Academic Staff: Hayley Stevenson

Hayley StevensonDr Hayley Stevenson, BA(Hons) (Flinders), PhD (Adelaide)

Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1664
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 1717
Room: G58


Hayley Stevenson graduated from Flinders University of South Australia with First Class Honours in International Relations and Spanish (2001-2004). She was awarded her PhD from the University of Adelaide, Australia, in 2009. Her doctoral research was an analysis of the diffusion of international climate governance norms, and included case studies on Australia, India, and Spain. This research was published as a book titled Institutionalizing Unsustainability: The Paradox of Global Climate Governance (University of California Press, 2013).

In 2009-2011, Dr Stevenson was a postdoctoral fellow at the Australian National University. There she worked with Professor John S. Dryzek on a project titled ‘Deliberative Global Governance of Climate Change’. This project drew on cutting edge democratic theory to evaluate the existing global governance of climate change, and to prescribe possible reforms to enhance its legitimacy and effectiveness. The research involved extensive original analysis of multilateral and networked governance arrangements, including over eighty interviews with diplomats, civil society, and the private sector. This study will be published in early 2014 in a book titled Democratizing Global Climate Governance (Cambridge University Press).

Dr Stevenson joined the Politics Department in 2012 as Lecturer in International Relations, and was made Senior Lecturer in 2014.

Hayley Stevenson’s principal research interests include: global environmental politics and climate change, constructivist theory of International Relations, global civil society, legitimacy in international relations, and deliberative global governance.


Dr Stevenson’s keen interest in the theory and practice of international relations is strongly reflected in her teaching. Her modules are designed to give students a firm grounding in the traditional approaches to understanding international politics while also introducing alternative approaches to develop their critical thinking skills and provide new ways of understanding.

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • Lund Conference on Earth System Governance: Towards Just and Legitimate Earth System Governance – Addressing Inequalities, April 2012, Lund, Sweden. Invited semi-plenary speaker: ‘Citizen-centred accountability in global climate governance’.
  • ECPR Summer School on Environmental Politics and Policy, June 2013. Invited paper on democratizing global climate governance.
  • ClimaConf Conference: ‘Confidence, credibility and authority in climate sciences and politics’, Paris, November 2014. Invited talk on ‘Debating the Science and Politics of Climate Change’.
Dr Hayley Stevenson, University of Sheffield: 'Fixing Climate Change: Who Decides?'
More Politics Brought to Life videos

Current Research

In 2013, Dr Stevenson was awarded an ESRC Future Research Leaders fellowship to carry out a three-year study of innovations in international environmental policy. This project will analyse processes of institutional learning in the design of new environmental policies in international organisations, and address challenges to including civil society and heterogeneous perspectives in policy design.

  • Project description: Despite more than two decades of sustainable developmentpolicy, most indicators of environmental quality continue to decline. The purpose of this project is to understand how international sustainability policies are changing in response to these conditions. With the aim of reconciling economic development and environmental sustainability, some policy actors have adopted new concepts and strategies such as ‘green growth’ and ‘green economy’. But there are other competing and overlapping understandings of the environment-economy nexus captured in such terms as inclusive wealth, de-growth, steady-state economy, and buen vivir. This project will assess innovations in international environmental policy in terms of (a) how they are informed by these multiple understandings, and (b) the degree to which these innovations have brought policy into line with the conditions necessary to prevent further environmental degradation. International organisations (IOs) frequently take a leadership role in advancing new sustainability concepts and strategies; therefore, these organisations are the focus of this study.

Garrett Brown, Alasdair Cochrane, and Hayley Stevenson are also collaborating on the design of a new research project on 'Global Food Justice'. This forms part of the University of Sheffield’s Cross-Faculty Food Security research plan. A project description is available here.

Key Publications


Journal Articles

  • Hayley Stevenson. (2014) ‘Representing Green Radicalism: The limits of state-based representation in global climate governance’. Review of International Studies: 40(1): 177-201 
  • Hayley Stevenson. (2013). Governing Climate Technologies: Is there room for democracy? Environmental Values 22 (5): 567-587
  • Hayley Stevenson and John S. Dryzek. 2012. The Discursive Democratization of Global Climate Governance. Environmental Politics 21(2): 189-210.
  • Hayley Stevenson and John S. Dryzek. 2012. 'The legitimacy of multilateral climate governance: a deliberative democratic approach'. Critical Policy Studies 6(1): 1-18.
  • John S. Dryzek and Hayley Stevenson. 2011. ‘Global Democracy and Earth System Governance’. Ecological Economics 70: 1865–1874.
  • Hayley Stevenson. 2011. ‘India and international norms of climate governance: a constructivist analysis of normative congruence building’. Review of International Studies 37: 997-1019.
  • Hayley Stevenson. 2009. ‘Cheating on climate change? Australia's challenge to global warming norms’, Australian Journal of International Affairs 63(2): 165-186.

Book Chapters

  • John S. Dryzek and Hayley Stevenson. 2013. ‘Democratising the Global Climate Regime. In Chris Methmann, Delf Rothe, and Benjamin Stephan (eds.), (De)Constructing the Greenhouse: Interpretive approaches to global climate governance. London: Routledge, pp.232-247.
  • Hayley Stevenson (2013) ‘Alternative theories of global environmental politics: constructivism, Marxism and critical approaches’. In Paul G. Harris (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Global Environmental Politics, London: Routledge, pages 42-55.


View Dr Stevenson's full list of publications.

Work in Progress


  • Global Environmental Politics: Problems, Policy, and Practice (under contract with Cambridge University Press, expected publication: 2016).
  • International Relations and the Earth (co-edited with Olaf Corry, expected publication: 2016)


Hayley Stevenson (Special Issue Editor). ‘Explaining the global diffusion of environmental norms and discourses’, Global Environmental Politics (To be published in 2016).

Research papers

  • ‘Contemporary Discourses on the Environment-Economy Nexus’.
  • ‘The Wisdom of the Many in Global Governance: An Epistemic-Democratic Defence of Diversity and Inclusion’.