Professor of Political Sociology, Keele University

I have worked at Keele since 1991 after completing my PhD at Manchester University (on The Ideology of Green Parties). Prior to this I studied Politics at the Universities of Durham (BA) and Kent (MA).

My principal research interest is in the relationship between radical ideas and actions, particularly in environmental movements. My work has therefore covered green parties, local environmental protesters, major NGOs, and environmental direct action in Britain and other countries. I have had funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for projects on UK environmental direct action and on Friends of the Earth International and from the Environment Agency for projects on local environmental campaigns in the UK.

My most recent book (with Tim Doyle - Keele and Adelaide) is a study of the internal politics of Friends of the Earth International. We carried out a three year study of FoEI, funded by the ESRC. This included a survey of its member organisations, observation of key meetings and analysis of its internal debates. The research concentrates on the sometimes contentious relations between Northern and Southern member organisations of FoEI. We were fortunate to be able to do the research while FoEI was developing a strategic plan following political differences that had caused divisions in previous years. We argue that FoEI has developed a particularly productive form of solidarity which enables its members to work together despite their differences, and that the complex processes that create solidarity in transnational networks and organisations, while little appreciated or studied, are of great significance in showing how common action can be sustained transnationally.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Political Sociology, Keele University

Education

  • 1994 
    University of Manchester, PhD/Politics