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Research Staff

Jon Phillips


Postdoctoral Research Associate funded by the ESRC.

Urbatrans project 



Department of Geography

King's College London

The Strand

London WC2R


Research interests

  • Energy governance and climate change mitigation 
  • Spatial resource politics
  • Political economies of development
  • Sub-Saharan Africa


Biographical details


Jon’s research interests are in energy and climate change politics in developing countries, and the broad role of politics and political economy in framing climate change mitigation and energy poverty.


Jon Phillips is a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the ‘Urban Transformation in South Africa Through Co-Designing Energy Services Provision’ (Urbatrans) project, funded by the ESRC. The project ask how municipal governments might enable a transition to low carbon and equitable energy services in South Africa. To do so will mean changes in technical, social and political systems, which the project aims to foster through co-design with practitioners.     


The project provides something of a continuation of Jon’s previous work, which has focused on the historical and contemporary development of systems of energy production in Africa. His PhD applies a spatial analysis to the recent development of oil and gas in Ghana, documenting the creation of new territories for the extraction and commodifcation of oil and gas, and their implications for who benefits from fossil fuel economies. Before joining King’s Jon worked as a Research Associate in the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia on the ‘Governance of Clean Development’ Project (ESRC). Research analysed the governance and politics of the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and other policies to promote clean energy in India and South Africa. He has also undertaken research with the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex) on the political economy of clean energy in Kenya.


For a full list of recent publications please visit:


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