The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Jo Swaffield

Research Excellence Academy Fellow


After completing her PhD in 2012, Jo accepted a Postdoctoral Research Associate position at the University of Manchester. She worked on the ESCR funded project, ‘Households, Retailers and Food Waste Transitions’ (ref: ES/L00514X/1) as well as pursuing internal funding for her work on the sustainable management of waste in neoliberal society.

In 2016, Jo returned to Newcastle as a Research Excellence Academy (REA) fellow in the department of politics. She is currently researching the justifiable limitations of individual responsibility for climate change mitigation as part of the project, ‘Individual Responsibility for Realising Human Rights: Climate Change, Poverty and Other Problems of Aggregate Effects’.

Alongside her publication record (2012-2020), Jo has produced two children (21 months of maternity leave in total).



Jo's research mainly focuses on the facilitation and management of individual behaviour change, in the context of climate change and the environment more generally. She is particularly interested in the role of neoliberal environmentalism in the proliferation of the current climate crisis and the (necessary) transition to a more sustainable society.

Her current project focuses on the justifiable limitations of individual responsibility for climate change and she has three collaborative papers in preparation:

- 'Upping our game’? An assessment of individual responsibility in the context of a climate
- Knowledge is (lack of) power: The 'information-overload model' and individual
responsibility for climate change.
- How long does it take to save the world? A moral assessment of time, food and individual
behaviour change.

Going forwards, Jo would like to focus on local authorities and the responsible management of behaviour change in the context of the current climate emergency.




Jo does not currently have any teaching responsibilities.