Since 2015 Stephen Quilley has worked with Dan McCarthy to develop a broad cluster of doctoral projects under the WISIR Umbrella, working with Barb Davy, Katherine Zywert (with Jennifer Lynes) and most recently Anna Beresford. In different ways these students are developing projects that share a theoretical framework that combines a complex systems approach to social and economic change, radical political economy and an emphasis on the significance of ontology and non-rational drivers of behaviour in process of cross-scale systems change. Specific foci include: neo-paganism and ritual, ecological conscience formation and environmental politics (Barb Davy); communitarian experiments in health care and post-capitalist, post-growth health/welfare systems (Zywert); peer-to-peer production and the reMaker society (Kish); and social capital formation and sustainable community in traditional music culture (Beresford).
Continuing over the last two years, students Perin Ruttonsha, Katie Kish, Barb Davy, Anna Beresford and Katherine Zywert have all been dealing with very theoretical problems which draw upon literatures far removed from the centre of gravity of an albeit interdisciplinary department. This work is highly intensive, often rewarding for both parties and absolutely critical, though it takes a great deal of time. This is a necessary transaction cost of interdisciplinarity. Katie Kish defended her dissertation in 2019. She is currently finishing a post-doc with the E4A project and she and Dr. Quilley are working on an Insight Grant application as well as a book for Routledge looking at the UN Sustainable Development Goals through the lens of ecological economics.