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Dr Steven Emery


Net Zero and Resilient Farming

North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 2SB
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Steven is trained across anthropology, human geography and sociology and is interested in the intersection between farming culture, the political economy of food systems and agri-environmental governance. He is particularly interested in the role of specific cultural values in mediating farmers’ practices, their relationship to the landscape and their engagement with external policy interventions. He is also keen to ensure that farmers’ local and experiential knowledge is recognised and incorporated into decision-making around sustainable food futures. He has conducted long-term participant observation among British farming communities and specialises in qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviewing, discourse and narrative analysis and finds fertile conceptual ground in combining phenomenological and political economy approaches. Steven has been engaged in a number of projects over the longer-term exploring the barriers and opportunities to greater farmer cooperation and collaboration in relation to food production and the delivery of landscape-scale environmental benefits. He has also worked recently for Defra, exploring the concerns and future plans of English farmers in response to Brexit and the Agricultural Transition to a new agricultural policy and support framework in the UK.


  • 2016 - PGCert in Academic Practice, University of Birmingham
  • 2010 – PhD Anthropology and Geography, Durham University
  • 2003 – MSc European Environmental Management, Lancaster University
  • 2002 – BSc(hons) Environmental Management, Lancaster University

Measures of Esteem

  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers
  • Member of Royal Anthropological Institute
  • Member of European Association of Social Anthropology
  • Member of European Society for Rural Sociology

Director – Rural England Community Interest Company