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PhD Studentship: Delivering Net Zero Requires Local Political Action: What Will the Role of Local Politicians be in the Critical Decade?

University of East Anglia - Environmental Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Norwich
Funding for: International Students
Funding amount: £15,609
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th November 2021
Closes: 19th January 2022
Reference: JORDAN_ENV22CDCC

 Background

National net zero plans within the framework of the Paris Agreement require local authorities to mitigate emissions via local planning, and transport and housing policies, whilst improving local resilience to climate threats. Local-level politicians will be central actors in this critical decade: eager to promote green projects and policies in response to their constituents’ demands or for branding purposes, but often constrained in terms of legal powers, public/political support and/or financial resources. To better understand, and suggest ways to navigate local governance challenges, this project aims for the first time to explore the role of local politicians in delivering net zero: what they will do to implement climate policies in their communities, and why; to what extent and by what means they will hold accountable national-level policymakers for missed opportunities in policymaking. 

Research methodology

You will (a) collate and analyse (quantitatively and/or qualitatively) a new comparative database of political and policy documents (including press releases, policy documents, social media) and (b) undertake in-depth qualitative interviews with local politicians and policy actors (e.g. officers, activists, businesses, journalists). Depending on your specific geographical research interests and language skills you may include a comparison and in-depth analysis of different European country experiences.

Training and professional development

This PhD provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills in the collection and use of original social science data, documentary analysis and interviewing, scientific writing, and communicating research insights with stakeholders inside and outside of academia. You will receive relevant research methods training from several UEA DTPs and advanced training at specialised methods schools (e.g. ECPR, Essex; the NCRM). You will be associated with DeepDCarb (www.deepdcarb.org), a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant Project, whose consortium of interdisciplinary researchers will offer you valuable opportunities to undertake research and present the findings at specialised conferences.

Person specification

You should have a demonstrable interest in climate change science, politics and policy-making; a degree in Politics, Sociology or equivalent subjects; experience in independent qualitative/quantitative empirical research (e.g. interviewing, comparative case study or documentary analysis); and be eager to join and actively contribute to an international team of interdisciplinary researchers.

Primary Supervisor:  Prof Andrew Jordan

Start date: 01/10/2022

For more information on this project, please visit http://www.uea.ac.uk

Funding Details:

Successful candidates will be awarded a 4-year studentship covering tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£15,609 per year in 2021/22) and funds to support the research project and associated training. Additional funds are not available to assist with relocation or visa costs.

We anticipate that up to two awards will be made to international students for October 2022 entry.

Part-time studentship awards are subject to approval by the Leverhulme Trust.

For more information about the ‘Critical Decade’ programme click here.

This project has been selected for the Critical Decade for Climate Change programme, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online interview, to be held late February/early March 2022.

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