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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Claire Haggett

Claire Haggett
Dr Claire Haggett
Senior Lecturer
5.07 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44(0)131 650 3916
Research Interests
Sustainability, Environmental Sociology, Community energy, Environment, Participation, renewable energy, energy politics, energy security, discourse analysis

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Please email me with any queries or to request a meeting via Teams, Blackboard Collaborate, or in person - I am always very happy to see students. Please note that I work part time (60%).


  • PhD in Sociology, University of Surrey
  • MSc in Social Research and the Environment
  • BSc (Hons) Sociology

Research interests

  • Social responses to and acceptance of renewable energy: including on- and offshore wind farms, marine energy, hydrogen, and domestic micro-generation
  • Community energy participation, politics and planning
  • The social experience of noise from wind farms
  • Energy consumption and domestic practices, and responses to energy technology and energy efficiency advice
  • Governance, public participation, and planning, in relation to sustainable development
  • The construction and dissemination of environmental risks
  • The role of the media in framing environmental problems, solutions, and responsibility
  • Health and well being and the natural world: particularly ‘tranquillity’ in the landscape
  • Critical use of discourse analysis as a theory and method

Current PhD supervision

Ten students supervised to completion; current students:

  • Ragne Low: The role of publics in energy policy: The Scottish case 
  • Jean Welstead (ESRC): EIA and social impact assessment for onshore renewables

Teaching Interests

I currently teach the sociology of sustainability, focusing on the social construction of the environment and landscape value and quality; responses to energy generation and use of energy in the home; and the role of the media in shaping information about the environment.  I also teach a range of qualitative research methods.

I am Senior PT and Exams Convenor for the MA in Sustainable Development, a new interdisciplinary undergraduate degree:!fileManager/Sustainable-Development.pdf

Project reports

I have recently led/co-led a series of interdisciplinary research projects commissioned through ClimateXChange ( for the Scottish Government, on community energy; planning and public engagement for wind farms; and community benefits from offshore renewables:

Rudolph, D., Haggett, C., and Aitken, M. (2015) Community Benefits From Offshore Renewables: Good Practice Review, Research commissioned for ClimateXChange for the Scottish Government, available:

Haggett, C., Aitken, M., Rudolph, D.,  van Veelen, B., Harnmeijer, J., and Markantoni, M. (2014) Supporting Community Investment in Commercial Renewable Energy Schemes, Research commissioned for ClimateXChange for the Scottish Government, available:

Aitken, M., Haggett, C., Rudolph, D. (2014) What is Good Community Engagement For Wind Farm Developments? Wind Farms Community Engagement Good Practice Review, Research commissioned for ClimateXChange for the Scottish Government, available:

Haggett, C., Creamer, E., Harnmeijer, J., Parsons, M., Bomberg, E. (2013) Community Energy in Scotland: the Social Factors for Success, Research commissioned for ClimateXChange for the Scottish Government, available:

Briefing papers:

Howell, R., and Haggett, C. (2014) ‘An overview of social impact assessment: Working paper to inform Marine Scotland Work on social impacts’ School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, available here



Haggett, C. (2010) Discourses of Risk: Responsibility and the Construction of Blame, Berlin: Lambert

Journal articles:

Creamer, E., Allen, S., and Haggett, C. (2018) 'Incomers' leading 'community-led' sustainability initiatives: A contradiction in terms? Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space

Rudolph, D., Haggett, C., and Aitken, M. (2017) 'Community benefits from offshore renewables: The relationship between different understandings of impact, community, and benefit', Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 36(1): 92-117 10.1177/2399654417699206

Van Veelen, B., and Haggett, C. (2016) 'Uncommon ground: The role of different place attachments in explaining community renewable energy projects', Sociologia Ruralis, 57(S1): 533-554

Aitken, M., ​Haggett​, C., and Rudolph, D. (2016) 'Practices and rationales of community engagement with wind farms: awareness raising, consultation, empowerment', Planning Theory and Practice, 17, 4: 557-576

Haggett, C., and Aitken, M. (2015) 'Grassroots Energy Innovations: the Role of Community Ownership and Investment, Current Sustainable Renewable Energy Reports  2:98–104

Soma, K., and Haggett, C. (2015) 'Enhancing social acceptance in marine governance in Europe', Ocean and Coastal Management, 117: 61-69

Yang, A.L., Rounsevell, M.D.A., Haggett, C. (2015) Multilevel governance, decentralisation, and environmental prioritisation: how is it working in rural development policy in Scotland? Journal of Environmental Policy and Governance, 25, 6, pp 399-411

Yang, A.L., Rounsevell, M.D.A., Piorr, A., Haggett, C. Wilson, R.M. (2015) The use of spatial econometrics, stakeholder analysis and qualitative methodologies in the evaluation of rural development policy, Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, Volume 17, Issue 02,

Yang, A.L., Rounsevell, M.D.A., Haggett, C.,Wilson, R. (2014) ‘Recentralisation through regionalisation in the implementation of Rural Development Policy in Scotland’, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management:

Yang, A.L., Rounsevell, M.D.A., Wilson, R., Haggett, C. (2014) 'Spatial Analysis of Agri Environmental Policy Uptake and Expenditure in Scotland', Journal of Environmental Management, 133c: 104-115.

Bell. D., Haggett, C., Gray, T., and Swaffield, J. (2013) 'Revisiting the social gap: public opinions and relations of power in the local politics of wind energy' Environmental Politics, 22, 1: 115-135.

O'Keeffe, A., and Haggett, C. (2012) 'An investigation into the potential barriers facing the development of offshore wind energy in Scotland: case study of the Firth of Forth wind farm', Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16, 65: 3711-3721.

Haggett, C. and Futak-Campbell, B. (2011) 'Using discourse analysis to understand the attitude-behaviour gap in renewable energy conflicts', Journal of Mechanisms of Economic Regulation, 1, 2: 207-220.

Haggett, C. (2010) ‘Risk and responsibility at 30,000 feet: who is to blame for ‘economy class syndrome’? Journal of Social Studies of Science and Technology, 1, 3: 1-26.

Haggett, C. (2010) ‘Why not Nimby? A response, reviewing the empirical evidence’, Ethics, Place, and Environment, 13, 3: 313-316.

Haggett, C. (2010) ‘Public perceptions of offshore wind energy’ Energy Policy, 39, 2:503-510.

Haggett, C. (2008) ‘Over the sea and far away? A consideration of the planning, politics, and public perceptions of offshore wind farms’, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 10, 3, 289 - 306.

Haggett, C., and Toke, D. (2006) ‘Crossing the great divide: Using multi-method analysis to understand opposition to wind farms’, Public Administration 84, 1, 103-120.

Bell, D., Gray, T., and Haggett, C. (2005) ‘Policy, participation and the ‘social gap’ in wind farm siting decisions’,  Environmental Politics 14, 4, 460-477.

Gray, T., Haggett, C., and Bell, D. (2005) ‘Wind farm Siting – the Case of Offshore Wind farms’, Ethics, Place and Environment 8, 2, 127-140.

Book Chapters:

Stuiver, M., van den Burg, S., Chen, W., Haggett, C., Rudolph, D., and Koundouri, P. (2020) ‘Stakeholder Involvement in Technological Design, Chapter 2 in Koundouri, P. (ed) The Oceans of Tomorrow: The Transition to Sustainability (volume 2) pages 25-37

Chen, W., Koundouri, P., González Dávila, O., Haggett, C., Rudolph, D., Lu, S.-Y.; Chi, C.-F.; Golmen, L.; and Ying, F. (2020) Social Acceptance and Socio-economic Effects of Multi-use Offshore Developments: Theory and Applications, Chapter 4 in Koundouri, P. (ed) The Oceans of Tomorrow: The Transition to Sustainability (volume 2) pages 61-82.

Krug-Firstbrook, M., Haggett, C., and van Veelen, B. (2019) ‘Consumer (Co-)Ownership in Renewables in Scotland’, chapter 18 in Lowitzsch, J. (ed) Energy Transition - Financing Consumer Co-Ownership in Renewables, Palgrave/McMillan book, pp395-420

Haggett, C., Coleman, R., and Hodges, J. (2015) 'Environment, Imagination and Aesthetics: a new environmental impact assessment for natural Scotland' in Griffith, D. (ed) Imagining Natural Scotland, published by Creative Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage

Haggett, C., Coleman, R., and Hodges, J. (2015) 'People, place and community: the missing chapter', Project report published by Creative Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage

Haggett, C. (2011) ‘Understanding people’s experience of noise from wind farms’, invited chapter in Cowell, R., Strachan, P. and Warren, C. (eds) Wind Power, Governance  and Society: Lessons for Future Sustainable Energy, Basingstoke: Palgrave

Haggett. C. (2010) The principles, procedures, and pitfalls of public engagement in decision-making about renewable energy' in P. Devine-Wright (ed.) Renewable Energy and the Public, London: Earthscan

Abi-Ghanem, D. and Haggett, C. (2010) Shaping people’s engagement with microgeneration technology: the case of solar photovoltaics in UK homes, in P. Devine-Wright (ed.) Renewable Energy and the Public, London:Earthscan

Haggett, C. (2009) ‘Implications of alternative mitigation responses: renewable energy’, chapter 26 in Handbook of Climate Change and Society, London: Routledge

Haggett, C. (2009) ‘Public engagement in planning for renewable energy’, in S. Davoudi and J. Crawford (eds.) Planning for Climate Change: Strategies for mitigation and adaptation for spatial planners, London: Earthscan.

Haggett, C., Fuller, D., and Dunsford, H. (2008) ‘Tranquillity as an indicator of landscape quality’ chapter in J. Nogue (ed.) Landscape Indicators, Challenges and Perspectives Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and the Foundation for the Study of Landscape

Fuller, D., Haggett, C. And Dunsford, H. (2008) ‘Landscape and health – tranquillity matters’, in J. NoguÉ (ed.) Reflections on Landscape and Health, Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and Department of Health.

Haggett, C. (2006) ‘Science and the measurement of risk’ in G. Ritzer (ed.) The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology, Oxford: Blackwell

Practitioner Publications:

Haggett, C. (2010) ‘The nuclear lobby hiding in anti-wind clothing (again): opportunity missed for balanced debate’ in The Scottish Mountaineer, Issue 43, May 2010

Macfarlane, R., Haggett, C., and Fuller, D. (2005) Tranquillity Mapping: Developing a Robust Methodology for Planning Support, Report by Northumbria and Newcastle Universities for CPRE and the Countryside Agency, available from

Haggett, C. (2005) ‘Understanding public responses to renewable energy’ UK Power magazine, July edition

Haggett, C., and. Vigar, G. (2004a) ‘Tilting at windmills?  Understanding opposition to windfarm applications’ Town and Country Planning, 73 (10) pp288-291

Haggett, C. (2004b) ‘Titling at windmills?’ in Elements, Publication of the Environment Council, Issue 23 06/2004

Topics interested in supervising

I welcome enquiries about supervision of research on social responses to renewable energy developments (particularly wind farms, wave power, and solar). I am also interested to supervise work from a discourse analytic perspective (from discursive psychology) on a range of topics, but particularly energy, climate change, sustainability, and the media.

If you are interested in being supervised by Claire Haggett, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Sociology