Aims and themes

Members of the Environment Cluster collaborate on analysis of the social, economic, and political causes and consequences of environmental change. The cluster advances critical approaches to topics including:

  • Environmental inequalities of race, gender, class, and age
  • Climate change vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience
  • Low carbon transitions, industrialisation, and finance
  • Social movements and environmental justice
  • Governance of water, energy, forests, food, agriculture, extraction and conservation

Our research reflects the disciplinary diversity of the department, drawing on strands of political economy, postcolonialism, political ecology, geography, politics, sociology, and economics. Members have expertise in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and with global institutions, working in collaboration with practitioners from the UNFCCC to governments, community groups and grassroots collectives. We are committed to creating more equitable research partnerships, recognising how colonial relationships can be reproduced through project design, funding modalities, and institutional structures of higher education.

The cluster’s research informs teaching across the department’s interdisciplinary programmes, including the BA Global Development, MSc Environment, Politics and Development, and postgraduate distance learning programmes in Climate Change and Development and Sustainable Development.

Selected recent publications

Knowledge Exchange highlights

Examples of completed PhDs

  • Water Aid and Trade Contradictions: Dutch Aid in the Mozambican Waterscape Under Contemporary Capitalism (Chris Büscher)
  • Overcoming the Constraints to On-Grid Renewable Energy Investments in Nigeria (Fadekunayo Adeniyi)
  • Shaping Room for Manoeuvre: A Political Ecology of REDD+ in Indonesia (Aled Williams)
  • Just Add Water: The Alchemy of Authoritarian Rule in Desert Land Reclamation Projects in Egypt during the Mubarak Era (Musa McKee)
  • Contesting Conservation: Shahtoosh Trade and Forest Management in Jammu and Kashmir, India (Saloni Gupta)
  • The Politics of Development in Rural Rajasthan, India: Evidence from Water Conservation and Watershed Development Initiatives since the Early 1990s (Saurabh Gupta)


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