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POLIS Politics of Global Challenges Scholarship Success


Zoe Annabelle Dawson has been awarded the first Politics of Global Challenges Scholarship for her PhD on ‘Towards Just Energy Transitions: Contestation of Renewable Resource Extraction in Honduras’. Competition for the Politics of Global Challenges Scholarships was fierce, so this is a major achievement for Annabelle, our congratulations to her!

PhD Abstract:

My research will explore how the contestation of industrial-scale renewable energies in Latin America engages with debates and imaginaries regarding sustainability and green futures. Large-scale renewable energy infrastructure can have harmful social and environmental impacts at the local level, though such projects often emerge from or are connected to a discourse of sustainable development. Focusing on solar power in Honduras, ethnographic methods will be used to produce an empirical account of why activists contest such projects, what alternatives they imagine, and how they engage with ideas of sustainability, thereby contributing to discussions on energy justice and equitable energy transitions.


Annabelle is returning to POLIS to commence her PhD in 2021 where she gained a distinction for her MA in Global Development in 2017. Her reaction to the announcement:

I am delighted to be returning to study at Leeds. Since completing my master’s degree in 2017, I have worked on the editorial team of a political ecology magazine based in Brussels. During this time I have developed a deep interest in environmental issues and politics, in particular ongoing debates related to natural resource extraction in the context of the transition to renewable energies. Pursuing a PhD at POLIS is an excellent opportunity to further my research skills and make a unique contribution to my field while benefitting from expert supervision across my academic interests. I greatly look forward to contributing to the research at POLIS and especially the Centre for Global Development, as well as being part of the wider, vibrant research community at the University of Leeds.