Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability

Our research critically examines the relationship between social processes and environmental issues. What distinguishes our work is our focus on how the relationships between social and environmental issues are framed by various schools of thought within the social sciences, and how this can add to an understanding of environmental problems and solutions.

We see environmental and social processes as deeply intertwined, but not necessarily complementary. As a result, we offer reflective critiques of sustainable development in our work, with an emphasis on revealing the political and social implications of environmental decision-making.

We are inspired by a range of approaches from the social sciences and humanities, including discourse theory, political ecology, science, technology and innovation studies, post-colonialism, critical governance studies, sustainability science, and development studies.

Our research includes:

  • Climate, energy and environmental justice, including:
    • Energy poverty
    • Fair design of climate policies
    • Just transitions
    • Sustainable welfare
  • Climate and sustainability governance, including:
    • The regulation of extractive industries
    • Interdisciplinary analysis of power
    • Area-based approaches to governance of climate change and sustainability
    • The politics of rewilding
  • Sustainable consumption

We engage extensively with organisations, communities and other academics to conduct research, share findings and host seminars.

Further information

View all members of our research group, our recent projects and publications.

PhD projects

We have opportunities for prospective postgraduate researchers. Find out more.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail please contact the Research Group Lead: Dr Milena Buchs