Max Lempriere is undertaking doctoral research at the University of Birmingham into the contribution that local governments make to the development of contemporary national-level environmental policy. As we transition towards an ecological phase of modernisation it has been theorized that contributions to the nature and direction of policy directed at restructuring the ecological basis of modernity stem from either the nation-state or from non-state actors. In his work he draws on recent findings from the literature on urban climate governance to argue that local government has, can and should play a more active role in offering these kinds of contributions.
On that basis he developers a novel theoretical framework by drawing on structural, institutional and network theories of political change. Using the development of sustainable construction policy in England as a case study he applies this framework by inquiring a) into the nature of the contributions made by local government to national policy, b) the barriers and enablers that affected the propensity with which local authorities were willing and/or able to make a contribution and c) whether those contributions helped or hindered the transition towards ecological modernisation. His work uses both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
He has presented both his theoretical insights and his empirical findings at several internal conferences and colloquia at the University of Birmingham, as well as at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference in Manchester, the Midwest Political Science Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago and the Global Sustainability Institute’s 2015 Research Conference in Cambridge.