You are here

Joanie Willett Exeter University, UK

My research focusses on the entangled relationship between people, how they organise into communities, and the landscape that they are situated in (geography, geology, and ecology).  I use the New Materialisms to explore the politics and economics of entanglement, and the implications of a more-than-human politics on social and environmental justice.  In practical terms, I often find myself exploring rural economic development, and local government.

My Fulbright All Disciplines scholarship (ethnographic inspired) fieldwork explores what an entangled politics looks like, drawing on case studies in Appalachia, New Orleans, and California. 

My research has been published in journals such as The Journal of Rural Studies, Sociologia Ruralis, Political Studies, Environment and Planning C: Population and Space, and British Politics.  I recently published my book Affective Assemblages and Local Economies,  (with Rowman and Littlefield) where drawing on ethnographic, embodied research in peripheral parts of the US and the UK, I imagine regions as complex adaptive regional assemblages to explore a more effective regional development.  

I have been PI or Co-I on AHRC and ESRC research projects, have been awarded a Fulbright All Disciplines scholarship for 2022-23.  I have contributed to a number of Parliamentary Inquiries, such as the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy “Time for a Strategy for the Local Economy”, and the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s “Fixing Fashion: Clothing, Consumption, and Sustainability” and "Green Jobs" reports.  I am invited to present my research internationally in both policy and academic settings, including the European Union Committee of the Regions (with the European Association for Local Democracy), The European Parliament (with the European Free Alliance), the University of California Berkeley, the Virginia Tech Office for Economic Development, Feile Belfast, the National Association of Local Councils, and the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government.

I am co-director of the Institute of Cornish Studies, a former trustee of the Political Studies Association, co-convenor of the PSA Local Government and Politics specialist group, and help to coordinate EdgeNet, a Regional Studies Association network which explores questions of peripheral and rural development.  I have been interviewed by local, national and international media (TV, print and radio), including the BBC, NPR, The Guardian, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  Follow me on Twitter on @JoanieWillett