UCL Department of Geography


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Environment, Politics and Society

This Research Group’s interests centre around questions of government, materiality, policy and practice as they relate to environmental, social and political problems across diverse fields including climate, energy, health, marine ecosystems, cities, diplomacy, war and security.

Taking up the defining geographical concern with interrelations between nature, the environment and social and political life, the group explores how particular problems are imagined, constituted and contested through a variety of practices.

The Group pursues such questions as, what kinds of roles do material objects and processes come to play in political life? How can we move beyond the limits of dominant ways of thinking about environmental governance? How are large scale problems of energy, health and environment engaged at the level of embodied everyday practice or taken up in technologies of government? Through what kinds of technologies and practices are states and the state system constituted and reproduced? How are they reimagined and questioned in creative, curatorial and artistic practices?

Though grounded in disciplinary histories and debates within geography, the work of the Group has a strong interdisciplinary orientation, drawing upon and contributing to developments within science and technology studies, environmental governance, international relations and security studies, planning, urban studies and art history. Methodologically, our work is centred around developing approaches for the investigation of material, social and political practices, including conventional policy and fieldwork research methods but also embracing participatory, observational, visual, creative and curatorial approaches that engage research participants and publics in a variety of ways.

The Group’s research interests feed particularly into the MSc in Environment, Politics and Society and the MSc in Conservation, which provide students with opportunities to study key theoretical developments, policy debates and practices in these fields at an advanced level.


Group members

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