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About CSEC

CSEC is an interdisciplinary centre, now based in Lancaster's Department of Sociology. The centre exists to develop a fuller understanding of the social, political and cultural dimensions of environmental change and its implications for public policy and society.

CSEC staff include some of the most exciting and engaged researchers and thinkers on environment-society relations in the UK today:

  • Professor Brian Wynne
  • Dr Bronislaw Szerszynski
  • Dr David Tyfield
  • Dr Claire Waterton

Read an interview with Brian Wynne by Teknovatøren, a journal of innovation and technology studies at the University of Oslo

Post graduate study

CSEC offers an innovative and supportive environment for postgraduate study.

Taught Masters

Our external examiner remarked that CSEC’s taught masters has for a long time been ‘at the forefront of postgraduate teaching in environment, culture and society in the UK’. (Professor Andrew Barry, Oxford University, external examiner 2006-2009).

Our current course, MA in Environment, Culture and Society, is intended for those who want to learn how to engage critically, practically and creatively with global and local environmental problems in what is being described as a new geological epoch-the Anthropocene. The course is run in collaboration with the Lancaster Environment Centre and can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.  For further information see postgraduate study.


CSEC warmly welcome PhD applications on a wide range of topics including: environment-society relations; social theory of environment and modernity; environmental knowledge practices and governance; and critical approaches to (un)sustainability. For further information see postgraduate study.


CSEC’s research and teaching focuses on some of the most pressing issues of our time:

  • Climate change
  • Nature and capital in crisis
  • Biodiversity loss, databases and the archiving of nature
  • Energy generation, use and demand
  • Geoengineering
  • The promises of genomics
  • Participatory democracy
  • Sustainability and unsustainability
  • Techno-innovation: how and for whom?
  • Food systems and alternative agri-food networks
  • New Social Movements and environmental politics
  • Waste and human subjectivities
  • Reflexive modernity  
  • Rethinking environmental governance
  • Conflicts over basic human resources (food, energy, water)

CSEC’s approach to these issues is distinctive and derives from its key interests in environmental activism and the interdisciplinary study of science, technology and society (STS).

Read more about our research and teaching»


Department of Sociology


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Department of Sociology, Bowland North, Lancaster University, LA1 4YT, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 594178 Fax: +44 (0) 1524 594256 E-mail: sociology@lancaster.ac.uk