews Gerald Cohen. Contemporary Political Theory, , 351-362. [More Information]
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2007). Beyond Representation? A Rejoinder. Parliamentary Affairs: a journal of representative politics, 60(1), 127-137. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2007). Consumption, resistance and everyday life: ruptures and continuities. Journal of Consumer Policy: consumer issues in law, economics and behavioral sciences, 30, 263-280. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2006). 'Not in my Name': Deleuze, Zapatismo and the Critique of Representation. Parliamentary Affairs: a journal of representative politics, 59(1), 138-154. [More Information]
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2006). Zizek's Marx: 'Sublime Object' or a 'Plague of Fantasies'? Historical Materialism: research in critical Marxist theory, 14(3), 145-174. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2005). A 'Creative Power'?: The Uses of Deleuze. Contemporary Political Theory, 4(4), 414-430. [More Information]
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2005). A Ticklish Subject? Zizek and the Future of Left Radicalism. Thesis Eleven: critical theory and historical sociology, 80, 94-107. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2005). From Utopian Worlds to Utopian Spaces: Reflections on the Contemporary Radical Imaginary and the Social Forum Process. Ephemera: theory and politics in organization, 5(2), 394-408.
  • Tormey, S. (2004). The 2003 European Social Forum: Where next for the anti-capitalist movement? Capital and Class, 84, 149-157.
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2003). New Labour's neoliberal Gleichschaltung: the case of higher education. The Commoner, 7(Spring/Summer), 1-27.
  • Tormey, S. (2001). Post-Marxism, Democracy and the Future of Radical Politics. Democracy and Nature, 7(1), 119-134.
  • Tormey, S. (2000). Gesprach mit Agnes Heller I. Sinn und Form: Beitraege zur Literatur, 52(2), 217-249.
  • Tormey, S. (2000). Gesprach mit Agnes Heller II. Sinn und Form: Beitraege zur Literatur, 52(5), 657-682.
  • Tormey, S. (1999). Interviews with Professor Agnes Heller (II). Daimon: revista de filosofia, 18, 5-38.
  • Tormey, S. (1999). Post-Marxism and the Ethics of Modernity. Radical Philosophy: journal of socialist feminist philosophy, 94, 29-39.
  • Tormey, S. (1998). From "rational utopia" to “will-to-utopia. On the "postmodern" turn in the recent work of Agnes Heller. Daimon: revista de filosofia, 17, 133-149.
  • Tormey, S. (1998). Interviews with Professor Agnes Heller (I). Daimon: revista de filosofia, 17, 21-50.
  • Tormey, S. (1998). The vicissitudes of “radical centrism". Journal of Political Ideologies, 3(2), 147-167.

2014

  • Moffitt, B., Tormey, S. (2014). Rethinking Populism: Politics, Mediatisation and Political Style. Political Studies, 62(2), 381-397. [More Information]

2013

  • Tormey, S. (2013). Anti-Capitalism: A Beginner's Guide. London, UK: Oneworld.

2012

  • Tormey, S. (2012). Anarchy. In George Ritzer (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization, (pp. 60-62). UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Tormey, S. (2012). Anti-capitalism. In George Ritzer (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization, (pp. 69-71). UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2012). Beyond the state: Anthropology and 'actually-existing-anarchism'. Critique of Anthropology, 32(2), 143-157. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2012). Discourse theories and post-structuralism. In Rodney Smith, Ariadne Vromen, Ian Cook (Eds.), Contemporary Politics in Australia: Theories, Practices and Issues, (pp. 46-55). Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2012). Occupy Wall Street: From Representation to Post-Representation. Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, (5), 132-137.
  • Tormey, S. (2012). Resistance movements. In George Ritzer (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization, (pp. 1801-1805). UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

2011

  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2011). Resisting 'global justice': disrupting the colonial emancipatory logic of the West. In A.Banai, M. Ronzoni, C. Schemmel (Eds.), Social Justice, Global Dynamics: Theoretical and empirical perspectives, (pp. 61-74). London, United Kingdom: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

2010

  • Tormey, S. (2010). Ernesto Laclau (1934-) and Chantal Mouffe (1943-). In Jon Simons (Eds.), From Agamben to Zizek: Contemporary Critical Theorists, (pp. 144-160). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2010). Global Justice Movement. In Nigel Young (Eds.), The Oxford International Encyclopaedia of Peace, (pp. 269-273). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2010). Living in Smooth Space: Deleuze, Postcolonialism and the Subaltern. In Simone Bignall, Paul Patton (Eds.), Deleuze and the Postcolonial, (pp. 20-40). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

2009

  • Tormey, S., Robinson, A. (2009). Is Another World Possible? Laclau, Mouffe and Social Movements. In Adrian Little and Moya Lloyd (Eds.), The Politics of Radical Democracy, (pp. 133-157). Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2009). Not in my Name: Representation and its Discontents. Arts: the Proceedings of the Sydney University Arts Association, 31, 92-107.
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2009). Resisting ''Global Justice'': disrupting the colonial ''emancipatory'' logic of the West. Third World Quarterly, 30(8), 1395-1409. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2009). Simon Tormey interviews Gerald Cohen. Contemporary Political Theory, , 351-362. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S., Robinson, A. (2009). Utopias without transcendence? Post-left anarchy, immediacy and utopian energy. In Hayden, Patrick~el-Ojeili, Chamsy~ (Eds.), Globalization and Utopia: Critical Essays, (pp. 156-175). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

2007

  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2007). Beyond Representation? A Rejoinder. Parliamentary Affairs: a journal of representative politics, 60(1), 127-137. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2007). Consumption, resistance and everyday life: ruptures and continuities. Journal of Consumer Policy: consumer issues in law, economics and behavioral sciences, 30, 263-280. [More Information]

2006

  • Tormey, S. (2006). 'Not in my Name': Deleuze, Zapatismo and the Critique of Representation. Parliamentary Affairs: a journal of representative politics, 59(1), 138-154. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2006). After Gleneagles: Where next? In David Harvie, Keir Milburn, Ben Trott, David Watts (Eds.), Shut Them Down! The Global G8, Gleneagles 2005 and the Movement of Movements, (pp. 337-349). United States: Autonomedia.
  • Tormey, S., Townsend, J. (2006). Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism. UK: Sage Publications.
  • Tormey, S. (2006). The two faces of democracy in the work of Agnes Heller. In Mihaly Vajda and Janos Boros (Eds.), Ethics and Heritage: Essays on the Philosphy of Agnes Heller, (pp. 197-224). Pecs Hungary: Brambauer.
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2006). Zizek's Marx: 'Sublime Object' or a 'Plague of Fantasies'? Historical Materialism: research in critical Marxist theory, 14(3), 145-174. [More Information]

2005

  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2005). 'Horizontals', 'Verticals' and the Conflicting Logics of Transformative Politics. In Patrick Hayden and Chamsy el-Ojeili (Eds.), Confronting Globalisation: Humanity, Justice and the Renewal of Politics after Postmodernism, (pp. 208-226). Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave.
  • Tormey, S. (2005). A 'Creative Power'?: The Uses of Deleuze. Contemporary Political Theory, 4(4), 414-430. [More Information]
  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2005). A Ticklish Subject? Zizek and the Future of Left Radicalism. Thesis Eleven: critical theory and historical sociology, 80, 94-107. [More Information]
  • Tormey, S. (2005). From Utopian Worlds to Utopian Spaces: Reflections on the Contemporary Radical Imaginary and the Social Forum Process. Ephemera: theory and politics in organization, 5(2), 394-408.
  • Tormey, S. (2005). What is Tyranny? Considering the contested discourse of Domination in the Twenty-First Century. In Koivukoski, Toivo & Tabachnick, David E. (Eds.), Confronting Tyranny: Ancient Lessons for Global Politics, (pp. 67-79). UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.

2004

  • Tormey, S. (2004). Anti-Capitalism: A Beginner's Guide. UK: Oneworld.
  • Tormey, S. (2004). Jean-Francois Lyotard (1924-98). In Jon Simons (Eds.), Contemporary Critical Theorists: From Lacan to Said, (pp. 152-167). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2004). The 2003 European Social Forum: Where next for the anti-capitalist movement? Capital and Class, 84, 149-157.

2003

  • Robinson, A., Tormey, S. (2003). New Labour's neoliberal Gleichschaltung: the case of higher education. The Commoner, 7(Spring/Summer), 1-27.

2002

  • Tormey, S. (2002). Karl Marx. In Jon Simons (Eds.), From Kant to Levi-Strauss: The Background to Contemporary Critical Theory, (pp. 50-64). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2002). Ludwig Wittgenstein. In Jon Simons (Eds.), From Kant to Levi-Strauss: The Background to Contemporary Critical Theory, (pp. 197-212). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

2001

  • Tormey, S. (2001). Agnes Heller: "radical universalism" after the "grand narrative". In Lawrence Wilde (Eds.), Marxism's Ethical Thinkers, (pp. 169-191). United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Tormey, S. (2001). Agnes Heller: Socialism, Autonomy and the Postmodern. USA: Manchester University Press.
  • Tormey, S., Pierson, C. (2001). Politics at the Edge: The PSA Yearbook 1999. UK: Macmillan Press.
  • Tormey, S. (2001). Post-Marxism, Democracy and the Future of Radical Politics. Democracy and Nature, 7(1), 119-134.

2000

  • Tormey, S. (2000). Gesprach mit Agnes Heller I. Sinn und Form: Beitraege zur Literatur, 52(2), 217-249.
  • Tormey, S. (2000). Gesprach mit Agnes Heller II. Sinn und Form: Beitraege zur Literatur, 52(5), 657-682.
  • Tormey, S. (2000). Introduction. Politics at the Edge: The PSA Yearbook 1999, (pp. xii-xix). UK: Macmillan Press.

1999

  • Tormey, S. (1999). Interviews with Professor Agnes Heller (II). Daimon: revista de filosofia, 18, 5-38.
  • Tormey, S. (1999). Post-Marxism and the Ethics of Modernity. Radical Philosophy: journal of socialist feminist philosophy, 94, 29-39.

1998

  • Tormey, S. (1998). From "rational utopia" to “will-to-utopia. On the "postmodern" turn in the recent work of Agnes Heller. Daimon: revista de filosofia, 17, 133-149.
  • Tormey, S. (1998). Interviews with Professor Agnes Heller (I). Daimon: revista de filosofia, 17, 21-50.
  • Tormey, S. (1998). The vicissitudes of “radical centrism". Journal of Political Ideologies, 3(2), 147-167.

1995

  • Tormey, S. (1995). Making Sense of Tyranny: Interpretations of Totalitarianism. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

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