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The Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences (SEGS) group contains a range of researchers, using a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods and often taking interdisciplinary and/or participatory perspectives. We seek to address major contemporary social and economic research challenges, such as natural resource governance, ecosystem services valuation, sustainable behaviours, rural community vibrancy, and wellbeing and socioeconomic transitions in rural economies. The activities of the group frequently unite around a particular project and many members work on more than one topic. Work ranges from case study areas in Scotland through EU-wide projects to projects in developing countries such as Africa, Latin America, etc.
You can read and comment on the SEGS Blog here.
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group Leader: Deborah Roberts
Society, institutions and governance
Research conducted under this theme draws on a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches from disciplines such as sociology, geography and institutional economics. The aim is to examine how people negotiate access to and control over rural resources. One strand examines governance structures and practices that enable and constrain coordination of management activities. Another focuses on individual, social and institutional adaptation in response to processes such as climate change and extreme events such as flooding. Particular attention is given as to how stakeholder engagement with complex environmental decision making can be enhanced, blending theory with a focus on practical policy application.
Staff involved in this work: Kirsty Blackstock, Katrina Brown, Anja Byg, Margaret Currie, Liz Dinnie, Dominic Duckett, Sharon Flanigan, Emily Hastings, Annie McKee, Sue Morris, Katrin Prager, Kerry Waylen
PhD students: Gillian Dowds, Andrew Maclaren, Sam Poskitt
Markets, systems and space
This theme seeks to examine the sustainability of traditional resource-based industries such as agriculture and forestry and their response to post-productivist demands and better understand the dynamic interactions between rural and urban areas. It addresses connections between the traditional rural economy based on agriculture and forestry and emerging markets and industries such as tourism and small enterprises, for example, by taking a whole-economy perspective. The research also aims to understand and articulate the implications of both generic and specifically rural policy on the wellbeing of different groups in rural areas.
PhD students: Shane Canavan, Lech Pichnor
Values, choices and behaviour
The aim of this theme is to improve our understanding of the ways people experience, make sense of and value natural resources and the environment using geographical, psychological, social and economic approaches and to explore people’s decision-making and sustainable behaviour, particularly with respect to climate change, energy production and consumption, and use of greenspace. Our work explores values, choices and behaviour of individuals in their social and institutional context. Research under this theme draws mainly on environmental psychology and environmental economic approaches and employs both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Staff involved in this work: Anna Conniff, Tony Craig, Rachel Creaney, Anke Fischer, Kathryn Gilchrist, Kirsty Holstead, Katherine Irvine, Petra Lackova, Julia Martin-Ortega, Paula Novo, Lee-Ann Sutherland, Andy Vinten
PhD students: Rebecca Bell, Stephanie Graf, Ruth Kelly, Charlie Langan, Asanterabi Lowassa, Florence Lwiza, Senna Middelveld, Marie Pagès-Gold, Peter Orrell, Christopher Schultz, Richard Snape, Audrey Verma, Megan Watson
Centres of expertise
Staff from the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences group work on projects for Scotland's three centres of expertise.
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