Dr Karen Bell

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  • Qualifications:PhD Environmental Justice, MSc Policy Research, MA Peace Studies
  • Position:Senior Lecturer - Geography and Environment
  • Department:FET - Geography and Environmental Management
  • Telephone:+4411732 82976
  • Email:Karen.Bell@uwe.ac.uk

About me

I am an inter-disciplinary social scientist who researches and teaches at the intersection of political, geographical and environmental studies. From 2016-2019 I was an ESRC Future Research Leader Fellow. I currently teach on the BA Geography programme at UWE.

Formerly a community development worker, I worked alongside disadvantaged communities to address issues such as social inequality, racism, disability discrimination, and environmental exclusion and inequity. From there, I gradually moved into community and environmental research. In 2011, I completed my PhD on Environmental Justice at the University of Bristol.

Since then, I have carried out a number of related research projects. Work on ‘Achieving Environmental Justice’ analysed and compared environmental justice strategies and outcomes in a variety of political, economic and cultural settings, including the US, UK, South Korea, Sweden, China, Bolivia and Cuba. More recent work on ‘Fair and Inclusive Social and Environmental Transition Alternatives’ continues this comparative theme, while emphasising transition paradigms i.e. ‘Green Economy’ and ‘Living Well’ (Vivir Bien). I have also recently carried out qualitative work on ‘Working-Class Environmentalism’ which looks at how to build an environmental movement that is attractive to a wider range of social groups. My future research will continue on these themes and also include new work on the intersection of Labour and Sustainability studies, in collaboration with Trade Unions.

I have recently been a Visiting Research Fellow with the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development (2018) and with the Asian Institute of Energy, Environment and Sustainability (2017).

My research has been funded primarily by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Area of expertise

Environmental justice, Sustainable Development, Environmental Inequality, Green Economy, Vivir Bien/Living Well, Social Class and Environment, Inequality and Identity, Political Economy


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