Environmental Policy & Governance (EPG)
Environmental policies are aimed at changing people's behavior in response to (perceived) problems with pollution, natural resource usage, and environmental change. What's hidden beneath that easy definition is the fact that environmental problems are really hard to sort out, because different types of values - not just economic ones - are typically in conflict. The main focus of my research on EPG considers how stakeholders come to perceive and define ecological problems and issues with environmental infrastructures. In particular, I am interested in sub-national and local possibilities for effective EPG. Links to earlier studies can be found on my CV page, but ongoing work in this area is currently focused in three areas:
1. Nostalgia and Governance (with Jen Kitson and David Clowney). How do beliefs about what environments were like in the past impact EPG decisions today? This project considers the role of nostalgia as a factor shaping EPG, and builds on research examining the roles of nonmarket values in environmental decision making.
2. Brownfields Planning (with Mahbubur Meenar). What should we do with disused industrial sites, and who should decide? This project examines the process of 'brownfields' redevelopment planning, and considers how best to involve members of the community in the planning process.
3. Danish Environments. Denmark typically ranks highly on lists of ecological progressiveness, and indeed offers world-famous examples of energy systems, urban transportation, housing, industrial symbiosis, and other infrastructures. But where does this concern with sustainability come from? Is it a deep ecological concern among Danes? Or, have these infrastructures - and the policies supporting them - emerged for more pragmatic, financial reasons? This project explores Danish environmentalism around particular infrastructure projects, like incinerators.