ERC Starting Grant Success for International Relations

Many congratulations to Dr Lorenza Fontana, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, who has been awarded a €1.5m European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to carry out a cross-continental study of the political drivers of wildfires, with a focus on the Global South.

Extreme wildfires have been on the rise across the globe due to climate change and other human actions. Lorenza's research project, FIREPOL, aims to deliver a new framework to understand and explain the connections between politics and wildfires, at a timely moment when wildfires have been identified as crucial socio-ecological challenges within the global climate change agenda.

It will develop a new framework around the concept of ‘wildfire commons’ as a way of engaging the academic community, policy stakeholders and the public in the co-production of alternative pathways for the sustainable, equitable and politically engaged management of wildfires.

Lorenza said: “The likelihood and extent of extreme fires are increasing worldwide. This project will be a timely contribution to understand and explain how politics, broadly defined, shape wildfires and vice versa. I am grateful to the ERC for this opportunity and I look forward to working alongside my team to generate novel findings that will be instrumental in crafting alternative pathways for the sustainable and equitable management of wildfires, notably within the global climate debate and action plans.”

Lorenza is one of three University of Glasgow researchers who have been awarded the Starting Grants, which help excellent younger scientists, who have two to seven years’ experience after their PhDs, to launch their own projects, form their teams and pursue their most promising ideas.


First published: 24 November 2022

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