Winner of the

Adaptation-as-development: “Socializing” and “depoliticizing” climate change adaptation, from the international to the local level

Dr Morgan Scoville-Simonds


The thesis addresses the topic of climate change as an international policy imperative. Through a political ecology approach, it proposes an analysis of policy and social discourses on why and how this adaptation is conceived as a problem.

The jury, composed of experts in different disciplines, commented on Dr Scoville-Simonds work as “excellent, well-structured; the thesis tackles complex concepts with lightness and deep understanding, generating valuable insights for the social sciences, as well as enriching their methodologies”.

Morgan Scoville-Simonds is visiting fellow at the Centre for International Environmental Studies of the Graduate Institute, and from July 2016, a visiting researcher at the University of Oslo’s Department of Sociology and Human Geography supported by a Swiss National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellowship. During his PhD, he worked as a research assistant on a Swiss National Science Foundation-funded project lead by Professor Marc Hufty.

Working from a political ecology perspective, his research addresses analytical approaches to discourse and power, culturally-embedded human-environment relations, and political and social-justice aspects of environmental problems and solutions. He has conducted fieldwork in Andean and ceja de selva areas of Peru on adaptation/development interventions and local understandings of changing climatic conditions. With an initial background in the physical sciences, Morgan holds a MA and PhD in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute.

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