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Dr Sean Connelly

Sean Connelly imageSenior Lecturer

BA(Hons)(Guelph)
MA (N Br Col)
PhD(S Fraser)

 

 

Richardson Building, room 4C25
Office Hours: email to make an appointment
Tel +64 3 479 8771
Email sean.connelly@otago.ac.nz

Sean's background

Community response to sustainability challenges is a recurring theme in my teaching and research. My Masters research explored co-management arrangements between indigenous groups and government for sea turtle conservation in Suriname.

I completed my PhD in Geography at Simon Fraser University on community engagement for sustainable community development in 2009, based on case study research of urban, rural and First Nation community sustainability initiatives. I was able to research local food initiatives as a catalyst for sustainability through a post-doctoral fellowship with BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance.

Prior to commencing PhD studies, I worked for ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability in the Johannesburg office in preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

In Dunedin, I am a member of Our Food Network whose mission is to stimulate the production, distribution and consumption of local food and in that way contributes to the building of a resilient and prosperous community.

I write a regular column “Seeds for Change” in the Otago Daily Times on food and sustainability
https://www.odt.co.nz/tag/seeds-for-change

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Teaching

  • GEOG 216 Resource Evaluation and Planning
  • GEOG 472 Developments in Environmental Management

Sean also contributes to

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Research interests

The focus of my research is in the broad area of sustainable communities and how they contribute to the wider concept of sustainable development. In particular, I am interested in the gap between planning and policy development and local environmental action. I seek to develop this research by exploring three related themes:


1. Social economy and sustainable community development convergence - issues of scale
children holding balloons in climate action march in SeoulConvergence of social economy and sustainable community development movements provide new opportunities for both theoretical and applied research on efforts to re-localize economies and strengthen the resilience and sustainability of communities and regions. I'm interested in how the convergence of these two movements might offer strategic opportunities to scale-up and scale-out these innovative approaches in cities and communities.


2. Local food initiatives as catalysts for community transition
Over the last decade, interest in local food issues has arisen from a variety of sources. Environmental concerns, poster featuring a local foodstall in Seoulorganic food, health and nutrition, food security, food sovereignty, GMOs, food contamination and agricultural preservation have all been used to justify stronger connections between food production and consumption, ecological stewardship, social justice and community economic development. This research examines case studies of alternative food initiatives such as farmers markets, community gardens, CSAs and food hubs to explore the opportunities and barriers that exist in using food as a lens for broader transitions towards sustainability.


3. Rural development and sustainability planning
grain elevator in agricultural dependent town of Craik_Saskatchewan_CanadaThe future viability of many rural communities rests on their ability to manage the challenge of rural restructuring in the context of resource-dependent boom-bust cycles. For some communities privileged with recreational and tourism amenities, the shift from resource extraction to servicing recreation has been a source of growth. However, many other communities have had to rely on internal capacity and social capital as a means of coping with the loss of major industries. Still fewer have attempted to use sustainability as an amenity and focus for community development alternatives. This research seeks to examine rural communities that have turned to sustainability initiatives to cope with the loss of resource-based jobs to understand the relationship between community capacity, social capital, "can-do" attitude and sustainability as a strategy for community resilience.

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Potential postgraduate projects

I would welcome inquiries for any student interested broadly in community approaches to sustainability. Specific potential student projects I’ve identified include:

  • Food system sustainability in New Zealand
  • Exploring diverse futures of rural small towns in the South Island, NZ
  • Exploring the role of social learning in collaborative management of fisheries in the East Otago Taiāpure
  • Alternative food initiatives: Case studies in NZ

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Current postgraduate supervision

  • Madison Seymour: Caring food systems? The transformational potential of ecological farming practices in New Zealand (MA)
  • Sammy Bergen: The evolving economic geography of Central Otago (MA: co-supervised with Professor Etienne Nel)
  • Pailin Chua-oon Rinfret: Cultural Impact Assessment in New Zealand (MAppSci Environmental Management: co-supervised with Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett)
  • Pavill Ruangvichatron: Analysis of the role of bees in promoting future sustainability and food security in the Asia – Pacific region, focusing on Thailand and New Zealand (PhD: co-supervised with Associate Professor Doug Hill)
  • Alison Floyd: How dominant narratives of place shape socio-political-environmental policies on the West Coast of New Zealand (PhD: co-supervised with Professor Etienne Nel, Geography)
  • Emily Cathro: 'Just Transitions'? An investigation of Taranaki's energy and human future (Honours: co-supervised with Professor Etienne Nel, Geography)
  • Tsani Rakhmah: Climate change and low carbon development (PhD: co-supervised with Professor Nathan Berg, Economics)
  • Altami Arasty: Transnational climate change governance (PhD: co-supervised with Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett, Geography)
  • Abigale Virens: Food foraging and urban ecology of Dunedin (PhD: co-supervised with Dr Katharine Legun, Sociology)
  • Katherine Cresswell Riol: Right to food in New Zealand (PhD: co-supervised with Dr Katharine Legun and Professor Hugh Campbell, Sociology)

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Recent postgraduate supervision

  • Garrett Lentz: Determining effective education strategies for sustainable food choice (PhD 2019: co-supervised by Dr Miranda Mirosa, Food Science)
  • Polly Brownlee: New Zealand's Industrial Hemp Industry: Potentials, constraints and futures (MA 2019)
  • Keith Finlayson: Bridging the gap: Linking farm management plans to everyday practice (MAppSc Environmental Management 2019)
  • Connie Mills: Using employment as a driver for economic development in a regional context (MPlan 2019)
  • Leigh McKenzie: Environmental priorities of local food producers (MSc 2018)
  • Philippa Mackay: Food Resilience in Dunedin (MPLAN 2016)
  • Jessica Rose: Economic development on the West Coast (MPLAN 2016: co-supervised by Professor Etienne Nel, Geography)
  • Jessica Pullen: The effect of drought on West Coast dairying (MSc 2015: co-supervised by Dr Sarah Mager, Geography)
  • Kathleen Haylock: Local food systems planning in Dunedin and Christchurch: A comparative case study (MPlan 2015)
  • Alejandra Parra Mūnoz: Community planning in North East Valley, Dunedin (MPlan 2014)
  • Carrie Skilton: Non-notification for oil and gas exploration and best practice in Environmental Management (PGDipAppSc - Environmental Management 2014: co-supervised by Dr Sophie Bond, Geography)
  • Ihakara Puketapu-Dentice: Ngā Tapuwae o ngā Mātua Tūpuna – The Footprints of our Ancestors – The Role of Indigenous Culture in Promoting Development and Design in the Urban Environment - Insights from Vancouver and Waiwhet (MPlan 2013: co-supervisor with Associate Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett, Geography) 

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Publications

Nel, E., & Connelly, S. (2019). Regional economic transformation: Changing land and resource access on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Land Use Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.04.008

Mackay, P., & Connelly, S. (2019). Searching for fit? Institution building and local action for food system change in Dunedin, New Zealand. In P. Andrée, J. K. Clark, C. Z. Levkoe & K. Lowitt (Eds.), Civil society and social movements in food system governance. (pp. 63-80). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429503597

Haylock, K., & Connelly, S. (2018). Examining the insider/outsider dimensions of local food system planning: Cases from Dunedin and Christchurch New Zealand. Planning Practice & Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/02697459.2018.1546470

Lentz, G., Connelly, S., Mirosa, M., & Jowett, T. (2018). Gauging attitudes and behaviours: Meat consumption and potential reduction. Appetite. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.04.015

Hill, D., & Connelly, S. (2018). Community energies: Exploring the socio-political spatiality of energy transitions through the Clean Energy for Eternity campaign in New South Wales Australia. Energy Research & Social Science, 36, 138-145. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.11.021

Edited Book - Research

Gismondi, M., Connelly, S., Beckie, M., Markey, S., & Roseland, M. (Eds.). (2016). Scaling up: The convergence of social economy and sustainability. Edmonton, Canada: AU Press, 301p. doi: 10.15215/aupress/9781771990219.01

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Chapter in Book - Research

Mackay, P., & Connelly, S. (2019). Searching for fit? Institution building and local action for food system change in Dunedin, New Zealand. In P. Andrée, J. K. Clark, C. Z. Levkoe & K. Lowitt (Eds.), Civil society and social movements in food system governance. (pp. 63-80). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429503597

Nel, E., & Connelly, S. (2018). Rural health service delivery challenges in an era of neoliberalism in New Zealand. In G. Halseth, S. Markey & L. Ryser (Eds.), Service provision and rural sustainability: Infrastructure and innovation. (pp. 65-79). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Jackson, T., Nel, E., & Connelly, S. (2017). Subnational rural governance and development: Case studies of England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In E. Schoburgh & R. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of research on sub-national governance and development. (pp. 117-149). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1645-3.ch006

Connelly, S., & Nel, E. (2017). New Zealand: Community responses to restructuring. In G. Halseth (Ed.), Transformation of resource towns and peripheries: Political economy perspectives. (pp. 317-335). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Connelly, S., & Nel, E. (2017). New Zealand: Employment and labor in New Zealand: Recent trends and reflections on developments in the West Coast and Southland regions. In G. Halseth (Ed.), Transformation of resource towns and peripheries: Political economy perspectives. (pp. 221-242). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Connelly, S., & Nel, E. (2017). New Zealand: Restructuring of the New Zealand economy: Global-local links and evidence from the West Coast and Southland regions. In G. Halseth (Ed.), Transformation of resource towns and peripheries: Political economy perspectives. (pp. 112-136). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Connelly, S. (2016). Enhancing urban and peri urban food production. In D. Reeves (Ed.), A state of New Zealand report for UN Habitat III. (pp. 42-43). Auckland, New Zealand: Urban Research Network, University of Auckland.

Connelly, S., Green, K., Markey, S., & Roseland, M. (2016). Peaks and valleys on the prairies: Optimism and resistance to sustainable community development in Craik, Saskatchewan. In L. Hallström, M. A. Beckie, G. T. Hvenegaard & K. Mündel (Eds.), Sustainability planning and collaboration in rural Canada: Taking the next steps. (pp. 63-88). Edmonton, Canada: University of Alberta Press.

Gismondi, M., Connelly, S., Beckie, M., Markey, S., & Roseland, M. (2016). Introduction: Social economics and sustainabilty. In M. Gismondi, S. Connelly, M. Beckie, S. Markey & M. Roseland (Eds.), Scaling up: The convergence of social economy and sustainability. (pp. 1-5). Edmonton, Canada: AU Press. doi: 10.15215/aupress/9781771990219.01

Connelly, S., Gismondi, M., Markey, S., & Roseland, M. (2016). Towards convergence: An exploratory framework. In M. Gismondi, S. Connelly, M. Beckie, S. Markey & M. Roseland (Eds.), Scaling up: The convergence of social economy and sustainability. (pp. 7-26). Edmonton, Canada: AU Press. doi: 10.15215/aupress/9781771990219.01

Gismondi, M., Connelly, S., & Markey, S. (2016). Conclusion: "Social economizing" sustainability. In M. Gismondi, S. Connelly, M. Beckie, S. Markey & M. Roseland (Eds.), Scaling up: The convergence of social economy and sustainability. (pp. 269-295). Edmonton, Canada: AU Press. doi: 10.15215/aupress/9781771990219.01

Beckie, M., & Connelly, S. (2016). The role of the social economy in scaling up alternative food initiatives. In M. Gismondi, S. Connelly, M. Beckie, S. Markey & M. Roseland (Eds.), Scaling up: The convergence of social economy and sustainability. (pp. 59-81). Edmonton, Canada: AU Press. doi: 10.15215/aupress/9781771990219.01

Connelly, S. (2014). Local Agenda 21: International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of quality of life and well-being research. (pp. 3670-3673). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_1681

Connelly, S., Markey, S., & Roseland, M. (2013). We know enough: Achieving action through the convergence of sustainable community development and the social economy. In R. Simpson & M. Zimmerman (Eds.), The economy of green cities: A world compendium on the green urban economy. (pp. 191-203). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-1969-9_17

Connelly, S., Roseland, M., & Markey, S. (2012). Building community capacity for strategic sustainability. In T. Haas (Ed.), Sustainable urbanism and beyond: Rethinking cities for the future. (pp. 144-148). New York: Rizzoli.

Connelly, S., & Roseland, M. (2010). Black holes or white knights? Cities and the environment. In T. Bunting, P. Filion & R. Walker (Eds.), Canadian cities in transition: New directions in the twenty-first century. (4th ed.) (pp. 247-261). Oxford University Press.

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Journal - Research Article

Brown, K., Connelly, S., Lovelock, B., Mainvil, L., Mather, D., Roberts, H., Skeaff, S., & Shephard, K. (2019). Do we teach our students to share and to care? Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 24(4), 462-481. doi: 10.1080/13596748.2019.1654693

Nel, E., & Connelly, S. (2019). Regional economic transformation: Changing land and resource access on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Land Use Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.04.008

Nel, E., Connelly, S., & Stevenson, T. (2019). New Zealand's small town transition: The experience of demographic and economic change and place based responses. New Zealand Geographer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/nzg.12240

Connelly, S., Nel, E., & Bergen, S. (2019). Evolution of new regional development interventions in New Zealand: An analysis of the first year of the Provincial Growth Fund. New Zealand Geographer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/nzg.12233

Hill, D., & Connelly, S. (2018). Community energies: Exploring the socio-political spatiality of energy transitions through the Clean Energy for Eternity campaign in New South Wales Australia. Energy Research & Social Science, 36, 138-145. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.11.021

Haylock, K., & Connelly, S. (2018). Examining the insider/outsider dimensions of local food system planning: Cases from Dunedin and Christchurch New Zealand. Planning Practice & Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/02697459.2018.1546470

Lentz, G., Connelly, S., Mirosa, M., & Jowett, T. (2018). Gauging attitudes and behaviours: Meat consumption and potential reduction. Appetite. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.04.015

Puketapu-Dentice, K., Connelly, S., & Thompson-Fawcett, M. (2017). Towards integrating Indigenous culture in urban form. Spatial Justice, 11, 6.

Shephard, K., Brown, K., Connelly, S., Hall, M., Harraway, J., Martin, J., Mirosa, M., Payne-Harker, H., Payne-Harker, N., Rock, J., … Stoddard, I. (2017). Empowering students in higher-education to teach and learn. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 52(1), 41-55. doi: 10.1007/s40841-016-0072-x

Connelly, S., & Beckie, M. (2016). The dilemma of scaling up local food initiatives: Is social infrastructure the essential ingredient? Canadian Food Studies, 3(2), 49-69. doi: 10.15353/cfs-rcea.v3i2.146

Connelly, S., Markey, S., & Roseland, M. (2011). Culture and community: Sustainable community planning in the Rolling River First Nation. Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development, 7(2), 14-39.

Hendrickson, D. J., Lindberg, C., Connelly, S., & Roseland, M. (2011). Pushing the envelope: Market mechanisms for sustainable community development. Journal of Urbanism, 4(2), 153-173. doi: 10.1080/17549175.2011.596263

Connelly, S., Markey, S., & Roseland, M. (2011). Bridging sustainability and the social economy: Achieving community transformation through local food initiatives. Critical Social Policy, 31(2), 308-324. doi: 10.1177/0261018310396040

Markey, S., Connelly, S., & Roseland, M. (2010). 'Back of the envelope': Pragmatic planning for sustainable rural community development. Planning Practice & Research, 25(1), 1-23. doi: 10.1080/02697451003625356

Connelly, S., Markey, S., & Roseland, M. (2009). Strategic sustainability: Addressing the community infrastructure deficit. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 18(Suppl. 1), 1-23.

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Journal - Research Other

Nel, E., & Connelly, S. (2019). Rediscovering regional development in New Zealand: Reflections on local and regional development challenges and opportunities. New Zealand Geographer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/nzg.12241

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