Ruth Ellen Kinna

March, 1961 — ?

Entry 14105


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About Ruth Ellen Kinna

Ruth Ellen Kinna (born March 1961) is a professor of political philosophy at Loughborough University, working in the Department of Politics, History and International Relations. Since 2007 she has been the editor of the journal Anarchist Studies.

Kinna holds a BA in history and politics from Queen Mary University of London and a D.Phil in politics from the University of Oxford. She began working at Loughborough University in 1992. Her subsequent work focused on the socialist thought of William Morris (1834–1896).[3] She is the author of the book Anarchism - A Beginners Guide, an in depth study into the political concept of anarchy (ISBN 1-85168-370-4, Oneworld Publication Ltd.).


BA History and Politics Queen Mary University of London DPhil 1991 Nuffield College, Oxford


Ruth Kinna is a member of the Anarchism Research Network at Loughborough University UK (where she has worked since 1992) coconvenor of the UK Anarchist Studies Network and editor of the journal Anarchist Studies. She writes about anarchist history and contemporary radical politics. She’s recently published Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition and a co-edited collection with Matthew Adams, Anarchism 1914-18: Internationalism, antimilitarism and war. She’s currently working on a project about constitutionalizing – Anarchy Rules! – with Alex Prichard and Thomas Swann and co-editing a collection on Radical Politics with Uri Gordon.


Ruth is interested in the concept of domination, particularly is it has been developed in anarchist histories of ideas as a critique republican and liberal constitutionalism. The anarchist argument is that the shift from absolutism to universal rights concealed the extent to which domination was structured into law (described as the ‘transformation of slavery’).

The critique dovetails with contemporary work on intersectionalism since it recognises that the protection and enforcement of legal rights affects different disadvantaged communities in different ways: the effects of what Fanon calls the ‘fact of blackness’ are negated by a formal commitment to moral equality; class domination resulting from unequal access to resources is legitimised by the state’s guarantee of private property; patriarchy is normalised through the deregulation of private life, prejudicial property rights that entrench power inequalities.

The critique can be extended to analyse current gender inequalities. The critique also dovetails with research on modern slavery, since it recognises that ownership/chattel slavery is only one model of enslavement and that coercive relationships, resulting from structured, arbitrary inequalities, are always potentially enslaving. One of the upshots of the critique is constitutional law disempowers the disadvantaged: the idea of consent central to liberal constitutionalism delegitimises challenges to law and challenges are constrained by norms and practices that are patterned by structural domination.


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