Dr. Steve Connelly


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Steve graduated from Oxford with a BA in Physics & Philosophy and then took up a career in overseas development. He was awarded an MSc in Forestry and its Relation to Land Use by the Oxford Forestry Institute in 1988.

Having worked in India, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Eritrea, Steve returned to the UK with a commitment to public participation in governance and sustainable development, and an intellectual interest in why these desirable goals are often not achieved. This led to a PhD, at Sheffield’s Department of Urban Studies & Planning, on the impact of local authority policy processes on public involvement in Local Agenda 21.
He was appointed as Lecturer in the Department in 2002 and Senior Lecturer in 2011.

Research interests

Steve’s research is connected to the core question: in a policy making world dominated by ‘process’ norms of public participation and partnership, what happens to substantive values?  In particular his is intrigued and concerned by questions about how and why apparently widely-valued outcomes (such as ‘democratic governance’ and ‘sustainable communities’) do not become dominant.

Most of his work has focused on issues of environmental sustainability, justice and democracy, and recently Steve has developed an interest in how governance changes (‘integration’) affect welfare services provision. He is interested in these issues in the global North and the South, and has carried out field research work in Whitehall, Sheffield, the Peak District National Park, Egypt and South Africa.

Full profile and publications.