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Reader in Environmental Innovation & Sociology, Lancaster University

My current research develops my interests in the normative and political/power dimensions of the processes of knowledge production and their interaction with issues of global cultural political economy, especially regarding critical analysis of the emergence of a globalised "knowledge-based" economy, climate change and the rise of China. I am particularly interested currently in issues regarding innovation, inequality and advanced liberalism. This has three threads:

1) Low-Carbon Socio-Technical Systems Transition in China, especially regarding automobility and agri-food.
Relating to this work, and an interest in the politics of the discourse of 'responsible innovation', I am PI in a British Council grant (April 2014 - April 2015) on 'Responsibly Innovating Energy for Mobility: Brazil, China, UK', with colleagues at UFABC (Dr Leo de Mello), Strathclyde (Dr Brian Garvey) as well as UniCamp (Dr Andre Campos).

From December 2013, I am Co-I and lead project coordinator on the ESRC project 'Low Carbon Innovation in China - Prospects, Politics and Practice', and leading the Research Package on urban electro-mobility. This project is in collaboration with colleagues at CeMoRe, Lancaster University (Prof John Urry, Dr Dennis Zuev); STEPS Centre, Sussex University (Dr Adrian Ely, Dr Sam Geall); SOAS (Dr Frauke Urban); Tsinghua University (Dr Yu WANG); Tsinghua University Graduate School, Shenzhen (Dr Ping LI); and the CAS Centre for Agricultural Policy (Dr Yiching SONG).

2) The Cultural Political Economy of Research & Innovation - following the argument of my book (2 Volumes, Routledge, 2012), 'The Economics of Science - A Critical Realist Overview' I continue my interest in the interaction between changing practices of R&I and a changing political economy. Based on a Lancaster University Early Career Small Grant (2011-13), this has involved workshops on the 'Political Economy of Research & Innovation' in both Lancaster (October 2012) and at York University in Toronto (December 2013). Further annual workshops in this series are in the process of being planned, with the 3rd in the series at University of California, San Diego (March 2015) and the 4th to be scheduled for 2016 at the University of Liege.

3) These various themes are being brought together in a book project for Routledge, to be completed in 2015 on the inter-relation between the crises of neoliberalism and innovation.

A related argument, concerning new knowledge politics of complex systems and the need for a New Social Contract, in response to commentary about the UK election 2015, is available here.

For my blog pieces 'On Post-Capitalism', reviewing Paul Mason's book of that title, click here.


  • –present
    Reader in Environmental Innovation & Sociology, Lancaster University


  • 2007 
    Exeter University, PhD/Sociology of Science