Peter Ferguson

Staff member

Peter Ferguson has been a lecturer in Politics and Policy Studies (PPS) at Deakin University since 2015, and is currently the PPS Discipline Convenor. Previously, he was a lecturer in environmental politics at the University of Melbourne, from where he obtained his PhD in political science in 2014. Peter also holds a Bachelor of Planning and Design (Architecture), a Graduate Certificate in Arts (Political Science) and a Master of International Politics, all from the University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Certificate of Higher Education and Learning from Deakin University.

Peter is a discourse analyst and critical theorist, whose research focusses on the political barriers to moving toward a socially just and ecologically sustainable states system and global economy.

This was the focus of his 2018 book Post-growth Politics: A Critical Theoretical and Policy Framework for Decarbonisation (Springer, London), which uses a critical political economy approach to develop an historically and politically grounded set of strategies for states to move toward a post-growth, decarbonised global economy. In Post-growth Politics, Peter argues that significant decarbonisation can only be achieved if conventional growth-based economies are replaced by an alternative post-growth economy, in which sustainable biophysical thresholds are not breached, the social and ecological costs of economic activity do not exceed its benefits, and the commitment of governments to economic growth is replaced by objectives such as societal well-being and environmental protection. However, rather than proposing an idealised and politically naïve model of socioecological transformation, the proposed post-growth policy framework is highly cognisant of the geopolitical and international economic pressures facing states and demonstrates how these can be managed in the transition toward a post-growth economy.

Peter has also published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals on environmental politics, ecological security and green political economy. His most recent article, entitled ‘Discourses of resilience in the climate security debate,’ was in published in 2019 in Global Environmental Politics (vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 104-126), and seeks to make sense of the multifarious ways the language of resilience is deployed in the climate change debate to articulate notions of security, insecurity, vulnerability, responsibility and ultimately power.
In 2015, Peter was a co-author of a report from the Centre for Policy Development (The Longest Conflict: Australia’s Climate Security Challenge), which outlined the serious risks climate change poses to Australia’s national security and the human security of vulnerable people in our region.

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