Dr Ruth Bookbinder

Dr Ruth Bookbinder


I joined the School of Earth and Environment in November 2021 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow after completing my PhD in the School of Politics and International Studies. Prior to starting the PhD I worked in the private sector as a political risk analyst, and have continued to work as a consultant since returning to academia. I also have an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford and a BA in History from the University of Bristol. 

Research interests

I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow in Energy Retrofit and Social Relations on the UKERC funded Whole Person Whole Place project. The project addresses how people make decisions about their homes to propose new approaches to accelerating retrofit in the UK.

More broadly my research interests address the political economy of energy policy and energy transitions. My PhD thesis (Rent-seeking in South Africa’s Minerals Energy Complex: the political economy of procurement at Eskom) developed a non-normative framework to examine rent-seeking and resource allocation processes at South Africa’s national electricity company. I am interested in how processes of resource allocation and institutional norms create barriers to change. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Politics and International Studies (Leeds)
  • MSc African Studies (Oxford)
  • BA History (Bristol)

Professional memberships

  • Centre for Global Development
  • Centre for African Studies (LUCAS)
  • African Studies Association of the UK
  • Royal African Society

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute