Beth Stratford

Beth Stratford

Profile

I am an ESRC-funded PhD student here at Leeds, a fellow at the New Economics Foundation, and a co-founder of the London Renters Union.

My PhD research builds the case for major structural and institutional changes to prepare our economy for a resource-constrained (and possibly growth-constrained) future. Specifically, I argue that environmental protections must go hand in hand with measures to diffuse rentier power and redistribute economic rents. Such an approach allows us to mitigate the threats of economic instability, inequality and insecurity that could otherwise arise from scaling down our consumption.

Some of this thinking is set out in a recent report, The UK’s Path to a Doughnut-Shaped Recovery. This report focusses on opportunities arising out of the Covid-19 crisis to transform our economy, so that it meets the needs of all today, without compromising our planet’s capacity to support the needs of tomorrow.

I have devoted a lot of attention to the challenge of reducing rent extraction through the land and housing market, without forcing thousands of homeowners into negative equity. I offer some potential solutions to this wicked problem in chapters 3 and 4 of Land For The Many, a report commissioned by the Labour Party. 

I have enjoyed teaching and lecturing, for the Sustainable Cities MSc and the Ecological Economics MSc here at Leeds, as well as at Masaryk University, Roehampton University and the Centre for Alternative Technology’s Graduate School.

I have a background campaigning on financial reform, climate change and energy policy. I initiated and convened the Transforming Finance network and conference in 2013 and the Just Banking conference in 2012.

I also had a brief foray into film making, with highlights including the viral hit Cheat Neutral (a satire about carbon offsetting), and roles on The Age of Stupid and Leave to Remain.

I am a member of the Post-Growth Economics Network, and Wellbeing Economy Alliance's research fellows network.

Research interests

  • Post-growth political economy 
  • Land and housing market reform
  • Money and finance (particular Minksy's financial instability hypothesis; the debate around monetary reform)
  • Values, motivation and behaviour (particularly the theoretical and empirical work underpinning the Common Cause agenda)
  • The debate around the valuation of 'nature'

Qualifications

  • MSc in Ecological Economics and Ecosystem Services, University of Edinburgh
  • Diploma in Social Research Methods, University of Roehampton
  • BA (Hons) in Social and Political Science, University of Cambridge

Research groups and institutes

  • Economics and Policy for Sustainability
  • Sustainability Research Institute