Dr Steve Connelly

Senior Lecturer

Room number: D11f
Telephone (internal): 26916
Telephone (UK): 0114 222 6916
Telephone (International): +44 114 222 6916


I graduated from Oxford with a BA in Physics & Philosophy and then took up a career in overseas development. I was awarded an MSc in Forestry and its Relation to Land Use by the Oxford Forestry Institute in 1988. Having worked in India, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Eritrea I returned to the UK with a commitment to public participation in governance and sustainable development, and an intellectual interest in why these desirable goals are often not achieved. This led to a PhD, at Sheffield’s Department of Urban Studies & Planning, on the impact of local authority policy processes on public involvement in Local Agenda 21. I was appointed as Lecturer in the Department in 2002 and Senior Lecturer in 2011. My principal administrative role in the department is as the Director of our Research School.

I'm also a member of the Nuclear Consulting Group, a group of leading academics and experts in a diverse range of social science and technical fields related to nuclear energy. The Group exists to promote open dialogue and critical questioning of taken for granted policy assumptions. I have also been very active for several years in a campaign through which we created a social enterprise which owns and manages Portland Works, a unique part of Sheffield's industrial heritage.



My current teaching is on sustainable development as a concept, planning and informality in the Global South, and principles of social science research for the Faculty’s doctoral students. Throughout I draw directly on my current and recent research, and also on principles of student-centred teaching developed within the university and in previous work in community adult education.

I currently teach on the following modules:

  • TRP333, Environmental Policy and Planning
  • TRP409/617, Sustainable Development: A Critical Perspective
  • TRP4007/6014, Cities of the South: Planning for Informality

PhD Supervision

I supervise a group of PhD students who share overlapping interests and welcome applications for PhD study from people interested in joining this exciting and innovative group.

I currently provide primary supervision to the following students:

  • Salman Aldalbahi, Institutional factors in delivering affordable housing in Saudi Arabia
  • Sarah Linn, Syrian refugees in Middle Eastern cities
  • Caroline McCalman, Nuclear energy and the implications for environmentalism
  • Radmila Schelle, A discursive analysis of indigenous land rights in Brazil
  • Emma Stevens, Collective action and discourse coalitions of energy and climate change
  • Karwan Taha, The significance of sustainability in future planning in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
  • Chao Wang, The involvement of Chinese civil society in environmental planning

Journal Articles


Other publications

View full list of publications