Dr Rebecca Pearse

School of Sociology
Fenner School of Environment & Society

Beck Pearse is a sociologist with a background researching the political economy of climate and energy policy, inequalities and rural issues. Beck's current research projects investigate labour and land relations in the industrial transition to a 'net zero' economy. She's interested in how people work and negotiate change.

Before joining the ANU, Beck was a teaching fellow in the Political Economy Department at the University of Sydney (2017-2020). And before that she worked on a string of casual teaching jobs and ARC Discovery Projects as a research assistant / associate (2010-2016) while writing a PhD. Working in those classrooms and research teams gave Beck essential training on the job, particularly in reading with curiosity across different disciplines, ethnographic fieldwork and interviewing.

Beck's doctoral thesis was published as a monograph Pricing Carbon in Australia (Routledge/Earthscan, 2018) and documents the regulatory contradictions of Australia's emissions trading scheme. Beck has co-authored reports for UN Women (with Raewyn Connell, 2014) and the City of Sydney (with James Hitchcock, 2019) on gender and urban inequalities respectively. She also contributed to a comparative study of coal in Australia, India and Germany led by James Goodman - The Coal Rush and Beyond (CUP, 2020) and to an ethnography of climate movement politics (Routledge, 2014) with James Goodman and Stuart Rosewarne. More recently, Beck contributed to Renewables and Rural Australia (2022) - the first social study of rural people's perspectives on the NSW Renewable Energy Zones.

Research interests

  • Climate and energy policy
  • Inequalities
  • Social change
  • Cass, D, Connor , L, Heikkinen, R et al. 2022, Renewables & Rural Australia: A Study of Community Experiences in Renewable Energy Zones in NSW and the Case for More Equity and Coordination of the Clean Energy Transformation.
  • Pearse, R & Bryant, G 2021, 'Labour in transition: A value-theoretical approach to renewable energy labour', Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 1872-1894.
  • Pearse, R 2020, 'Theorising the political economy of energy transformations: Agency, structure, space, process', New Political Economy. https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2020.1810217
  • Goodman, J, Connor , L, Ghosh, D et al. 2020, Beyond the Coal Rush: A Turning Point for Global Energy and Climate Policy?, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Pearse, R & Hitchcock, J 2019, The Sydney Equality Indicators Framework: Measures for a Just City.
  • Pearse, R, Hitchcock, J & Keane, H 2019, 'Gender, inter/disciplinarity and marginality in the social sciences and humanities: A comparison of six disciplines', Women's Studies International Forum, vol. 72, pp. 109-126.
  • Connell, R, Pearse, R, Collyer, F et al. 2018, 'Negotiating with the North: How Southern-tier intellectual workers deal with the global economy of knowledge', The Sociological Review, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 41-57.
  • Connell, R, Pearse, R, Collyer, F et al. 2018, 'Re-making the global economy of knowledge: do
    new fields of research change the structure of
    North-South relations?', British Journal of Sociology, vol. 69, no. 3, pp. 738-757.
  • Pearse, R 2018, 'Book Review: Enterprising Nature: Economics, Markets, and Finance in Global Biodiversity Politics by Jessica Dempsey', Global Environmental Politics, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 134-136.
  • Pearse, R 2018, Pricing Carbon in Australia: Contestation, the State and Market Failure, Earthscan/Routledge, Abingdon.
  • Pearse, R 2018, ''Continuity and change': Environmental policy in the 2016 Australian Federal election and the coming energy transition', in Anika Gauja, Peter Chen, Jennifer Curtin and Juliet Pietsch (ed.), Double Disillusion: The 2016 Australian Federal Election, ANU Press, Canberra, Australia, pp. 571-591.
  • Pearse, R 2017, 'Feminism', in Fathali M Moghaddam (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Political Behavior, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, pp. 297-301.
  • Pearse, R 2017, 'Gender bias', in Fathali M Moghaddam (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Political Behavior, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, pp. 319-322.
  • Pearse, R 2017, 'Gender and climate change', Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: WIREs Climate Change, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 16pp.
  • Pearse, R 2010, 'Making a market? Contestation and climate change', Journal of Australian Political Economy, vol. 66, no. 66, pp. 166-198.
  • Pearse, R 2016, 'Moving targets: Carbon pricing, energy markets, and social movements in Australia', Environmental Politics, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 1079-1101.
  • Pearse, R & Connell, R 2016, 'Gender norms and the economy: Insights from social research', Feminist Economics, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 30-53.
  • Pearse, R 2016, 'The coal question that emissions trading has not answered', Energy Policy, vol. 99, pp. 319-328.
  • Connell, R & Pearse, R 2015, Gender: In World Perspective, Polity Press, 3rd edition, Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA, USA.
  • Pearse, R 2014, 'Carbon trading for climate justice?', Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 111-130.
  • Pearse, R & Bohm, S 2014, 'Ten reasons why carbon markets will not bring about radical emissions reduction', Carbon Management, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 325-337.
  • Pearse, R 2014, 'Book review essay: Climate capitalism and its discontents', Global Environmental Politics, vol. 14, pp. 130-135.
  • Rosewarne, S, Goodman, J & Pearse, R 2014, Climate Action Upsurge: The ethnography of climate movement politics, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, UK and New York.
  • Connell, R & Pearse, R 2014, Gender Norms and Stereotypes: A Survey of Concepts, Research and Issues About Change, UN Women Expert Group Meeting ‘Envisioning women’s rights in the post - 2015 context’, New York.
  • Pearse, R 2013, 'Back to the land? Legitimation, carbon offsets and Australia's emissions trading scheme', Global Change, Peace & Security, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 43-60.
  • Pearse, R 2012, 'Mapping REDD in the Asia-Pacific: Governance, marketisation and contention', Ephemera: theory and politics in organization, vol. 12, pp. 181-205.
  • Pearse, R & Dehm, J 2011, In the REDD: Australia's Carbon Offset Project in Central Kalimantan, Amsterdam: Friends of the Earth International.
  • Pearse, R, Goodman, J & Rosewarne, S 2010, 'Researching direct action against carbon emissions: A digital ethnography of climate agency', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 76-103.

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