Associate Professor of Environmental Politics


Associate Professor of Environmental Politics


Brendan Coolsaet is Associate Professor of Environmental Politics at ESPOL, the European School of Political and Social Sciences. He is also a member of the Global Environmental Justice research group at the University of East Anglia (UK).

He is an environmental social scientist working at the intersection of (environmental) critical theory (particularly environmental justice), political ecology, and critical food studies. Over the last decade, his research projects have focused on justice issues posed by the governance of agricultural biodiversity, the conservation of protected areas, and the intensification of land-use changes, among others. He is the author of Environmental Justice: Key Issues (Routledge 2020), the first collective textbook offering a comprehensive and accessible overview of environmental justice studies. He is currently leading the project “Towards ‘just conservation’: linking theories and practices of justice in biodiversity conservation” funded by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity.

Brendan Coolsaet has a PhD in political and social sciences from the Centre for Philosophy of Law (Louvain Catholic University), and has taught at the University of East Anglia (UK) and Lancaster University (UK). He is a scientific advisor at the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD), a member of the Louvain Partnership Research on Ecological and Social Transition (LPTransition), a Research Fellow with the Earth System Governance Project, and has worked as a consultant for the European Commission, the Belgian government and the UK House of Commons. He served as ESPOL’s Master’s Program Director from 2018 to 2020.

Languages spoken : English, French, Dutch and Spanish



  • Agriculture & Rural Politics
  • Food Controversies
  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Politics of the Anthropocene


  • Environmental Justice
  • Political Ecology
  • Biodiversity Governance
  • Critical Food Studies



Neil Dawson, Brendan Coolsaet, Eleanor Sterling, Robin Loveridge, Nicole D, Gross-Camp, et al. 2021. The role of Indigenous peoples and local communities in effective and equitable conservation. Ecology and Society 26(3)

Brendan Coolsaet. Environmental Justice: Key Issues. Routledge, 2020

Adrian Martin, M. Teresa Armijos, Brendan Coolsaet, Neil Dawson, Gareth A. S. Edwards, et al. 2020. Environmental Justice and Transformations to Sustainability. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 62:6, 19-30

Lina Álvarez, Brendan Coolsaet. 2020. Decolonizing Environmental Justice Studies: A Latin American Perspective. Capitalism Nature Socialism 31:2, 50-69

Laura Vang Rasmussen, Brendan Coolsaet, Adrian Martin, Ole Mertz, Unai Pascual, et al. 2018. Social-ecological outcomes of agricultural intensification. Nature Sustainability 1 (6), 275 – 282.