Chantal Sullivan-Thomsett

Chantal Sullivan-Thomsett


I completed a BA(Hons) in German and Linguistics at the University of Leeds in 2013. In 2014, I undertook a part-time, research-track MA in Germanic Studies at the University of Sheffield. My MA dissertation, ‘Bündnis 90/Die Grünen through the public/private lens: Conflicted Liberals in a Surveillance Society?’, was the culmination of the MA in September 2016. I have returned to Leeds in 2017 for my PhD, an interdisciplinary project between German and POLIS under the supervision of Dr. Ingo Cornils and Dr. Jonathan Dean and generously funded by the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities AHRC competition.

During the academic year 2018/2019, I am undertaking the fieldwork component of my PhD. I will be back in the UK full-time from July 2019.

Institutional Affiliation:

German, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Centre for Democratic Engagement

Research interests

My PhD project: ‘Professionalised Protest? The gentrification of protest within the German Green Party’ looks at the contemporary German Green party’s engagement, and use of, protest. The party itself was originally a protest and ‘anti-party’ party, originating out of various New Social Movements (Environmental, Women’s, Peace, Anti-Nuclear). When they entered parliament in the 1980s, they stated that the movements on the streets should take precedence over their parliamentary members. However, through experiences of governance at both local and national level, the party has professionalised from protest party to an electorally-motivated one. Yet, the party’s continued engagement with protest remains under-researched. I am interested in exploring the Greens from within, using an ethnographic approach to explore the everyday experiences of party activists and grassroots support of party protest action, and evaluate the extent to which party protest can be assessed as having been ‘gentrified’.

My broader research interests include post-war German politics, political culture and protest.

'Professionalised Protest? The Gentrification of Protest within the German Green Party'. Ninth Düsseldorf Graduate Conference on Party Research (February 2018; Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf).


  • MA Germanic Studies
  • BA(Hons) German and Linguistics