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PhD Studentship: A New Climate for Engagement: Analysing the Role of Citizens' Assemblies in Addressing Climate Change

University of East Anglia - Environmental Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Norwich
Funding for: International Students
Funding amount: £15,609 p.a. plus covering of tuition fee
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th November 2021
Closes: 19th January 2022
Reference: CHILVERS_ENV22CDCC

Background

The participation of citizens in climate policy-making is key to the success of ambitious climate policies in the Critical Decade for Climate Change. In recent years, numerous countries and local authorities across the world countries from Europe to North and South America have experimented with citizens’ assemblies and other participatory mechanisms. These for a are recognised as a way to involve citizens directly in policy deliberations and decision-making on climate change, stimulate democratic debate and increase the legitimacy of climate policies. The recent rise and importance of citizens’ climate assemblies means that research is urgently needed to systematically analyse in a comparative manner their operation, effects, and potentials.  

Research methodology 

This interdisciplinary project combines the theoretical and methodological insights of Sciences and Technology Studies (STS) and geography with those of political science. The ‘ecologies of participation’ approach developed by Chilvers et al. (2018, 2021) will be used to map how citizens’ assemblies are inserted in broader local and national landscapes of public participation and democratic engagement with climate change. The tools of comparative politics will be harnessed to systematically compare how citizen’s assemblies operate and produce effects across national and/or local institutional contexts. Empirically, the candidate will constitute, manage and analyse a systematic case-study database of diverse citizens’ climate assemblies and other participatory mechanisms, drawing from web sources, policy documents, and in depth semi-structured interviews with key actors (e.g. policy-makers, NGOs).  

Training 

The PhD project will equip the candidate with essential skills in theoretically informed empirical social and political analysis. They will benefit from the training provided by UEA’s Doctoral Partnerships and a selected methods school, to develop skills in scientific writing and academic communication through participation and presentations in research group seminars at UEA and at academic conferences. Outreach and engagement activities directed towards policy-makers and citizens will be facilitated through participation in the UKERC Public Engagement Observatory led by Prof Chilvers. 

Person specification 

An excellent postgraduate degree in Geography, Politics, Sociology or any relevant social sciences/humanities discipline.  

Interest in climate politics and/or public participation and democracy. 

Fluency in English, and possibly another relevant language. 

Skills in independent research. 

Primary Supervisor :  Prof Jason Chilvers

Start date: 01/10/2022

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

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