We have won the PSA Specialist Group of the Year!



Steve Bell from the Guardian presents the prize.

Excellent news everyone! At the PSA Annual Conference dinner on Tuesday 22nd March, we were named the PSA Environment Specialist Group of the Year. Steve Bell, the Guardian’s political cartoonist, awarded us the prize. The prize results from all of the hard work put in by our members, including participating in our event (co-organised with PSA French Politics) on the 2015 Paris Climate Talks, and presenting on any of our six panels at this year’s Conference.

Here’s what the judges had to say:-



Louise, Elizabeth and Paul with the certificate.

“This year’s winning submission has achieved considerable success in extending the reach and significance of our discipline. Such endeavours are to be applauded given that growing emphasis by, and expectation of, government and other funders on ‘impact’, ‘relevance’ and ‘engagement’, particularly with users and practitioners in industry, schools, and the public sector broadly. In that respect, our Specialist Group of the Year 2015 winners have excelled. Through an active website and blog, the online reach of this SG has been particularly impressive, serving as the ‘go to’ place for information, not just for academics but a diverse array of other users in the wider community. The extensive list of panels, workshops and events with which this SG was involved is impressive, including the PSA’s sponsored panel at the 2015 APSA annual meeting. Similarly, via its Teachers Guide to Environmental Politics, the SG has helped fulfil the promotion of the ‘educational pipeline’ which is a key aim of the Association, while its active role in summer school activity has helped in engaging high achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the study of politics at the University of Edinburgh.”




A discussion at the forum on the Paris climate talks, held at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation in December 2015, co-hosted with PSA French Politics.

PSA Annual Conference

The PSA Annual Conference is almost upon us. For those of you interested in environmental politics, make sure that the following events are in your diary:


Monday 30th March

9.30-11.00 Responses to climate change: mitigation, adaptation or stagnation?

Town Hall – Conference Room

Chair: Dr Paul Tobin (University of York)

Panel Members:

Dr Paul Hampton (Fire Brigades Union) ‘Trade unions and climate politics: prisoners of neoliberalism or swords of climate justice?’

Professor Graham Smith (University of Westminster) ‘Democracy and the long term: (not) dealing with climate change’

Professor Rüdiger Wurzel (University of Hull)/Professor Andrew Jonas (University of Hull)/Professor Winfried Osthorst (Hochschule Bremen, University of Applied Sciences)/Dr Pauline Deutz (University of Hull)/Jeremy Moulton (University of Hull) ‘The Ecological Modernisation of Structurally Disadvantaged European Maritime Port Cities’

Dr Hayley Stevenson (University of Sheffield) ‘Democracy and the long term: (not) dealing with climate change’


11.30-1pm: Climate change, City Hall Upper Circle West

Chair: Ms Alix Dietzel (University of Sheffield Politics Department)

Panel Members:

Mr Scott Hamilton (London School of Economics) ‘Climate as a Technology of the State: A Genealogy of Climate Change’

Dr Travis Coan (University of Exeter)/Constantine Boussalils (Trinity College Dublin) ‘Text-Mining Russian Newspaper Coverage of Climate Change, 1980-2014’

Ms Fay Farstad (University of York) ‘What explains variation in party stances on the environment? A quantitative approach using Comparative Manifesto Project-data’


2pm ‘Deliberative World’ lecture

Dr Hayley Stevenson (University of Sheffield) and Professor John Dryzek (Canberra University)


4.00-5.30 The Challenge Of Sustainability: Linking Politics, Education and Learning

City Hall – Upper Circle East

Chair: Dr Hugh Atkinson (London South Bank University)

Panel Members:

Professor Rosalind Wade (London South Bank University) ‘Politics and sustainability: Democracy and the limits of policy action’

Dr Hugh Atkinson (London South Bank University) ‘Planetary challenges – the agenda laid bare’

Mr Stuart Wilks-Heeg (University of Liverpool) ‘Politics and sustainability: Democracy and the limits of policy action’


Tuesday 31st March


9.00-10.30 Think globally, act locally: Environmental politics at the local level

Town Hall – Conference Room

Chair: Dr Paul Tobin (University of York)

Panel Discussant: Professor John Dryzek (University of Canberra)

Panel Members:

Professor Andrew Thompson (University of Edinburgh)/Dr Oliver Escobar (University of Edinburgh)/Dr Jen Roberts (University of Strathclyde)/Dr Stephen Elstub (University of the West of Scotland)/Dr Niccole Pamphilis (University of Glasgow) ‘Why do people change their minds? Evidence from 3 citizens’ juries deliberating on-shore wind farms in Scotland’

Mr Max Lempriere (University of Birmingham) ‘The Ecological Modernization of Construction in the UK: An Institutionalisation of Ecological Concern?’

Mr Luke Craven/Professor David Schlosberg (University of Sydney) ‘Grassroots innovations as a cry for justice? Insights from a study of community food and energy movements’

Mr Rick Harmes (University of Exeter) ‘Community Energy in Question: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally’

Dr David Toke (University of Aberdeen) ‘Community Renewables in the UK – A clash of cultures?’


12.30-1.30 Environmental Politics SG Meeting

City Hall – Vincent Harris Room


3.30-5.00 Environmental Politics: Theory and Practice

City Hall – Vincent Harris Room

Chair: Dr Louise Maythorne (Bath Spa University)

Panel Members:

Dr Thomas O’Brien (Centre for International Security and Resilience, Cranfield University) ‘Tree-Maiming to Crop Destruction: Considering a Re-Emerging Repertoire’

Professor Paul Cairney (University of Stirling) ‘Hydraulic fracturing policy in the UK: coalition, cooperation and opposition in the face of uncertainty’

Dr Charlotte Burns/Dr Paul Tobin (University of York) ‘It’s not easy being green in an austere environment: measuring the impact of the global economic crisis upon environmental policy’

Dr Ashley Dodsworth (University of Leicester) ‘Thomas Spence and Localised Environmentalism’


3.30-5.00 Improving Public Engagement with Politics – Sponsored by the Crick Centre

City Hall – John Barbirolli Room

Ms Alix Dietzel (University of Sheffield), Dr Diana Maynard (Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield) ‘Climate Change: A Chance for Political Re-Engagement? ‘

Ms Gemma Bird (University of Sheffield) ‘Engaging With Artists: The Arts as a Valuable Tool to Inspire Political Engagement’

Ms Lucy J Parry (University of Sheffield) ‘Deliberative Democracy and Public Engagement: Towards a deliberative understanding of politics?’


Wednesday 1st April


3.30-5.00 Energy Politics
Town Hall – Ante Room
Chair: Dr Thomas O’Brien (Cranfield University)

Shashi van de Graaff (University of Queensland) ‘The Global Nuclear Renaissance: Has the rhetoric become a reality?’
Hye-lim Yoo (Seoul National University) ‘“Real” development with domestic revenue circulation by state led downstream cultivation: A comparative analysis on heavy-chemical industry policies of Korea and Mozambique’


Todd Croad (University of Otago) ‘New Zealand’s Energy Strategies and Policy Resilience’


Renata Ribeiro (IESP-UERJ) ‘Between participation and privatization: The role of agribusiness in Brazilian foreign policy for biofuels’