Dr Rebecca Pearse


Beck Pearse works at the intersection of social theory and political economy. Her teaching and research focuses on inequalities and environmental policy. Beck's current projects investigate the possibilities for rapid and just energy transition, with particular focus on land and labour relations. She is a Chief Investigator on two ARC Discovery Projects: Decarbonising Electricity (Goodman et al. 2018-21) and Environmental Justice and the Making of Just Food and Energy Policy (Schlosberg, Pearse and Rickards 2020-22).

Beck previously held a teaching fellowship in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney, where she was also a Key Researcher at the Sydney Environment Institute (2017-20). In 2019, Beck led the development of the City of Sydney's Equality Indicators framework with James Hitchcock and the Sydney Policy Lab. In 2016-17, Beck was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Sociology at Australian National University, working on the ARC project Gendered Excellence in the Social Sciences investigating gender inequality and disciplinarity in the academy. Before that she worked as a Research Associate contributing to the The Coal Rush and Beyond and Global Arenas of Knowledge ARC Discovery Projects.

Beck's work is published in environmental policy and sociological journals. Her doctoral thesis is published as the monograph Pricing Carbon in Australia (Routledge/Earthscan, 2018) and documents the regulatory contradictions of Australia's short-lived emissions trading scheme. Beck has also contributed to Beyond the Coal Rush (Goodman et al 2020, CUP), a three country study of coal conflicts in Australia, India and Germany. She also worked with Raewyn Connell to revise her book Gender: In World Perspective (3rd edition, 2015, Polity), and with Stuart Rosewarne and James Goodman on a co-authored ethnography of climate movement politics (Routledge, 2014).

Research interests

  • Climate change and energy
  • Inequality
  • Social change and movements
  • Feminist theory
  • Sociology of knowledge
  • 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 2020, 'Theorising the political economy of energy transformations: Agency, structure, space, process [IN PRESS]', New Political Economy, vol. online.
  • 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, '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.
  • 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.
  • 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.