Catherine Queen

Discipline: Geography

Project Summary

Catherine is exploring issues around public engagement with Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP), particularly high voltage overhead power lines. Her research uses a Case Study approach based on the North West Coast Connections project which is a proposed overhead power line located in West Cumbria. Catherine is particularly interested in exploring hard-to-reach and disengaged publics through a Bourdieusian lens. She seeks to identify the varieties of engagement in her Case Study and to find ways of understanding the complex relationships arising through the public consultation process for NSIPs using qualitative research methods.  

Broad research specialisms:

  • The tensions between planning policy and justice as recognition of seldom heard local voices
  • Understanding the perceived barriers to local engagement with energy infrastructure projects
  • Exploring innovative methods of data collection/analysis which focus on disengaged publics.
  • Understanding the value of place attachment in conducting public engagement


'Hard to Reach or Hard to Engage?' - Energy and Communities Seminar, July 2015, University of Exeter

The seldom-heard voice in public engagement with major infrastructure - UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference 2016, Cardiff University

Exploring public disengagement from proposed overhead powerline consultation processes through a Bourdieuian lens ‚Äč4th Energy and Society Conference, 2018, University of Exeter

Public disengagement from the decision-making process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure projects - ExeterEnergy 5th Making Sense of Sustainable Energy Systems Seminar, 2019, University of Exeter

Exploring public disengagement from consultation processes for major infrastructure through a Bourdieusian lens - UK Ireland Planning Research Conference, 2019, University of Liverpool

Investigating the role of symbolic violence in understanding public disengagement from planning for energy infrastructure - Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference, 2021.

Supervisory Team

Professor Patrick Devine-Wright

Dr Karen Bickerstaff