Dr Karen Bell
- Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Urban Development (Urban Studies)
Dr Karen Bell currently researches and teaches Just Transition, environmental justice and intersectional environmental policy. Since 2008, she has been investigating and teaching at the intersection of political, geographical and environmental studies at the School for Politics, International Relations and Environment, Keele University; the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol; the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England and now the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow. She was awarded a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2014 and, from 2016-2019, she was an ESRC Future Research Leader Fellow.
Prior to 2008, Dr Bell was a community development coordinator, working alongside disadvantaged communities to address issues such as social inequality, racism, disability discrimination, and environmental exclusion and inequity. From there, she gradually moved into community and environmental research. In 2011, she completed her PhD on Environmental Justice at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.
Since then, she has carried out a number of related research projects. This has included work on ‘Achieving Environmental Justice’ which analysed and compared environmental justice strategies and outcomes in a variety of political, economic and cultural settings, including the US, UK, South Korea, Sweden, China, Bolivia and Cuba. More recent work on ‘Fair and Inclusive Social and Environmental Transition Alternatives’ continues this comparative theme, while emphasising transition paradigms i.e. ‘Green Economy’ and ‘Living Well’ (Vivir Bien). She has also recently carried out qualitative work on ‘Working-Class Environmentalism’ which looks at how to build an environmental movement that is attractive to a wider range of social groups. Her most recent research is at the intersection of Labour and Sustainability studies, in collaboration with Trade Unions. This work is investigation Just Transition in relation to the defence sector in the US and the UK.
Dr Bell has been a Visiting Research Fellow with the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development (2018) and with the Asian Institute of Energy, Environment and Sustainability (2017).
Her research has been funded primarily by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the British Academy.
‘Decarbonising and Diversifying Defence: A Workers’ Enquiry for a Just Transition’ British Academy (£97,071, 2021, as PI)
‘Race, Class and Environmentalism in a time Crisis’ Faculty of Environment and Technology Enterprise Fund (£1,000, 2020, as PI)
‘Developing Multi-Dimensional Indicators for Living Well (Vivir Bien)’ Cabot Innovation Fund (£4,000, 2018, as PI)
‘Socially Just Transitions to Sustainability’ IAS Benjamin Meaker Award (£1,400, 2016, as PI)
‘System Design of an Expandable, Reconfigurable, and Integrated Renewable Energy Microgrid’ EPSRC Global Challenges Fund (£85,466, 2016, as Co-I)
‘Environmental Governance for Sustainable Urban Transformation’ British Council, Newton Fund (£3,000, 2016, as PI)
‘Transition Engineering: Exploring future pathways to sustainable resource consumption’ Cabot Institute Innovation Award (£1,000, 2016, as Co-I)
‘Fair and Inclusive Environmental/Social Transition Alternatives: Learning from the 'Living Well' and 'Green Economy' pathways to sustainability’ ESRC Future Leaders (£196,261, 2016-2019, as PI)
‘Green Economy in Korea’ Asian Development Institute (£2,000, 2015, as PI)
‘Evaluation of ELHNM’ ELH Neighbourhood Management (£8,000, 2014, as PI)
‘Achieving Environmental Justice’ Santander Travel Award (£1,500, 2013, as PI)
‘Public Attitudes to Human Rights’ Equalities and Diversity Forum (£30,000, 2012-2013, as Co-I)
‘Proving Our Value: Measuring the Economic Value of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector’ South West Forum/Big Lottery (£65,000, 2011-2013, as Co-I)
‘Aspirations, Opportunities and Challenges for Young People in St. Pauls’ St. Pauls Unlimited Community Partnership (£10,000, 2011, as PI)
‘Living Well in Lockleaze’ Bristol Green Capital (£5,000, 2011, as PI)
'Environmental Justice: Lesssons from Cuba' ESRC 1+3 Studentship (£60,000, 2006-2010)