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Dr Karen Scott

Senior Lecturer

01326 259484

Peter Lanyon Building 1.19

I am a feminist, interdisciplinary social scientist based in the discipline of politics and part of the Environment and Sustainability Institute. My research interests focus on the politics of knowledge and epistemic injustice, particularly where it relates to issues of public or institutional policy. I've studied this across a number of intersecting areas including wellbeing, social inequality, and rural/environmental issues. I am a founder member of the Decolonising Knowledges Collective and the Environmental Justice research cluster in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Cornwall. I have worked in, and alongside, local and central government to improve evidence for public policy on wellbeing and sustainability issues across a number of policy areas. A large part of my work has focussed on studying the international interest in measuring wellbeing for public policy, particularly focussed on the UK and New Zealand. I am co-editor for the Palgrave MacMillan book series The Politics and Policy of Wellbeing and my publications include: Measuring Wellbeing: Towards Sustainability (Routledge 2012) and The Politics of Wellbeing: Theory, Policy and Practice (with Prof Ian Bache, Palgrave 2018). Related to this research, I teach undergraduate and masters courses in the Theory and Governance of The Good LifeEnvironmental Knowledge Controversies and The Politics of Knowledge and Ignorance.



Research interests

  • The Politics of Knowledge /Epistemic Injustice/ Feminist and decolonising approaches to knowledge
  • Knowledges and Evidence for Public/Institutional policy
  • The Knowledge Politics of Wellbeing /The Good Life
  • Environmental Knowledge Controversies
  • Rurality 

Current projects

  • ESRC Centre for Evaluating Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN). Working with government departments and agencies with responsibility for NEXUS related policy (Defra, DECC, FSA and EA) to improve policy evaluation. (2015-2019) 
  • Defra Policy Evaluation Fellowship. Working with Defra Strategic Evidence and Analysis Team in Noble House, London to help policy professionals to improve their use of evaluation in policy processes. (2015-2016). 
  • The Impact on Young People of Public Sector Changes in Rural Areas. (2016-2017). With Mark Shucksmith (PI) and Niki Black at The Institute for Social Renewal, Newcastle University. 
  • ESRC seminar series The Politics of Wellbeing, with Professor Ian Bache, Sheffield University and New Economics Foundation. (2013-2015). Currently producing outputs from this series


Research supervision

 I am happy to consider supervision of research projects in relation to any of my stated research interests.

Research students

 Current PGRs

First supervisor for ESRC funded studentship for Fay Kahane, Saving which bees? Influence and socio-ecological impact of the ‘natural’ movement in beekeeping. (2020-2028)


Previous PGRs

Co-supervisor for Mohahmed Ak,  Participatory groundwater protection regimes in Turkey: influence, control and institutional incoherence.(2018-2021) Funded by Turkish government. Passed all milestones and on track for successful completion.

 First supervisor for ESRC funded collaborative studentship: Heidi Saxby, The wellbeing of migrant workers in UK horticulture sector. (2015-2018). 

 First supervisor for ESRC funded collaborative studentship: Frances Rowe, Innovation and identity in remote rural places: arts practice in ‘creative disruption (2013-2016) 

 Co-supervisor for Jorge Altamirano, How the new social and solidarity economy can help subsistence farmers in Ecuador. (2014-2017) Funded by Government of Ecuador. 

Co-supervisor for Mwana Othman, The Contribution of Microfinance and Cooperative Societies to Poverty Reduction for Small Scale Famers in Zanzibar (2015-2018) Funded by Government of Zanzibar. 

Co-supervisor for ESRC PhD studentship: Jonathon Lloyd,  The 'Place' of Folk-Music in Rural Community Cohesion  (Sept 2011-2014). 

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