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PDS Research Themes

The PDS group brings together academics and PhD students working to understand the political, economic, social and environmental processes which underpin some of the key global challenges of the 21st century.

We conduct research in a variety of locations in the UK, as well as elsewhere in Europe, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Arctic and Antarctica.

Our research fits into three broad themes:

Geopolitics & Security

This strand considers how a range of communities and environments adapt, confront and mitigate the changing political geographies of mobility, resources and territory. This in turn has important implications for how ideas, objects and things become securitized. Research also focuses on how security is understood and experienced in different sites, such as the home, the airport and border.

Sustainable Living

Research in this field focuses on understanding the everyday challenges individuals, households and communities face in making a living, accessing services and living lives they value. A key focus of this research is an examination of how socially just and environmentally sustainable outcomes can be achieved through government policies and planning, community activism and international collaboration. 

Communications & Technologies 

Acknowledging the critical role that communications and information technology play at a range of scales and locations, this research considers the varied geographies of production, circulation and reception of ideas, objects and peoples. PDS members are also involved in investigating how new technologies (such as participatory video) can be used in research. 

PDS staff and PhD students have received funding from a range of sources including: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the European Union (EU). 


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