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Professor in Sustainable Transitions and Political Economy, Lancaster University

My research focuses on the complex systems of 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. These issues have become even more important and intertwined in recent years, amidst and as part of increasing global turbulence. My analysis of how these themes may co-evolve in the medium term is summarized in my recent book: Liberalism 2.0 and the Rise of China: Global Crisis, Innovation, Urban Mobility (2018, Routledge), which I discussed on Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed in June 2018.

Building on previous work, my current research explores China’s project of ‘ecological civilization’ and what it could mean for the world at this crucial moment, focusing on the reshaping of cities in the ‘urban century’, not least through the massive infrastructure projects of the new ‘Silk Roads’. This also centrally involves exploring methods, epistemologies and social interventions based on 'phronesis' or situated practical and power-aware wisdom.


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


  • 2007 
    Exeter University, PhD/Sociology of Science