Dr Peter Cox

Snr Lecturer in Sociology

I first came to Chester on a Gladstone Fellowship to study for my PhD, which was awarded in 2002, and subsequently joined the Department.


BA Independent Study [Interdisciplinary research] (University of Lancaster)

PhD Philosophy (University of Liverpool)


Prior to re-entering academia, I ran my own cycle business and was involved in a range of cycle campaigning and community organising projects, particularly linked with issues of social and environmental sustainability. My doctoral thesis (Liverpool, 2002) explored the links between Gandhian theory and practice, post-development and the political ecology of sustainability.

Since then I have taught in the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Chester as a Senior Lecturer, specialising in the area of social change and sustainability and the impacts and processes of globalisation. More recently I have been involved in the planning and delivery of the Politics programme as well as continuing to actively research the problems of sustainable mobility, especially the vital contribution of cycling and its importance for social justice.

Email: peter.cox@chester.ac.uk


  • Self and Society (Level 4)
  • Social Change and Social Movements (Level 6)
  • Politics of Sustainability (Level 6)


My research interests reflect concern with the turn towards mobility in the social sciences and in particular, the issues of sustainable futures, with the sociology of cycling as key element. The results of this work have been internationally recognised, resulting in the publication of Moving People: Sustainable Transport Development (Zed Books, 2010), and being a guest contributor to a number of international forums on sustainable transport in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Brazil and Austria, and an advisor to the European Cyclists’ Federation.

I was a founder member of the Cycling and Society Research Group, and co-edited (with Dave Horton and Paul Rosen) Cycling and Society (Ashgate, 2007) as an outcome of this group’s work. Underpinning the more practical and policy orientation of some of the cycling work is a continuing concern with Gandhian theory and action as an orientation towards and means of understanding the issues of change and development involved.

In 2014 I was awarded a Leverhulme International Academic Fellowship for a project entitled “Developing cross-disciplinary research into bicycling and the environment”. This will take me to work at the The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC), an international, interdisciplinary center for research and education in the environmental humanities and social sciences in Munich, Germany for 6 months.

Published work


Cox, P. (ed) (2014) Cycling Cultures: studies in diversity and practice University of Chester Press. ISBN 978-1-908258-11-3

Cox, P. (2010) Moving People: sustainable transport development. London: Zed Books

Cox, P. (2010) Emancipation Re-enchanted: A Study of Gandhian Thought, activism, post-development, radical green politics and spirituality. Saarbrucken: Lambert Academic Publishing

Boran, A & Cox, P (eds.) (2007) Implications of Globalisation Chester: Chester Academic Press (includes chapter: Cox, P ‘The Globalization of What? Knowledge, Power and Neo-Colonialism’)

Horton, D; Rosen, P and Cox, P (eds.) (2007) Cycling and Society, Aldershot: Ashgate (includes chapter: Cox, P. with Van De Walle, F. 'Bicycles Don’t Evolve – Velomobiles and the modelling of transport technologies')

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Cox, P. (2015) ‘Bicycles as transport’ in Kopper, C & Moraglio, M (eds.) The Organization of Transport: A History of Users, Industry, and Public Policy London: Routledge ISBN 978-0-415-74420-1

Cox, P. (2014) Cyclists and Conflicts over Road Use in Britain, 1926-1935’ in Duc, G; Perroux, O.; Schiedt, H & Walter, F. (eds.) Histoire des transports et de la mobilité: Entre concurrence modale et coordination (de 1918 à nos jours) Neuchâtel , Switzerland: Editions Alphil pp.279-305 ISBN 978-2-940489-54-1

Cox, P. (2013) The past and future of rickshaw Transfers 3(3) 119-123 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/TRANS.2013.030308

Cox, P (2012) ‘Strategies promoting cycle tourism in Belgium: practices and implications’, Tourism Planning and Development 9 (1) 1-15 DOI:10.1080/21568316.2012.658167

 Cox, P.  (2012) ‘Cycling: Image and Imaginary in the Cultural Turn’ Transfers 2 (1) Review essay

Cox, P. (2012) ‘“A denial of our boasted civilisation”: cyclists’ views on conflicts over road use in Britain, 1926-1935’ Transfers 2(3) 4-30

Cox, P. (2012) ‘Human-Powered-Vehicles in Britain, 1930 – 1980’ in Ritchie, A . (ed) Proceedings of the 21st International Cycling History Conference, Prague, August 5th-7th, 2010 London: Cycling History (Publishing) Ltd. pp19-26.  ISBN 0957342705

Stoffers, M; Oosterhuis, H & Cox, P (2010) ‘Bicycle history as transport history: the cultural turn’ in Mom, Tissot and Divall (eds.) Transport, Traffic and Mobility pp. 265-274 ISBN 978-2-940235-70-4

Bonham J and Cox P. ‘The disruptive traveller? A Foucauldian analysis of cycleways’, Road & Transport Research 19 (2) June 2010

Cox, P (2008) ‘The Role of Human Powered Vehicles in Sustainable Mobility’, Built Environment 34 (2) 140-160

Cox, P & Hope, M (2008) ‘Suburbia, Utopia and Social Experimentation’, chapter in Home & Urbanity University of Copenhagen: Centre for Housing and Welfare pp.150-167

Cox, P. (2004) ‘Re-evaluating Gandhi : Swaraj and Swadeshi in ‘environmental’ activism’ Ecotheology 9 (1) 105-123

Cox, P. (2004) ‘Framing Consumption: Social Impediments to Velomobile Adoption’ in Fuchs, Joachim (ed.) Proceedings of the 5th European Velomobile Seminar: Towards Commercial Velomobiles, Troisdorf, Germany: Deutsches Strassenmuseum, Germersheim

Selected Conference Presentations and Public Lectures

Cox, P. (2014) Wider implications of Bike Design Diversity public lecture as part of Radfahren In der Stadt Lecture series organised by Institut fur Verkehrswissenschaften, TUWien, Vienna, Austria March 10

Cox P. (2013) Diversity and Power Inequalities: Notes of Caution in Promoting Change invited presentation for “Active Mobility” International Workshop at Tutzing Academie, Germany, November 27-29

Ogden, C. and Cox, P. (2013) Mobility, impairment and empowerment: Subverting Normalising Discourses “Mobility & Language / Mobilität & Sprache”, Universität Salzburg, Austria, November 22-24

Cox. P, (2013) Silenced Voices: why some people matter and some do not invited presentation for “Diversity”: Wales Health Student Forum Inaugural Conference, All Nations Centre, Cardiff, 18 October

Cox, P. (2013) E-mobility, Immobility and alt-mobility paper for Global Conference on Mobility Futures, Centre for Mobilities Studies, University of Lancaster, 4-6 September

Cox, P. (2013) The Paradoxes of Cyclotourism: constructing and consuming nature paper for 7th Biennial ESEH Conference, Circulating Natures: Food-Water-Energy. Rachel Carson Center, Munich, 20-24 August

Cox, P. (2013) ‘Rethinking Bicycle histories’ Paper for special session of Knowing Users: Social Demands in shaping Technology and designing products, 40th Symposium of the International Committee for the History of Technology, ICOHTEC, Manchester July 22-28

Cox, P. (2012) ‘Women, Gendered roles, Domesticity and Cycling in Britain 1930-1980’ paper presented to CSRG [Cycling and Society Research Group] symposium, University of East London, September 3-4

Cox, P. (2012) ‘Ebikes, LEV’s and Human-Electric hybrids: How do they fit in?’, paper presented to WOCREF [World Cycling Research Forum] conference, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands September 13-14

Cox, P. (2012) ‘Comparative velo-mobilities: toward a better understanding of the place of the bicycle in transportation’, paper presented to Models of Mobility: Systemic Differences, Path Dependencies, Economic, Social and Environmental Impact (1900 to tomorrow) at York University, Toronto, 23-24 March

Cox, P. (2011) ‘“A denial of our boasted civilisation”: Rear Lights, Cycle Paths and Conflicts over Road Use in Britain, 1926-1935’ paper presented to the international colloquium Histoire des transports et de la mobilité. Entre concurrence et coordination (1918 à nos jours) 24-25 November, Université de Genève (Suisse)

Cox, P. (2011) ‘The Co-construction of Cycle Use’ paper presented to Re/Cycling Histories: Users and the Paths to Sustainability in Everyday Life, Rachel Carson Centre, Deutsches Museum, Munich

Ogden, C & Cox P (2011) ‘Assessing the interaction of mobility impairment and contemporary trends in (re)creating urban mobility spaces’ paper presented to The 11th conference of the Nordic Network on Disabilities Research, Reykjavik

Cox P. (2010) ‘The Future of Urban Cycling’, Public Lecture, Dublin, 2 November 2010

Cox, P. & Howman, B. (2010) ‘Environment and Class Conflict’, presentation to ‘Future Moves’ International Sociological Association XVII World Congress of Sociology (RC07 Social Futures) Gothenburg, Sweden, July 12 2010

Cox, P. (2010) ‘The centrality of walking and cycling in cities’, presentation to Cities for Mobility, Stuttgart, 4-6 July 2010 (Invited expert and panel head)

Cox, P. (2010) “What is the potential of new bicycle types?” presentation to Velo-City Copenhagen, 22-25 June 2010 (Invited expert and panel head)

Ogden, C. and Cox, P. (2010) ‘Arrival of the “fittest”: a critical analysis of British transport solutions for the differently mobile’ presentation to Critical Disability Studies Conference ‘Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane’ Manchester Metropolitan University 12-13 May 2010

Cox, P. (2010) “Networking and Synergies in International Sustainable Transport Research” presentation to CAN (Cycling Academic Network) members (from Brazil, India, Rwanda, Tanzania and Netherlands) and to policy makers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Cox, P. (2010) ‘O Futuro da Mobilidade Urbana por Bicicleta’ presentation to 1st American Forum for Cities For Mobility, Florianopolis, Brazil 23-25 March 2010 (Invited speaker and panel head)

Cox, P. (2009) ‘Energy and the Bicycle: Human-Powered-Vehicles in Historical perspective’ paper presented to ‘Energy and Innovation’, Seventh International Conference on the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) Lucerne, Switzerland, November 5–8, 2009

Cox, P (2009) ‘Cycling into the Future or Trapped in the Past: infrastructure, technology and innovation’, paper presented at Velo-City 2009, Brussels 12-15 May

Cox, P, (2009) ‘Gandhian Nonviolence as a Response to Epistemological Violence’, paper for ‘Rethinking Gandhi & Global Nonviolence’, Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, April 9 - 10, 2009

Cox, P, (2008) ‘Class and Competition: The Gentrification of Sport Cycling’ paper presented to CSRG Symposium University of the West Of England

Cox, P (2008) ‘Voyeur, Flâneur or Kinaesthete? Cyclotourism and the production of experience’ paper presented to Cultural Production and Experience: Strategies, Design and Everyday Life, University of Roskilde, November 13-14, 2008

Cox, P. (2007) The contribution of human powered vehicles and new bicycle technologies to mobility in Africa Key panel speaker for International Lustrum Symposium: Sustainable Solutions - Africa, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands 1-2 November 2007

Cox, P (2007) ‘The Politics of Pedalling: Representation and Advocacy’, Paper presented at Velo-City 200, Munich June 12-15

Cox, P (2007) ‘Activism and market innovation: Changing patterns in the cycle trade’ presentation for CSRG Symposium, Surrey

Cox, P. (2006) Stifling Innovation in Cycle Technology in Towards prosperity: Conference Proceedings VeloMondial 2006 Cape Town (CD-ROM & Web Publication also as Podcast and excerpted as article for CycleBIz, UK Bicycle Trade journal)