Stephen is Associate Professor of Social and Environmental Innovation in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Trained as a sociologist, Stephen has previously lectured in Environmental Politics at Keele University (2006-2012) Environmental Sociology at University College Dublin (1999-2005) and held a Research Fellowship at the ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (CRIC) in Manchester (1997-1999). With academic research interests ranging from the historical sociology of Norbert Elias and urban regeneration, to the long term dynamics of human ecology, Stephen has also worked on policy-related projects relating to sustainability, urban regeneration, food systems, resilience and social-ecological innovation. Currently his work focuses on:
- Ernest Becker’s theory of ontology and motivation and the irrational drivers of environmental behavior
- novel ecosystems and the new the role of environmental social scientists as ‘navigators of the anthropocene’
- the implications of a more communitarian and place-bound form of modern society and the concept of ‘indigenous modernity’
Other current projects include: the political economy and sociology of the Transition Network as a response to peak oil and climate change; theoretical work on energy, civilization and social complexity; and the long term potential of open-source fabrication systems.