University of St Andrews

Postgraduate Opportunities

Human Geography

Every year we advertise opportunities for PhD’s in Human Geography.  We have already allocated our studentships for study beginning in 2015 but please keep checking our website for future opportunities.  If you have an alternative source of funding for PhD study, we welcome enquiries from candidates with an excellent academic record. Please see below for a list of PhD topics and potential supervisors. If you are interested in one of these topics, please contact the named staff member.

If you have an enquiry about the application process, please contact Mrs Helen Olaez.

Current Project list

 

The impacts of residential mobility in childhood


Supervisor: Dr Nissa Finney

Most children will move house at some point in their childhood, and some children will be ‘hyper-mobile’, moving and living-between a number of homes. Although literature on childrens’ residential mobility has grown in recent years within Childrens’ Geography, relatively little is known about who the mobile (and non-mobile) children are, where they are and what the impacts of residential mobility (or stability) are in childhood or later on in life. As well as engaging with child migration literatures, this project would contribute to work on migration and lifecourse, taking a longitudinal view on the experiences and impacts of residential mobility. The project would be mixed-methods, using qualitative (interview) data alongside secondary data analysis of censuses and surveys (such as Understanding Society and the British Cohort Study 1970).

Spatial assimilation or self-segregation?


Supervisors:  Dr Nissa Finney and Dr Albert Sabater

Theories of immigrant settlement and integration suggest that, over time, migrants move away from ‘gateway’ (urban) areas, and this residential dispersal is associated with socio-economic integration. In the UK there is evidence of residential dispersal from immigrant gateways (or neighbourhoods of ethnic minority concentration) and, associated with this, decreasing ethnic residential segregation. However, clustering of minority and migrant groups also persists and, for recent immigrants, such as from EU Accession countries, new geographies of settlement and internal migration have been observed. The significance of residential dispersal and clustering in relation to other dimensions of integration is poorly understood for the contemporary UK context. This project would address this gap in understanding by using longitudinal analysis of census and survey (Understanding Society) data to trace how residential moves of migrants within Britain are associated with socio-economic integration. Qualitative may also be used to understand the residential decision making of recent migrants.

Racism in private rented sector housing


Supervisors: Dr Nissa Finney and Dr Kim McKee

Ethnic minorities are severely disadvantaged in housing in the UK, being more likely than average to live in housing deprivation, in overcrowded accommodation and insecure housing. In the current ‘housing crisis’, and given the marked and persistent ethnic inequalities in the UK more generally, it is likely that this situation will persist. Furthermore, recent and forthcoming changes to housing legislation may prove particularly detrimental to ethnic minorities and migrants. For example, the ‘Right to rent’ regulations that require landlords and letting agents to conduct checks of immigrant status may result in discrimination towards migrants and minorities. This project would examine this contention using an experimental research design together with qualitative interviews.

Kinship networks and moving house in later life


Supervisors: Dr Nissa Finney and Dr Alan Marshall

One of the most stable findings about residential mobility is that the likelihood of moving house is lowest in later life. However, it seems that this could be changing as a response to shifting understandings of ‘retirement’ and new forms of family arrangements particularly with regard to childcare. Research in continental Europe, for example, has shown that residential mobility of older adults is very much shaped by their grandparental responsibilities and the location of their extended kinship networks. This project would examine the extent to which these forces are shaping residential moves of older people in the UK and contributing to new patterns and geographies of later life residential mobility. The PhD will use survey data including Understanding Society and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing with the potential also to include qualitative data collection.

How is the health of the older population changing across cohorts and place


Supervisor: Dr Alan Marshall

Population ageing and the growth in socio-economic inequalities are considered to be significant challenges to the vibrancy and fairness of societies in the UK and elsewhere. The challenges of a more elderly population include, for example, costs associated with the provision of care for growing numbers of elderly people, which, some argue, a reduced working age population will struggle to meet. A key determinant of these costs is the future health of the older population. It is currently not clear, whether there have been improvements in the health of older people to match the improvements in life expectancy. There is considerable uncertainty, for example, as to how health outcomes at the older ages might be affected by trends in obesity, sedentary lifestyles, smoking and alcohol consumption or the growth in economic inequality observed over the past 30 years. This PhD will use longitudinal data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and harmonised studies in the US (Health and Retirement Survey) and Europe (Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe) to evaluate whether individuals at a particular age have better (or worse) health compared to their older counterparts at an equivalent age. The international comparison of this project is hoped to link cohort differences in health and wellbeing to contextual country differences in aspects such as welfare provision, retirement policy and the extent of social/gender inequality between countries.

Population ageing in National Park areas


Supervisors: Dr Alan Marshall and Dr Kim McKee

The sustainability of rural populations has become an important social policy issue in recent years. Those concerned with economic development in urban areas welcome signs of urban revival as young populations are attracted to urban centres. In rural areas, however, out-migration of young adults remains a dominant force, raising questions about the future viability of some rural communities. National Park areas have been identified in the literature as a special type of rural area in terms of the extent of population ageing observed (and anticipated); population ageing in many National Parks is occurring faster than in other rural areas, partly as a result of the particularly high cost of housing which stems from planning restrictions for new housing development and the attractiveness of areas of great natural beauty as places to live. This PhD has three aims; first to develop a set of demographic projections for the National parks in the UK including scenarios relating to policies of affordable housing development. Second to understand the drivers of in and out migration across the age-profile in National Parks and, in particular, the extent to which migration into and out of National Parks at different ages represents a choice as opposed to an economic constraint. Third, to consider, through both qualitative and quantitative analysis, what the social and economic consequences of population ageing in National Park areas might be for resident populations. 

Ethnic inequalities in health at the older ages


Supervisors: Dr Alan Marshall and Dr Nissa Finney

A body of research has described the strong inequalities in health outcomes that are observed across ethnic groups in the UK. Such inequalities are, in absolute terms, largest at the oldest ages, yet comparatively little work has focussed on the extent, drivers and change in ethnic inequalities in health in later life. This PhD project has three aims. First, it will investigate the patterning of ethnic inequalities in health outcomes in later life. Second it will explore the drivers of such inequalities, and third, it will consider how ethnic inequalities in health outcomes in later life are changing over time and across age cohorts. While reviews of the evidence in relation to such questions exist in the USA there is nothing equivalent in the UK and as such this forms a major gap in the academic literature that the project will address. A central challenge of the PhD will be to develop an empirical data catalogue comprising a number of different sources capable of addressing the research questions. Data on the circumstances of older ethnic minorities is limited; for example, the gold standard data source on the health and circumstances of the older population (the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing) lacks a sufficient sample of older ethnic minorities for such analysis. Hence other data sources such as the Census and the Census Longitudinal Studies, the national Health Surveys in England, Wales and Scotland and the Fourth National Survey of ethnic minorities will need to be collated in order to tackle the research questions proposed. 

The Role of ‘Community Anchors’ in Mitigating the Impact of Welfare Reform


Supervisors: Dr Kim McKee & Dr Louise Reid

The UK Coalition government’s welfare reform agenda has hit low-income households and communities hard.  Underpinned by a political ideology which seeks to reduce the welfare safety-net in order to maximise work incentives, vulnerable households are facing a reduction in their income because of a raft of changes to the social security system including the Bedroom Tax, Universal Credit, and Housing Benefit, in addition to increasing welfare conditionality and sanctions.  This reinforces already existing social and spatial inequalities, which suggest a strong correlation between living in council-built estates and poverty.  Social landlords therefore have a pivotal role to play in mitigating the damaging impact of welfare reform for their tenants.  This can take a number of different forms: income maximisation through welfare and debt advice; employment and skills training to enhance employability; energy conservation and ‘green space’ projects; and programmes directed towards promoting health and well-being.  Building on existing research regarding the potential of housing associations as community-anchor organisations, which has emerged in recent years (McKee 2015), this projects seeks to add to our understanding of how housing associations utilise their asset-base and local partnerships, and mobilise local people, to deliver these services.  In doing so, it seeks to emphasise how local communities can play a positive role in transforming their communities through mutual support.  Yet it also seeks to advance our theoretical understanding of community-asset ownership and prosumption more broadly.

The ‘Right to Rent’: housing and the securitization of the border 


Supervisors: Dr Kim McKee & Dr Sharon Leahy

A new legal duty has been introduced to private landlords to conduct checks on potential and existing tenant’s immigration status in England.  Despite relating to ‘housing’, which is a devolved matter of the Scottish Parliament, the legislation looks set to be rolled out to Scotland due to a clause which allows the Secretary of State to extend these powers over Scottish legislation.  Landlords who fail to undertake ‘Right to Rent’ checks now face civil penalties, moreover they are required to evict those who fail visa checks through a fast-track process, bringing the Immigration Act into tension with other policy areas.  Part of a package of measures designed to create a tougher climate for illegal migrants the ‘Right to Rent’ represents further securitization of the border.  The use of landlords in the securitization of the state provides further evidence to support Balibar’s (2002) claim that the ‘border is everywhere’.  In addition to contributing to these theoretical debates within political geography, this project will also investigate the potential discriminatory impact of these reforms in terms of how the requirements influence landlord’s letting strategies.  In doing so the project raises important questions about state-sanctioned discrimination and the potential uneven impact of this legislation on BME groups.

The Changing Dynamics of the Private Rented Sector


Supervisor: Dr Kim McKee

The Private Rented Sector (PRS) is a housing tenure owned and let by a diverse array of private landlords, who have variable resources and property portfolios.  Over the last decade not only has the sector grown significantly (to 18%), but it has also become increasingly segmented.  It is now home to growing proportions of low-income households and families with children, in addition to more traditional niches that include students and mobile young professionals.  More research is needed to understand these new and emerging patterns of social-spatial inequality.  Geography is fundamental to this, for whilst some areas of the UK are witnessing the displacement of low-income tenants from affluent neighbourhoods, others are experiencing spatial concentrations and stigmatisation.  Whilst the drivers of these tenure shifts are multi-faceted, one crucial element has been the UK Government’s welfare reform agenda which has restricted access to Housing Benefit.  This has impacted on young people and low-income groups the hardest.  More research is needed to understand people’s lived experience of the PRS, and the new and emerging strategies they adopt to navigate the sector.

Challenge the Stigma of Welfare: contrasting real lived experience with reality television


Supervisors: Dr Kim McKee & Dr Sharon Leahy

The UK government has embarked on a controversial programme of welfare reform.  Underpinning this is the assertion that many of the problems facing the nation are caused by a failing welfare state which has created a ‘something for nothing’ welfare culture.  Whilst debates about the deserving and undeserving poor are longstanding within British social policy, what is novel about current debates is their geographical nature, for it is low-income families within social housing estates that are being problematized here, and identified and marginalized as ‘the other’.  This negative, stigmatizing discourse, which reflects particular understandings of poverty and place, portrays these communities as 'broken' and exhibiting distinct cultural norms and behaviours.  It is crystallized most clearly in docu-soaps like: Britain's Benefit Tenants, How to Get a Council House, and On Benefits and Proud.  This project will critically interrogate these narratives through visual analysis of such television programmes.  It also seeks to challenge these narratives by giving voice to the subjective experiences of those low-income families who actually live in the sector.

New cartographic principles for movement data


Supervisors: Dr Jed Long and Dr Urska Demsar

Recent technological advances have resulted in numerous applications for studying movement trajectories of people, their vehicles and wildlife. Movement data are now increasingly enriched with contextual information about the object or the environment within which they move. While methods for analysing and visualizing movement trajectories continue to improve, basic cartographic principles for generating movement data maps are lacking. This project will involve the development and testing of new cartographic methods for mapping complex movement datasets in order to effectively relay the information content of movement data and analysis. Specifically, focused will be placed on developing static 2-dimensional maps, whereas currently much emphasis is being placed on interactive visualizations. Students with a keen interest in cartography are highly encouraged to apply, and those with existing skills in GIS and computer programming are especially desirable.

The paradoxes of subaltern space


Supervisors: Dr Dan Clayton and Dr Sharon Leahy 

The word subaltern has a dual meaning: first, and at root, it means a person, group or entity of subordinate status; and second, a junior army officer (introduced into nineteenth-century European armies to convey the orders of military leaders to troops). The label subaltern has since been conferred on a wide range of groups - peasants, workers, the poor, women, indigenous peoples, the colonised, slaves, refugees, asylum seekers, and religious and ethnic minorities as a generic expression both for oppression and disenfranchisement, and for insurgent knowledge and practices.  The following projects explore a number of paradoxes emerging form this two-edged phenomenon.

The paradox of inside and outside: the idea of subaltern space as separate from, yet only discernible in terms of, an organising centre of meaning and power, and with subaltern desire for a separate or autocentric history only being able to be posed retrospectively, and via those processes that have created the elite/subaltern relationships that are now a source of consternation. 

The paradox of language and progress: that the ability of subaltern groups to articulate their grievances is seen as a sign that they are no longer subaltern, because such articulation can only occur via subaltern access to the language of hegemony.  Can subaltern groups have their grievances addressed without having to relinquish the subaltern ground from which a call for change comes, and without their view of the world being either romanticised or trivialised?  Do subalterns have to abandon or devalue their languages and lifeworlds in order to undo their subalternity?

Proposals are invited that develop the above or other ideas about subaltern space into an empirical project. 

Energy Efficiency and Social Housing in an Age of Austerity


Supervisors: Dr Kim McKee & Dr Louise Reid

Scotland’s social landlords have a strong track record in terms of providing warm, energy efficient homes, with standards in Scotland being the most ambitious of the four UK nations.  This not only reflects higher levels of fuel poverty in Scotland, but also our colder ambient temperature and the higher incidence of off-grid housing.  This long-standing emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation has however become even more crucial in these austere times. Social housing tenants have been hit hard by the UK coalition government’s welfare reform agenda, which seeks to reduce the incomes of low-income households in order to maximise work incentives and reduce ‘dependency’ on the state.  Energy efficiency therefore has a vital role to play in maximising the income of low-income households, in order they might better manage their under pressure budgets and avoid the dilemma of ‘heating or eating’.  This mixed-methods project will work with tenants and their landlords in order to explore the links between energy efficiency, welfare reform and income maximisation.  In doing so, it will forge new and innovative links between debates in social policy and energy policy, as well as develop theoretical arguments around neoliberal welfare reforms and place-based stigma.

Mobility trends and the fluidity of the lifecourse


Supervisor: Dr David McCollum

The mobility implications of supposedly increasingly fluid lifecourses is a new and exciting research agenda. Some scholars have argued that secular rootedness is leading to a novel trend: that of decreasing migration, while on the other hand others contend that increased disruptions to the lifecourse (associated for example with insecurities in the workplace and the home) have triggered a range of new mobilities. This research will draw on longitudinal datasets and other research methods to examine the mobility implications of key aspects of economic and social change.

Migrating to learn and learning to migrate


Supervisors: Dr Finnie and Dr David McCollum 

Interest in the geography of international student mobility has blossomed over the last decade. This PhD will use the case of student mobility from the majority world to the UK as a lens to investigate whether enrolling for study abroad is a catalyst to later longer term migration or whether it is better conceptualised as part of a brain exchange. Traditionally the geographical focus on student migration has had a primary focus on the individual decision maker. Useful as is this view, it reifies the individual’s power to choose in a world of inequality. More recent perspectives (Brooks and Waters, 2011; Findlay et al, 2012; King and Raghuram, 2013) have privileged understanding the interplay of global and local forces in higher education that set the stage for student movement and its consequences. Geographical research shows that the story is complex with a range of actors influencing the geography of higher education and its structuring influences. These include HEIs, the state, international recruitment organisations and para-state groups as well as international actors (the EU, OECD etc). Recognition of this complexity of processes might be located within the conceptual framework of assemblages as proposed by Latour. The focus of this PhD will be to take these ideas and interpret international student mobility from one or two countries in the majority world to the UK. The PhD will develop a conceptual understanding of the process. In particular the research should seek to contribute to the migration-development nexus through making a policy contribution. It will answer the question ‘Does the globalisation of higher education inevitably lead to a loss of human talent from the less wealthy countries of the world through student migration that ultimately is destined to produce settlement or onward mobility rather than return migration?’ To achieve this the successful doctoral candidate will draw on existing secondary sources about international student migration to the UK (annual HESA reports), but the main methodological approach will be qualitative involving interviews, focus groups and textual analysis.

The changing nature of work


Supervisor: Dr David McCollum

There is widespread and increasing public unease about the extent to which work is becoming increasingly precarious and labour market trajectories evermore uncertain, although the important issue of whether this disquiet is borne out by empirical evidence remains contentious and unresolved. This project would seek to explore the extent to which working lives are becoming ever more ‘flexible’, the drivers of these developments and their implications for conceptual understandings of work and careers.

Reconfiguration of the welfare state 


Supervisor: Dr David McCollum

The relationship between the state and its citizens is changing, with individuals and families increasingly being expected to take greater responsibility for their current and future welfare needs. Similarly, services that were once provided by the state have been retracted or contracted out to private and third sector organisations, with implications for democratic accountability. These developments raise important practical and normative questions about the extent to which the state does and should take responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. This project would seek to examine the ways in which welfare state relations are changing and what the repercussions of these changes might be in the context of processes such as demographic change and economic uncertainty.

Migration and flexible labour markets 


Supervisor: Dr David McCollum

A disjoint is occurring in many countries whereby businesses perennially proclaim their need for migration to address labour and skills shortages, whilst public opinion is much more hostile to significant inflows of migrant workers. Migrants are self-selecting, meaning that they tend to be young, skilled and ambitious relative to the general population in receiving countries. Recognition of this goes some way towards explaining why employers hold comparatively positive views of migrants. However another potential explanatory factor is that migrants may be relatively tolerant of poor pay and working conditions. Research is needed to understand the drivers of employers’ demand for migrant labour and how the state arbitrates between businesses calls for migrant labour and public demands to restrict it. Additionally, more needs to be known about the role of migrant labour is facilitating and exacerbating ‘flexible’ labour market structures.

Imagining the “Good Blood Donor”: Geography, Risk and the Biopolitics of Public Health


Supervisors:  Dr Mike Kesby and Dr Matt Sothern 

We wish to work with candidates interested in exploring the effects of the construction of risk in heath policy and practice. Our own recent work has focused on an analysis of the international paradigm of blood donor risk assessment as it relates to the imagination, and differential deferral of: Men who have Sex with Men, black Africans, and the general (heterosexual) population. Together with research fellow Dr Fionagh Thomson, we are developing a participatory project to explore, with prospective donors, alternative mechanisms to imagine and assess donor risk. Our aim is to augment the existing epidemiologically driven ‘risk group’ policy and associated ‘donor health check’ questionnaire with a more practice-oriented assessment of sexual health risk. We seek candidates interested to parallel and contribute to this work, particularly in the area of exploring health practitioners’ conceptualisation of “good donor”.

African Communities and “Care” of HIV in Scotland


Supervisors:  Dr Mike Kesby and Dr Matt Sothern 

The widespread adoption of Highly Active Anti-retroviral Treatment (HAART) since 1996 has meant that the focus on HIV in the United Kingdom has shifted from a “death sentence” and onto the management of what has become a chronic condition. Despite these advances, persons of African origin are both disproportionally affected by HIV and are more likely to be diagnosed late meaning the effectiveness of HAART is compromised and there are complications in managing HIV status long term. Most HIV/AIDS service organizations now recognize the need to develop African specific policies and support structures. In Scotland different HIV/AIDS charities have launched new campaigns that seek to serve the growing African population. We seek candidates interested to work closely with one of these campaigns to explore the specific issues facing African communities with respect to accessing HIV care. We would like this project to draw heavily on participatory methods.

Exploring sexual health in Africa and/or the UK using Participatory Drama/film/radio 


Supervisor:  Dr Mike Kesby

Ample research maps and explores that reoccurring gap between the acquisition of knowledge about sexual health and the efficacious implementation of safer sexual practice. Fewer researchers have sort to work with research participants in ways that not only identify problems, but also seek actively to develop solutions to the barriers and obstacles they face. I have recently completed work in Zambia that attempted to use participatory drama and film making as both a means to explore HIV risk among young people, and a means to develop resources that can be cited, circulated and mobilised in ways that enable the successful re-performance of empowered agency beyond the research arena.  I am interested to work with candidates interested to explore similar projects in the African and or UK context. 

The Everywhere Border and the Neoliberalisation of State Practice


Supervisor:  Dr Sharon Leahy

Nation state securitization with respect to migrants is once again a pressing issue for the UK. The process of securitization involves a myriad of state and non-state actors who play petty sovereign roles in the day to day lives of migrants.  Additionally, as part of a wider neoliberal agenda, the state is transferring its duties of care and protection for migrant issues to voluntary organizations in a number of contexts. This focuses attention on the parergonal notion of the everywhere border, it questions the developing materiality of the border and the growing strategies of hand over of responsibility from the state to the individual. Work on this broad topic area would focus on theoretical ideas around biopolitics, processes of neoliberalisation, border studies, and practices of exceptionalism. Empirically, it would seek to study these topics in relation to migrants, including migrant labourers, asylum seekers, trafficked migrants, and Roma/Gypsy/Traveller groups.

‘The lights are on, but no one’s in’: understanding exterior domestic lighting


Supervisor:  Dr Louise Reid

Whilst household accounts of energy consumption exist (Energy Consumption in the UK (ECUK)), and the relative contribution of different appliances/services to energy demand is relatively well known, the use of exterior domestic lights is less well understood. For instance, in a 2012 the ‘Powering the Nation’ study organised by EST, DECC and Defra, designed to capture day-to-day, minute-by-minute, electricity consumption across a representative sample of UK households, almost every conceivable form of electricity consuming appliance (TV’s, electric toothbrushes) was included. Interestingly, the study revealed that lighting comprised 15.6% of the electricity demand, second only to cold appliances (refrigerators and freezers) at 16.2% yet importantly, lighting only included interior lights (ceiling and table lights) and not exterior lights. This is potentially an important oversight since exterior lights can be more powerful, on for longer durations (e.g. overnight), and triggered more often (motion sensor) in comparison to interior lights, hence actually contribute significantly to overall electricity demand. Moreover, understanding how many exterior lights, their location (i.e. on the building, on garages or in the garden) frequency and duration of use, as well as reasons for this is not particularly well understood, at least not in the same way we understand the use of interior lights. This PhD project will use a mixed methods approach to explore the issue of exterior domestic lighting.

‘SHOW – health Smart Homes for Older peoples’ Wellbeing’ 


Supervisor: Dr Louise Reid

This studentship will critically examine the utility of ‘health smart homes’ (HSH) to enhance the wellbeing of older people in rural Scotland. Enabling older people to remain in their own homes as long as possible promotes their wellbeing (Chan, et al., 2009, Milligan et al., 2011) and is perceived to reduce pressures on the National Health Service (Scottish Government, 2012). This is particularly important for Scotland – especially its rural areas – since it is faced with a demographically ageing population that has increased healthcare and social needs.  The transition towards HSH’s (Le, et al., 2012), homes which include automation and provide healthcare from afar, is thus gaining political traction as a mechanism for ‘positive-ageing-in-place’ (Bowes & McColgan 2006). Yet, the concept of HSH is not without challenge and much of the scholarship concentrates on technological innovation with individual-level implications (e.g. ability to cope with change) and the broader social context within which HSH operates (e.g. ethics of monitoring) often neglected. It is thus critical that HSH are examined more widely than through a technological lens. The project will draw on multiple fields of inquiry such as Science and Technology Studies, (environmental psychology, geography and sociology. A mixed methods approach will be considered. Research will seek to inform the potential design of HSH in the future and to understand how they are implemented and experienced.

(extra)ordinary spaces: exploring the influence of TV programmes (e.g. Grand Designs and Amazing Spaces) on our homes


Supervisors: Dr Louise Reid and Dr Sharon Leahy

Over the decades, how we conceive of our homes has changed, in part through popular TV shows such as ‘Changing Rooms’, ‘DIY SOS’, and ‘Property Ladder’. Indeed, Wikipedia lists 93 home renovation television series. More recent programmes such as ‘Grand Designs’, and George Clarke’s ‘Amazing Spaces’ increasingly incorporate elements of sustainable living, whether that be smaller homes, new and innovative building materials/techniques, and/or energy generation infrastructure, as just a few examples. Moreover, one of the most famous episodes of Grand Designs, featuring Ben Law’s woodhouse http://www.ben-law.co.uk/ reflects a desire within these programmes towards self-sufficiency and of low impact homes. Hence, these programmes may be understood as promoting a particular type of lifestyle. Yet the extent to which programmes influence self-builders and in which ways, remains largely unknown. For instance, do TV programmes promote particular building style or form, types of techniques, or materials used? And how might such promotion influence what self-builders find (un)desirable and, ultimately be incorporated into homes in order to make them more sustainable? 

Governing marine space


Supervisor:  Dr Timothy Stojanovic 

The oceans are a frontier for development in the current phase of economic development. New governance regimes are emerging at national and international scales.  This project will focus on the European context and draw on approaches from the emerging paradigm of sustainability science to characterise and evaluate governance regimes.  There are calls for progress to improve economic development, marine conservation and societal engagement with the seas.  Governing marine space has to deal with challenges of multiple users, fluid spaces, public or common pool resources and competing interests and interpretations of sustainability.  The project will contribute to emerging governance theory on how to better design institutions to deal with these challenges.  Research methods from comparative political science, planning theory and practice and/or environmental geography are welcome.  The results of the study have potential to inform the design of new marine planning systems in European nations and at the supranational scale.