Mr Ed Atkins

Registration details: Environment, Energy and Resilience (PhD)

Personal profile

I joined the University of Bristol in Autumn 2013, having previously been awarded a BA (Hons) in History and an MA in International Relations and International Law by the University of Kent in 2011 and 2012 respectively. As part of an ESRC 1+3 scholarship, I have also completed a supplementary MRes at the University of Bristol - allowing me to start my PhD studies in September 2014. 


My PhD explores the construction of the Belo Monte and São Luiz do Tapajós dams in the Brazilian Amazon to describe how opposition groupings seek to discredit pro-dam assertions of the sustainability of these schemes. In doing so, the opposition coalition has sought to relocate the complexes with a wider socio-environmental context, involving questions of social and environmental impacts, political corruption, and just sustainability.

With infrastructure schemes often treated as above everyday politics, opposition efforts to locate such projects within a politicised context represents an important counter-hegemonic discourse. As a result, such opposition not only disputes the green credentials of the projects in question but has also sought to re-politicise the notions of sustainability and the paradigm of sustainable development in the post-political era.

As an interdisciplinary student, I am particularly interested in engaging in work that sits across traditional academic disciplines - mirroring my educational background in History, International Relations and International Law, and now Political Geography.

This follows additional research interests in: the hydro-social cycle, environmental politics in the United Kingdom and the international governance of common resources – such as the oceans. I am particularly interested in how processes of policy-reform or infrastructure-construction result in certain projects becoming symbolic of wider problems, phenomena and understandings of human-nature relationships.

Fields of interest

Hydropolitics, Environmental Politics, Environmental Conflict, Water Scarcity, International Development

Latest publications

  1. Sosa-Nunez, G & Atkins, E, 2016, ‘Environment, Climate Change & International Relations’. E-International Relations
  2. Atkins, E, 2016, ‘Environmental Conflict: A Misnomer?’. in: G Sosa-Nunez, E Atkins (eds) Environment, Climate Change & International Relations. E-International Relations
  3. Atkins, EK, 2014, ‘Beyond State-Fetishism: the Case for Neoliberalism as a Hydro-Hegemon’. School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies; University of Bristol

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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