I am Professor of Environmental Politics and Political Sociology and Director, Centre for the Study of Social and Political Movements, at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy,
Sociology and Social Research.
My principal research interests are in environmental movements and NGOs, green parties, environmental protest, and the interactions between environmental campaigners and industry, government and governmental agencies.
In addition to my established interests in cross-nationally comparative research on protest, social movements and political participation, I am also interested in the formation and implementation of environmental policy, particularly with reference to climate change.
I am editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Politics, and a member of the Editorial Boards of Mobilization and Social Movement Studies, and I founded the Centre for the Study of Social and Political Movements.
My published work includes: Environmental Movements: Local, National and Global (editor) 1999; and Environmental Protest in Western Europe (editor) 2003 (updated 2007).
I first came to Kent to teach Sociology in 1973, and since then have also taught Sociology at the University of New South Wales and Political Science at the University of Melbourne.
I studied politics, public administration, history and law at the University of Queensland and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Government, before studying political sociology at Yale and at Oxford.
Cornwallis North East
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NF
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
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My principal research interests are in environmental movements, green parties, environmental protest, environmental NGOs and the interactions between environmental campaigners and industry, government
and governmental agencies.
My perspectives are cross-nationally comparative and are currently focused upon citizen action and the formation and implementation of environmental policy in respect of climate change.
My interests are broadly comparative, most notably including Europe, Australia and the US. With the aim of promoting interdisciplinary research that transcends departmental boundaries, I founded the Centre for the Study of Social and Political Movements.
- Transformation of Environmental Activism (TEA)
Central to my work in recent years, the TEA project was a nine-partner, eight-nation comparative study of the changing character of environmentalism in western Europe that I co-ordinated. It was funded by the European Commission (DG Research). This is the largest systematically comparative study of environmental activism ever undertaken. Read more here.
I am currently designing a follow-up project to explore the implications of the rise of the climate change agenda for environmental movements and NGOs.
- Caught in the Act of Protest: Contextualising Contestation (CCC)
Since May 2009, I have been a partner with Clare Saunders (University of Southampton) in this European Science Foundation project, co-ordinated by Bert Klandermans (VU Amsterdam). This project, part funded by the ESRC, entails the administration of standardised surveys of and interviews with participants in 10 to 12 street demonstrations in each of seven countries over a period of four years. As part of this project, we have observed and documented the recent wave of student protests and Occupy London. Read more here.
- Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (COMPON)
This, again in collaboration with Clare Saunders, is the UK part of a large, NSF-funded cross-nationally comparative project co-ordinated by Jeff Broadbent (U. of Minnesota). Read more here.
- DEMOS (Democracy in Europe and the Mobilization of Society) Project, British partner in a 6-nation, EC-funded (FP6) project, coordinated by Donatella della Porta (European University Institute, Florence ). This project, which concluded in August 2008, focused on the emergence of a “global justice movement”, the critique of neo-liberal democracy it advances, and forms of deliberative democracy as they are elaborated “from below” and implemented in the internal organization of the movement (2004-2008). Read more here.
- Local contention over waste incinerators This extended work begun as part of the PEM (Policy-making and environmental movements) project, also funded by the European Commission. Read more here.
- 'Understanding Special Interest Groups' and 'Environmental Citizenship', research conducted in partnership with Julie Barnett, Brian Doherty and colleagues at Surrey, Keele and Bath universities (contracted by the Environment Agency).
- JURISTRAS Project, one of two British partners in a multi-partner EC-funded (FP6) project which examined the factors involved in the implementation of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. (2006-9).
- The politics of the higher educated, intellectuals and the intelligentsia (funded by the Anglo-German Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the Nuffield Foundation).
- Student movements in Australia and France (funded by the Social Science Research Council and the Nuffield Foundation).
I offer research supervision on most aspects of environmental movements and NGOs, green parties and environmental protest. If you are interested in studying these topics at the University of Kent, please email me to discuss further.
The topics of the PhD students and postdoctoral fellows I have supervised in the past decade are indicative:
- Baris Gencer Baykan: Anti-GM mobilizations: the Big Tomato campaign in Turkey.
- Pranav Bihari: Influencing food consumption behaviour to mitigate climate change impact.
- Masoud Dauda: Renewable energy and development in rural Tanzania.
- Steven Hendry: Effectiveness in Environmental Protest Groups.
- Eugene Nulman: Policy Outcomes and the Climate Change Movement in England.
- Matthew Ogilvie: Mobilising opposition to wind farms: a social movement perspective.
- Emmanuel Nii Noi Osuteye: Environmentalism in Ghana.
- Stephan Price: How the environmental movement influenced climate change debates and action in Britain between 1987 and 2008.
- Nick Sotirakopoulos: Lifestyle Anarchism and the Radical Environmental Movement.
- Preeyaporn Prompitak: Environmental Movements and NGOs in Thailand. PhD 2009.
- Lorenzo Bosi: Social movements in divided societies: the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland (ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow 2006-7).
- Jeffrey Roberts: Development of Nationalism in Scotland. PhD 2006.
- Clare Saunders: Dynamics of interaction in London’s local environmental networks. PhD 2005.
- John Karamichas: Logics of Green Party Formation in Greece and Spain. PhD 2004.
At undergraduate level, I am Director of Studies in Environmental Social Science. I convene the first year module SA303: Environmental Issues and the stage 2/3 module SO525: Environmental Politics.
At postgraduate level, I convene the MA programme in Political Sociology, the MSc programme in Environmental Social Science, and the modules SO822: Social and Political Movements, SA803: Environmental Politics, and SA806: Social Science Perspectives on the Environment.back to top
- Editor-in-chief and Chair, editorial board Environmental Politics.
- International associate editor, Canadian Journal of Sociology.
- Member of the editorial board of Mobilization: the international journal of research and theory about social movements, protest, and collective behaviour.
- Member of the editorial board Social Movement Studies.
- Member of the editorial board Eco-politics.
- Member of the editorial board Crossroads.
- Convenor, European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Green Politics (1997-2006).