Research Summary

I am a political and environmental geographer interested in:

  • Post-foundational political theory and its applications within Geography
  • Debates surrounding the post-political, de-politicisation and re-politicisation
  • Aesthetics
  • Cultures of environmental expertise
  • Accounting, metrics and standardisation
  • The relation between carbon accounting and politics
  • Governance
  • Smart, sustainable and zero-carbon cities
  • Disciplinary debates

Much of my recent work has focused on the (post)politics of carbon accounting. This research explores the politics of territorial carbon accountability and challenges the idea that standard-setters and expert accountants are neutral. My research has asked what expert accounting and standardisation have meant for politics and considered what it might mean to repoliticise accounting.

Conceptually, post-foundational political theories have animated much of my research. I am particularly interested in the work of Jacques Rancière and the roles that post-foundational political theories might play in Geography.

I am currently leading an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account: Covid19 Rapid Response Fund project entitled Decarbonising Consumption in Manchester’s COVID-19 Recovery which aims to ensure that existing expertise on reducing consumption-related carbon emissions can be embedded in to Manchester’s COVID-19 recovery over the short, medium and long-term.

I serve as a member of The Manchester Zero Carbon Advisory Group, working to ensure that Manchester's carbon reduction commitments are in line with the Paris Agreement and that the city has in place a mechanism for monitoring its progress. Alongside colleagues in the aviation sub-group, I have worked to establish reporting for aviation emissions at a city-level and I am currently leading the sub-group on consumption-based / indirect emissions.

I was also previously a member of the Manchester CO2 monitoring group, which sought to understand why emissions are changing and considering where action should be targeted.

My work has featured in non-academic outlets such as City Metric (New Statestman)The ConversationPolicy@Manchester and Die Welt amongst other places.

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Blakey, J., Kapsali, M., Guy, N., Landau-Donnelly, F., Pohl, L., Roskamm, N., & Karaliotas, L. (2023). Book review symposium: [Un]Grounding: Post- Foundational Geographies. Bielefeld: transcript. Urban Studies. Online first.

Blakey, J. 2023. Scale. In: P. Cloke, K. Dombroski, M. Goodwin, J. Qian and A. Williams (eds). Introducing Human Geographies. 4th edition. London: Routledge.

Barron, A. and Blakey, J. 2023. Representation/al. In: L. Lees and D. Demeritt. (eds.). Concise Encyclopedia of Human Geography.London: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Blakey, J.; Machen, R.; Ruez, D.; Medina García, P. 2022. Intervention: Engaging post-foundational political theory requires an ‘enmeshed’ approach. Political Geography. Online first.

Blakey, J. 2021. Accounting for Elephants: The (Post)Politics of Carbon Omissions, Geoforum, 121, 1-11.

Blakey, J. 2021. The Politics of Scale Through Rancière, Progress in Human Geography, 45(4), 623-640.

Blog Posts

Broderick, J., Paterson, M. and Blakey, J. 2020. Rethinking offsetting for a Net Zero world. On Net Zero. Available from:

Hudson, M. and Blakey, J. 2018. Zero-carbon UK? Let’s Make Zero Mean Something. Policy@Manchester. Available from:

Blakey, J. and MacGregor, S. 2018. Can a City Ever be Truly Carbon Neutral? The Conversation. Available from:

2017 Re-making Greater Manchester Sustainably. Policy@Manchester. Available from:

2017 Turning Climate Governance Upside-Down. Sustainable Consumption Institute. Available from:

2016 Could Smart Cities be Smarter About Inequality? Policy@Manchester. Available from: