Leo Steeds - Epistemologies of Land Webcast

Wednesday 26 May 2021 | 15:00 - 16:30 (UK time) | Online, via Zoom

Leo Steeds successfully defended his PhD at an examination held at the University of Warwick in January 2020. His doctoral programme was funded by an ESRC Doctoral Training Centre studentship.

His thesis was entitled, 'Earth, Property, Territory: The Birth of an Economic Concept of Land', focusing on they way that, in recent years, responses to a broad range of environmental issues, from climate change to conservation, have frequently been phrased in terms of the need to create markets for environmental 'goods'. Such schemes, heralding from the tradition of neoclassical economics, have frequently been shown to be problematic when put into practice.

Leo's research seeks to offer a critique of market-based approaches to environmental degradation by questioning the historical conditions of possibility of conceptualising the natural world as external to the sphere of economy. To do this, he interrogates economic thought of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in order to understand the conceptions of nature which informed the development of the modern notion of economy.

He is particularly interested in the significance of land as a central category in eighteenth century economic thought, and its subsequent decline as a concern of economists through the nineteenth century. The research highlights the problematic nature of conceiving environment in terms of economy, and points to a need to re-think conventional notions of the market economy if we are to make progress on the most pressing environmental issues of today.

If you are interested in attending this session, or any other in the series, please contact Samantha Peel to register and receive Zoom details. Please be aware that we will take a recording of this event, which may include any questions and responses delivered by the audience.

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Image: ‘Arduous Work’. By Levi Morsy / @levim via Unsplash.