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Critical environmental governance

The critical environmental governance group at SEI’s University of York Centre, is a critical and welcoming space that operates at the inter- and trans- disciplinary intersection of established and emerging fields of study. We aim to foster critical research on governance and the environment.

As the critical environmental governance group, we are concerned with equity and social justice, how inequities arise and are sustained, and how social environmental conditions can be adapted or transformed in order to secure just and sustainable futures. We are helping our students and the public become better acquainted with cutting-edge intellectual debates and policy trends across the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Our research agenda is applied and problem based, drawing from a diverse range of theoretical and methodological perspectives:

  • Political capability: environmental justice; equitable resilience; governance; power relations; recognition justice; social movements and human rights.
  • Environmental values: social and cultural value; human/non-human relations and equity; environmentalism.
Aerial view of green bridge to allow wildlife to cross a major road safely.

Green bridge for wildlife in Catalonia, Spain.

Photo: Artur Debat / Getty Images

We work through critical approaches and frameworks including those drawn from political ecology, poststructuralism (with an emphasis on discourse and narrative), postcolonial and post-development studies, radical democracy, and science and technology studies.

We apply these approaches to questions of climate change adaptation, social-ecological system change and urban planning, using methods that support critical and reflexive engagement at multiple scales, including participatory action research, coproduction, and social learning.

These topics are representative of research interests among our staff and students, and many of us work across multiple topics. As a result, this list is by no means exhaustive – please get in touch if you would like to learn more about our work!

The CEG group values plurality and is committed to the class, gender, racial, and sexual diversity of all its staff and students.




Projects and tools

Research coordinator

Bobby Farnan

Research Associate

SEI York


Alison Dyke

Research Fellow

SEI York

Joanne Morris


SEI York

Profile picture of Jon Ensor
Jon Ensor


SEI York

Sarah West

Centre Director

SEI York

Rachel Pateman


SEI York

Sarah Foster

PhD Researcher

SEI York

Sargamoy Phukan

PhD Researcher

SEI York

Design and development by Soapbox.