I am a senior lecturer in human geography at the University of Manchester.
My research interests focus on the everyday politics of environmental governance, through the lens of precarity and vulnerability. A distinct strand of my scholarship scrutinizes how the transformative governance of forests and nature protection can lead to (energy) poverty, and how top-down regulation is resisted and challenged from below. My work illuminates the complex geographies of legality involved in forest exploitation and connects scholarship on ‘recombinant’ capitalism with wider questions of environmental governance. I have also explored the manner in which nature protection activities create spatially-differentiated local understandings of the governance and meaning of national parks. This is highlighted in my monograph on Communities in Transition (Ashgate 2014) and a range of publications.
I have a strong interest in the driving forces and everyday articulations of precarity and vulnerability as they relate to the low carbon transformation implicated by patterns of consumption of energy. I have been developing novel frameworks to examine the political and material constitution of communal infrastructural services in the home, and the nexus between energy and water demand. I have applied these approaches to the study of energy deprivation and inequality, via several research projects focusing on young adults in the UK, as well as crisis-hit urban dwellers in Southern and Eastern Europe.
I have been foregrounding research agendas that highlight the embeddedness of low-carbon urban transformations in the micro- and meso-geographies of everyday life. My research has drawn attention to the institutionalization and contestation of regimes of austerity across developed-world countries. Recent scholarship on the topic has focused on the articulation of experience of infrastructural service deprivation among crisis-hit urban dwellers.
My work highlights the spatial, political and institutional production of low-carbon urban transformations. I am also interested in the precarities and inequalities that arise through this process, particularly at the community scale. I have been developing new conceptual frameworks to integrate notions of socio-technical vulnerability in the understanding of urban environmental reconfigurations.