Photograph of Professor Mark Whitehead.Professor Mark Whitehead

BSc Geography (Aberystwyth)
PhD (Aberystwyth)


Office: K6
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622 609
Personal Web Site:


  • Managing Editor of Environmental Values
  • Reviews Editor of Area
  • Human Dimensions Research Manager (Aberystwyth) Climate Change Consortium of Wales
  • Coordinator of the Environment and Society Reseaerch Group

Teaching Areas

Modules Taught

  • Global Environmental Issues (GG12710)
  • Sustainability and Resilience (GG28910)
  • Urban Risk and Environmental Resilience (GG37520)

 Convenor of the Master’s module Environmental Policy and Sustainability


Group Affiliation

Research Interests

Mark Whitehead joined the staff of the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences in 2000 and was awarded a personal chair in 2013. His early research focused on the changing forms of urban policy under the New Labour government in the UK. His subsequent work has spanned various aspects of political and environmental studies with a particular concern for the changing nature of state power. In a recent project, which was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Mark was involved in developing the first comprehensive account of the rise of psychological forms of government in the UK state. This project resulted in the recent publication of the book Changing Behaviours: On the Rise of the Psychological State (Edward Elgar, 2013). Mark has just commenced a new research project funded by the UK government’s Economic and Social Research Council. This project is entitled Negotiating Neuroliberalism and is developing an international comparative study of the rise of psychological power within governments throughout the world. 

IGES Projects (Affiliated With)

Current PhD Students


Mark came to Aberystwyth in 1994 to study for a BSc degree in Geography.  He graduated with First Class Honours in 1997 and was awarded the James Fairgreave and Gregynog Prizes for Geography. He commenced his PhD, exploring the emergence of sustainable urban development planning in the UK, in October 1997, under the supervision of Mark Goodwin, Gordon McLeod, and Martin Jones. He was appointed a lecturer in the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences in 2000, before he successfully defended his PhD thesis in 2001.



Whitehead, M., Lilley, R., Howell, R., Jones, R., Pykett, J. 2016. (RE)Inhabiting Awareness: Geography and Mindfulness. Social and Cultural Geography 17 (4) pp. 553-573. 10.1080/14649365.2015.1089590

Lilley, R., Whitehead, M., Howell, R., Jones, R., Pykett, J. 2016. Mindfulness, Behaviour Change and Engagement in Environmental Policy. Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University Other

Lilley, R., Whitehead, M., Howell, R., Jones, R., Pykett, J. 2016. Mindfulness, Behaviour Change and Engagement in Public Policy - Evaluation Report 2. Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth Other

Pykett, J., Lilley, R., Whitehead, M., Howell, R. 2016. Mindfulness, Behaviour Change, and Decision Making: An Experimental Trial. University of Birmingham, Birmingham Other


Polzin, C., Rauschmayer, F., Lilley, R., Whitehead, M. 2015. What would 'mindful capabilities' be? A comment on Mabsout's 'mindful capability'. Ecological Economics 120 pp. 355-357. 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.10.002


Jones, M., Jones, R., Woods, M., Whitehead, M.J., Dixon, D.P., Hannah, M.G. 2014. An Introduction to Political Geography: Space, Place and Politics. 2ndth edn, Taylor & Francis

Whitehead, M. 2014. Environmental Transformations: A Geography of the Anthropocene. Taylor & Francis

Whitehead, M., Jones, R., Howell, R., Lilley, R., Pykett, J. 2014. Nudging All Over the World: Assessing the global impact of the behavioural sciences on public policy. Economic and Social Research Council Other

Pykett, J., Jones, R., Welsh, M., Whitehead, M. 2014. The art of choosing and the politics of social marketing. Policy Studies 35 (2) pp. 97-114. 10.1080/01442872.2013.875141 Other

Welsh, M., Jones, R., Pykett, J., Whitehead, M. 2014. The ‘problem gambler’ and socio-spatial vulnerability. In F. Gobet, M. Schiller (eds), Problem Gambling: Cognition, Prevention and Treatment. Palgrave Macmillan, London pp. 156-187. Other Other

Whitehead, M. 2014. Urban economic development and environmental sustainability. In R. Paddison, T. Hutton (eds), Cities and Economic Change. Sage Publications pp. 196-215.


Jones, R., Pykett, J., Whitehead, M. 2013. Behaviour Change policies in the UK: An anthropological perspective. Geoforum 48 pp. 33-41. 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.03.012

Jones, R.A., Pykett, J., Whitehead, M.J. 2013. Changing Behaviours: On the Rise of the Psychological State. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham 10.4337/9780857936882

Hoskins, G., Whitehead, M. 2013. Mining Memories: Placing the Anthropocene. Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University

Whitehead, M. 2013. Neoliberal Urban Environmentalism and the Adaptive City: Towards a Critical Urban Theory and Climate Change. Urban Studies 50 (7) pp. 1348-1367. 10.1177/0042098013480965


Mason, K., Whitehead, M.J. 2012. Between Here and There: The Politics of Urban Vulnerability. In S. Dooling, G. Simon (eds), Cities, Nature and Development: The Politics and Production of Urban Vulnerabilities. Taylor & Francis

Keil, R., Whitehead, M. 2012. Cities and the politics of sustainability. In K. Mossberger, S. Clarke, P. John (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Urban Politics. Oxford University Press

Whitehead, M., Jones, R., Pykett, J., Welsh, M. 2012. Geography, libertarian paternalism and neuro-politics in the UK. Geographical Journal 178 (4) pp. 302-307. 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00469.x

Whitehead, M. 2012. The Sustainable City an Obituary: Critical Reflections on the Future of Sustainable Urbanism. In J. Flint, M. Raco (eds), The Future of the Sustainable City: Critical Reflections. Policy Press pp. 29-46.

Mason, K., Whitehead, M. 2012. Transition Urbanism and the Contested Politics of Ethical Place Making. Antipode 44 (2) pp. 493-516. 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2010.00868.x


Jones, R.A., Pykett, J., Whitehead, M. 2011. Governing Temptation: Changing behaviour in and Age of Libertarian Paternalism. Progress in Human Geography 35 (4) pp. 483-501. 10.1177/0309132510385741 Cadair

Whitehead, M.J., Jones, R., Pykett, J. 2011. Governing irrationality, or a more than rational government? Reflections on the re-scientisation of decision-making in British Public Policy. Environment and Planning A 43 (12) pp. 2819-2837. 10.1068/a43575

Pykett, J., Jones, R.A., Whitehead, M.J., Huxley, M., Strauss, K., Gill, N., Mcgeevor, K., Thompson, L., Newman, J. 2011. Interventions in the political geography of ‘libertarian paternalism’. Political Geography 30 (6) pp. 301-310. 10.1016/j.polgeo.2011.05.003

Jones, R., Pykett, J., Whitehead, M. 2011. The Geographies of Soft Paternalism in the UK: The Rise of the Avuncular State and Changing Behaviour after Neoliberalism. Geography Compass 5 (1) pp. 50-62. 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00403.x


Jones, R., Pykett, J., Whitehead, M. 2010. Big Society's Little Nudges: The Changing Politics of Health Care in an Age of Austerity. Political Studies 1 (3) pp. 85-87. 10.1111/j.2041-9066.2010.00037.x

Whitehead, M. 2010. Hollow Sustainabilities? Perspectives on Sustainable Development in the Postsocialist World. Geography Compass 4 (11) pp. 1618–1634. 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00398.x


Jones, R., Pykett, J., Whitehead, M. 2009. Governing temptation: the emerging geographies of soft paternalism. Governing temptation: the emerging geographies of soft paternalism, Royal Geographical Society's annual conference, Manchester 2009, , 26/08/2009 - 28/08/2009.

Whitehead, M. 2009. State, Science and the Skies: Governmentalities of the British Atmosphere. RGSIBG Book Series Wiley 10.1002/9781444307870

Whitehead, M. 2009. Sustainability, Urban. In R. Kitchin, N. Thrift (eds), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier pp. 109-116.

Whitehead, M. 2009. The Politics of the Metropocene: Shades of Grey, Blue and Green. The Politics of the Metropocene: Shades of Grey, Blue and Green, Manchester, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 11/02/2009 - 11/11/2009.

Whitehead, M., 2009. The Wood for the Trees: Ordinary Environmental Injustice and the Everyday Right to Urban Nature. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33 (3) 5 pp. 662-681. 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2009.00862.x


Whitehead, M.J. 2008. Charles David Keeling. In S. Philander (ed), The Encyclopedia of Climate Change and Global Warming. Sage Publications

Whitehead, M.J. 2008. Cold Monsters and Ecological Leviathan: on the relationships between states and the environment. Geography Compass 2 (2) pp. 414-432. 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2007.00088.x

Whitehead, M.J. 2008. Domesticating technological myth: gender, exhibition spaces and the clean air movement in the UK. Social and Cultural Geography 9 (6) pp. 635-651. 10.1080/14649360802292454

Dixon, D.P., Whitehead, M. 2008. Technological trajectories: old and new dialogues in geography and technology studies. Social and Cultural Geography 9 (6) pp. 601-611. 10.1080/14649360802320560 Cadair


Whitehead, M. 2007. The architecture of partnerships: urban communities in the shadow of hierarchy. Policy and Politics 35 (1) pp. 3-23. 10.1332/030557307779657685 Cadair

Whitehead, M., Jones, R.A., Jones, M.R. 2007. The nature of the state: excavating the political ecologies of the modern state. Oxford University Press


Whitehead, M. 2006. A History of Spaces: Cartographic Reason, Mapping and the Geo-Coded World - by John Pickles. Area 38 (3) pp. 342-343. 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2006.688_1.x Cadair

Jones, R.A., Jones, M.R., Whitehead, M. 2006. Spatializing the Ecological Leviathan: Territorial Strategies and the Production of Regional Natures. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 88 (1) pp. 49-65. 10.1111/j.0435-3684.2006.00205.x Cadair Other


Whitehead, M. 2005. Between the marvellous and the mundane: everyday life in the socialist city and the politics of the environment. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 23 (2) pp. 273-294. 10.1068/d372t Cadair

Whitehead, M., Bullen, A. 2005. Negotiating the Networks of Space, Time and Substance: A Geographical Perspective on the Sustainable Citizen. Citizenship Studies 9 (5) 10.1080/13621020500301270 Cadair Other


Whitehead, M. 2003. (Re)Analysing the Sustainable City: Nature, Urbanisation and the Regulation of Socio-environmental Relations in the UK. Urban Studies 40 (7) pp. 1183-1206. 10.1080/0042098032000084550 Cadair

Whitehead, M. 2003. Love thy neighbourhood - rethinking the politics of scale and Walsall's struggle for neighbourhood democracy. Environment and Planning A 35 (2) pp. 277-300. 10.1068/a35127 Cadair Other

Whitehead, M. 2003. ‘In the shadow of hierarchy’: meta-governance, policy reform and urban regeneration in the West Midlands. Area 35 (1) pp. 6-14. 10.1111/1475-4762.00105 Cadair Other