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Dr Mia Gray wins the 2020 RSA Journals Best Paper Prize

Mia Gray

Congratulations to Supernumerary Fellow in Geography, Dr Mia Gray, who was awarded the Regional Studies Association’s Prize for the Best Paper 2020 in their flagship journal, Regional Studies. The paper explores the “double crisis” of climate change and inequality. It examines the numerous ways in which social injustices and inequalities are manifested in environmental conditions and the global market economy.

Dr Gray and co-author Professor Betsy Donald (Queen's University, Canada), argue the current model of economic growth is fundamentally flawed, and a key argument on climate change is that changing our theories of growth is an ecological necessity. Through an examination of the production and reproduction of inequality and waste as they explicitly ask the questions: In what sense is the double crisis a regional problem? And, in turn, to what extent can regional economic theory be part of the solution?

The paper argues the reification of competitive consumption-led growth models in regional studies has exacerbated, legitimized and celebrated the dominant narratives of growth in public policy. They encourage examine new models and approaches of sustainable, equitable and just development.

Mia Gray commented about the award: 

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this – the paper is a critique of the obsession with growth and agglomeration, to the detriment of the environment, well-being, and issues around inequality and social justice.”  

Betsy Donald adds:

“We went back to reclaim foundational ideas in the field on power and regional inequality – that intellectual history has been ignored, but clearly still resonates.”  

The two authors have written extensively together on issues of austerity, inequality, and urban and regional change. They are currently working on a research project around austerity and homelessness.   

The prize-winning paper ‘The double crisis: in what sense a regional problem?’ is free to access on Taylor and Francis Group website.