Human Geography Research Group

The Human Geography research group conducts theoretically and empirically informed research aimed at understanding how social practices and relations are conditioned by space and place.

Also in 'Human Geography Research Group'

A series of subthemes exist to bring expertise together on particular topics: geopolitics, transitions and the carceral; Adapting to energy and environmental uncertainties; Urban and regional studies; Bodies, landscapes and materialities.

The Human Geography research group has an excellent track record of grant capture from the UK’s Research Councils, the EU’s Framework Programmes, the Nuffield Foundation, the European Science Foundation, and a range of government bodies and charitable organisations from across the world. Colleagues have good external collaborations and have established an excellent public engagement profile. We strongly engage with policy, especially with regard to urban regeneration, imprisonment, renewable energy, fuel poverty and climate change mitigation strategies.

Research areas

Adapting to environmental and energy uncertainties

This subtheme uses a range of theoretical perspectives to interrogate how environmental change and energy uncertainties are understood and experienced by individuals and communities, across scales from the household to the nation, and the consequences for justice, equality, and resilience. Work also engages with the construction and negotiation of environmental discourses and knowledges, and their mediation by and through formal and informal institutions and governance.

Bodies, landscapes and materialities

Humans and the world are continually engaged in a process of co-construction, meaning that human behaviour is always both mediated and context dependent. Critical perspectives on the psychological and bodily dynamics of situated human behaviour are brought to bear by group members on a variety of topics including public policy based on affective forms of governance, spatial media and the geoweb, prison design and visitation, urban arts and creativity, embodied mapping and urban mobility.

Geopolitics, transition and the carceral

Research in this subtheme examines the interplay between space, place, power and politics; the materialities and practices that constitute political behaviours and identities; and the spatial registers of everyday and elite politics. Current work engages with borders and sovereignty; governance; detention, imprisonment and enclosure; migration and refuge; protest movements and state surveillance; diplomacy and state representation; novel forms of state expression and conceptualising the state as assemblage; the politics of childhood and youth; urban geopolitics and conflict.

Urban and regional studies

Processes of urban and regional change are highly dynamic. This subtheme explores a series of issues around spatial and social planning, economic geographies and big data. Key topics being investigated include resilience, urban regeneration, economic development, networks and infrastructure, communities and the governance of public policy. Members are developing new methodologies for synthesising and visualising data as well as undertaking spatial economic analysis and examining informal economic practices.