I study the politics that arise when attempts are made to govern environmental problems using the tools and methods of public policy. I have examined how these different forms of politics have played out in relation to the use of policy instruments, policy coordination across sectors, policy innovation and policy dismantling. I undertake comparative work on these topics in policy areas such as climate change and sustainable development. I am particularly interested in governing processes that occur in the European Union, its Member States and third countries outside of Europe.
I have published many papers and books on these themes, including ‘Durable by Design’ (CUP, 2020, with Brendan Moore). Between 2014 and 2018 I was the Chair of COST Action IS1309 (Innovations in Climate Governance -INOGOV, 2014-8), a 28 country network of excellence.
In the past, I have taken on leadership roles in many large national and EU-funded projects, and produced work for a number of knowledge users including the OECD, the UK Cabinet Office, the UK environment ministry (DEFRA), UK Foresight, the European Commission, the Dutch Environment Ministry, WWF and the RSPB. In 2016-20, I served on the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency. I currently sit on DEFRA’s Science Advisory Council: Social Science Expert Group (2018- ) and the editorial boards of three international academic journals – West European Politics, Policy Sciences and Environmental Politics.
I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) and of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (FIEMA).
I am currently working on three main things:
• Climate Change Policy and Politics post Paris: a large, five year ERC Advanced Grant project ‘DeepDCarb’ – Deep Decarbonisation: the Democratic Challenge of Navigating Governance Traps.
• The ESRC Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, specifically co-leading Theme 2 (Learning)
• Brexit and the Environment – an award winning ESRC funded academic network which seeks to understand what challenges and opportunities Brexit raises for environmental policy.