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Professor Raymond Bryant

Professor Raymond Bryant

Raymond BryantProfessor

Tel:  +44 (0)20 7848 2258 

Office: Bush House North East Wing, Room 5.18  



Raymond Bryant has a PhD in Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London, 1993), a MA in International Affairs from Carleton University in Ontario, Canada (1989) and a BA (Honours) in Political Science (First Class) from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada (1983).

He is currently Professor of Political Ecology in the Department of Geography at King’s College London. His previous posts have been Reader in Geography (2003-2009) and Lecturer in Geography (1993-2003), both at King’s College London, as well as Visiting Lecturer, Department of Political Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London, 1992-1993). Raymond has also taught at Cambridge University, Yale University and University College London.

He has been a keynote or invited speaker at major research institutions in Western Europe (Copenhagen, Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study, Cologne, Institute of Social Studies), the UK (Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, University College London) and the United States (Yale, Chicago, Clark). He has served as a consultant or advisor to the International Development Research Centre in Canada, as well as to research councils in the United States, Canada, Denmark, and the UK.

He has served/is serving on the editorial boards of the following international peer-reviewed journals:

Political Geography (2001-present)

Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography (1997-present)

Journal of Political Ecology (2011-present)

Global Ecology and Biogeography (1998-2005).

Raymond was Director of the University of London External Degree for Geography (1999-2004), as well as External Examiner at University College London (2004-2007) and the University of Hull (1999-2004). He is currently External Examiner for the MPhil in Environment, Society and Development at Cambridge University (2009-2012).

Research interests
  • political ecology
  • environmental policy and conflict in the Global South
  • celebrity environments
  • political geography
  • forest politics
  • NGOs

Raymond Bryant is a political geographer who is well known for his contributions to the interdisciplinary field of political ecology. His research focuses on how we describe and conceptualise the interaction of political, economic and environmental processes in a context of multi-scale and unequal power relations.

Much of his work is designed to assess what he calls a ‘politicised environment’. That term is explored conceptually in a book titled Third World Political Ecology (co-author Sinead Bailey, Routledge, 1997) as well as empirically in a research monograph on The Political Ecology of Forestry in Burma, 1824-1994, (University of Hawaii Press, 1997). Current work examines issues of geopolitics, bureaucratic and corporate innovation, as well as imperial cultures of production and consumption in the context of teak: one of the world’s premier timbers.

His work has also examined the ambiguous role of ethics in multi-scale environmental governance, with particular reference to civil society. In research funded by the ESRC and the Nuffield Foundation, he has evaluated how nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) promote a politics of change through the calculated enhancement of their organisational reputation for ‘doing good’ – dubbed ‘moral capital’ in his book Nongovernmental Organizations in Environmental Struggles: politics and the making of moral capital in the Philippines (Yale University Press, 2005). Complementing this, he co-edited (with Lucy Jarosz) the first detailed exploration of the possible role of ethics in political ecology (Political Geography, 2004).

Recent work examines diverse facets of political ecology and/or consumption politics. One AHRC project related the practice of Christmas to over-consumption and worldwide environmental disaster, while a Spanish government funded project resulted in the book titled The Political Ecology of Depopulation: Inequality, Landscape and People (co-editors, Angel Paniagua and Thanasis Kizos, CEDDAR, 2012). Meanwhile, the environmental role of celebrities is the focus of a book in preparation on ‘privileged nature’ along France’s fabled Cote d’Azur.

More generally, contributions to the field of political ecology include editing the  Handbook of Political Ecology (Edward Elgar) in August 2015, as well as the first major assessment of the role of the ‘other’ in political ecology (Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 2012) coedited and co-authored with former and current King's Geography PhDs.


Consumers, Ethics and Global Environment 
Practicing Social Research I (Methods) 
Globalisation & Environment (core course for MA Environment, Politics and Globalisation) 
Environmental Actors and Politics

'Third World' Political Ecology (Year 3) 
Paris Fieldtrip (Year 2)


Paniagua, A., BRYANT, R. and Athanasios, K. (2009-2012) ‘The political ecology of depopulated areas in Mediterranean countries’ (E 50,000) from the Department of Science and Innovation, Government of Spain. 

Sutton, D., Wenell, K., Brown, S., BRYANT, R., Davis, R., Diamond, C., Grady, M. Kibble-White, J., Neil, K., Oddy, N., Paddison, A., Phipps, A., Shaw, D., Stevenson, G. and Wood, J. (2008-2009) ‘Not just for Christmas: consumption, popular culture and religious observance’ (£11,744) from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

BRYANT, R. (1997-1999) ‘Political strategies of environmental nongovernmental organisations in the Philippines’ (£4,900) from the Nuffield Foundation. 

BRYANT, R. (1996) ‘Nongovernmental organisations and environmental policy-making in the Philippines’ (£1,294) from the British Council. 

Manor, J., BRYANT, R., Putzel, J. Jomo, K.S., Wun’geao, S., Dyson, T., Potter, D., Sandschneider, E., Sidel, J., Booth, A., Moore, M., Hawthorn, G., and Howell, J. (1995-1997) ‘Security, development and political accommodation in Pacific Asia’ (£169,791) from the Economic and Social Research Council 

BRYANT, R. (1994-1995) ‘Forest management in Burma 1948 to 1993’ (£718) from the School of Humanities, King’s College London. 

PhD topics
  • The political economy of natural resource use 
  • Assessing theory and practice in political ecology 
  • Politics and policies of environmental conservation 
  • Role of NGOs, social movements and businesses in environmental governance 
  • Class, consumption, lifestyle and the environment
PhD students

Current PhD students

Melissa Moreano 
Political ecology of water management in Quito, Ecuador, Ecuador Government scholarship. 2011-present

Sabina Lawreniuk 
Future of the family farm in Cambodia in the age of mass migration, self-funded. 2011-present

Tiago Freitas 
Geopolitics of biofuel and climate change in Brazil, Portuguese Government scholarship. 2011-present

Hali Healy 
Assessing the outcomes of EU-funded collaborative research between civil society organisations (CSOs) and sustainability sciientists, EU FP7 funding. 2010-present

Francisco Molina 
Intergenerational relations, water conflict, mining and indigenous people in Chile, Chilean Government scholarship. 2010-present


Completed PhD students

Laurie Parsons 
Impact of contemporary labour migration on Cambodian social structures, self-funded. Awarded 2015.

Dr Nick Dommett 
The making of place in a violent environment: a case study of Israeli yishuvim in Judea and Samaria, funded by University of London Central Research Fund. Awarded 2012. 

Dr Kritsada Buajud 
The political ecology of soil conservation: a case study of Karen struggles over the State soil erosion programme in northern Thailand, self-funded. Awarded 2011.

Dr Xiaochun Chen 
Assessing the strategic behaviour of environmental NGOs in China, self-funded.  Awarded 2010.

Dr Rukhe Zehra Zaidi 
Manoeuvring movement: exploring the strategic behaviour of the landless struggle of the Anjuman-e Mazaarin in Pakistan, funded by the Higher Education Commission, Government of Pakistan, PhD awarded 2009. Currently: postdoctoral researcher, Department of Geography, King’s College London.

Dr Godwin Ojo 
From participation to empowerment: Assessing NGO and TNC-led community-based resource management schemes in Nigeria, funded by Friends of the Earth, PhD awarded 2009. Currently: deputy director, Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

Dr Ting-jieh Wang 
Preserving the Chilan forest in Taiwan: environmental protest, green governmentality and the negotiation of indigeneity, funded by KCL Taiwan Scholarship, PhD awarded 2008.

Dr Soyeun Kim 
The ‘greening’ of aid: the political ecology of Japan’s bilateral international cooperation with the Philippines, funded by ORS and University of London Central Research Fund, PhD awarded 2006. Presently: lecturer in Japanese studies, Leeds University.

Dr Erika Bjureby 
The political ecology of indigenous movements: a case study of the Shuar people’s struggles against the oil industry in the Ecuadorian Amazon, funded by the Department of Education, Government of Sweden, PhD awarded 2006. Previously: lecturer in political ecology, Uppsala University. Currently: researcher, Greenpeace International.

Dr Martin Menski 
Agri-biotechnology and the State in India: the geopolitics of regulating industry, funded by KCL SSPP Studentship and the Leverhulme Trust, PhD awarded 2005 (co-supervised with Robert Bradnock). Presently, pursuing a law career with Clifford Chance LLP.

Dr Jeng-di Lee 
Managing coastal resources in the Philippines, funded by the Department of Education, Government of Taiwan, PhD awarded 2004. Currently: assistant professor, Institute of Marine Affairs, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan.

Dr Karen Lawrence 
Community-based biodiversity conservation in the Philippines, funded by the KCL School of Humanities and University of London Central Research Fund, PhD awarded 2002. Presently: pursuing a career as an international environmental consultant based in Spain.

Dr Richard Gauld 
Statutory protected areas and socio-political marginalization: explaining resistance to SSSIs among crofters in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, funded by KCL School of Humanities studentship, PhD awarded 2000. Currently, Statistics Office, Scotland.

Impact, innovation and outreach

My research has notably shaped knowledge that the Burmese Forest Service has about its own history. Drawing on London archival sources unknown or unavailable to Burma-based scholars, it introduced Burma’s foresters to subjects and facts little known to them. I was asked to present findings to foresters and forestry students in Burma in 1994, while my work was profiled in a national newspaper by the country’s top forester (Ye Myint, The New Light of Myanmar, Wednesday 5 October 1994, p.5).

Recently, I was involved in an AHRC-funded project ‘Not just for Christmas: consumption, popular culture and religious observance’ (2008-2009) at the Glasgow School of Art (D. Sutton, K. Wenell, joint-PI). This contributes to public life through a public symposium, ‘town meeting’, and online forum, with a key output a publicly disseminated user guide on ethical consumption and related moral/spiritual issues surrounding Christmas. My contribution focused on environmental dimensions and implications (see


For a full list of publications, please visit Professor Bryant's research profile.

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