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Dr Karen Bell

Dr Karen Bell

Dr Karen Bell

Teaching Unit Organiser

8 Priory Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TZ
(See a map)



Proving Our Value


Previous research projects, both qualitative and quantitative, include:

  • 2011 ‘Evaluation of the Bristol Breaks for Carers Project’ Bristol City Council/School for Policy Studies (Research Assistant)
  • 2011 ‘Aspirations, Opportunities and Challenges for Young People in St. Pauls’ St. Pauls Unlimited Community Partnership (Research Consultant)
  • 2011 ‘Living Well in Lockleaze’ Lockleaze Environment Group/Bristol Green Capital (Research Consultant)
  • 2010-2011 ‘Social Inclusion and Improving the Capacity of the Voluntary Sector in Guernsey’ Guernsey Community Foundation/ School for Policy Studies (Research Assistant)
  • 2005-2006 ‘Evaluation of Voscur’s Equalities and Neighbourhood Work’ Voscur and NAVCA (National Association for Voluntary and Community Action) (Research Consultant)
  • 2005-2005 ‘Evaluation of the Hospital and Home Advice Service’, North Bristol Advice Centre, Bristol, UK (Research Consultant)
  • 2005-2005 ‘Disability in Easton and Lawrence Hill’ Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Renewal, Bristol UK (Research Consultant)

Other academic activities

  • Reviewer for the international journals Environmental Justice and Environment and Planning A    
  • Representative on School for Policy Studies Sustainability Committee 
  • 2008 -2010 Organised seminars and conferences on ‘Environmental Justice: Achieving a Healthy Environment for All’ and ‘Latin America, 2008 and 2009’, with international and national speakers 



Like many from a working class background, I left school at the age of 15 and had a series of manual jobs for a number of years, including working as a florist, post-woman, exercise teacher, motor-cycle courier, factory worker, cleaner and video production Assistant. In 1993, I trained to become a community development worker and for the following fifteen years worked alongside communities to address issues such as social inequality, racism, disability discrimination, and environmental exclusion and inequity.  From there, I gradually moved into community and environmental research. I was awarded ESRC 1+3 funding in 2007 and this enabled me to undertake my PhD on Environmental Justice at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.  I have since carried out a number of related research projects and taught on a range of courses at Univeristy of Bristol and Keele University. My research and teaching includes a wide range of topics such as environmental justice; environmental and social equality; poverty and social exclusion; and the voluntary and community sector. I was recently awarded ESRC Future Research Leaders funding to compare redistributive with market-based environmental transition paradigms. 



‘The Policy and Politics of Urban Sustainability’. MSc Public Policy (2010-2015), University of Bristol

‘Social Policy and the Environment’. BSc Social Policy (2010-2016), University of Bristol

 ‘History and Contemporary Context of Social Work’.  MSc Social Work (2013-2014), University of Bristol

‘The International Analysis of Poverty and Social Exclusion’. MSc Public Policy (2011-2015), University of Bristol

Diploma in Public Policy and Child Rights: ‘Intensive Programme on Poverty and Exclusion of Children and Youth: An International Perspective’. (2012: Summer intensive), International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands and partner institutions

‘Governance, Institutions and the Global Political Economy’. MSc Public Policy (2008-2009), University of Bristol

‘Children in Society: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’. BSc Childhood Studies (2009-2010)

‘Social Policy and the Welfare State: Theoretical Perspectives’. BSc Social Policy (2013-2014)

I have also taught environmental politics at Keele University. 


  • Environmental justice
  • poverty
  • inequality
  • social movements
  • participatory decision-making
  • community empowerment.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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