Nicholas Simpson

Nicholas Simpson is a postdoctoral fellow with the Global Risk Governance programme in the Art of Resilience programme, Department of Public Law.

Nick has been exploring the governance of novel Anthropocene harms through the lens of resilience. His main focus has been on how and why resilience has been employed as a means of understanding and responding to the unanticipated and severely disruptive Cape Town drought. This, and other novel worlds such as cyberspace, present known and almost certainly unforeseen challenges to the stability of societies and their securing responses to disruptive events. The Anthropocene presents unsecured environmental exposures which present new harmscapes, such as climate variability or water scarcity, which conventional approaches are ill-equipped to deal with. Likewise, the advent of ransomware attacks and data breaches present entirely new challenges to securing against such online harms within a ‘world’ which is generally poorly understood, governed or secured.

Nick aims to gain a deeper understanding of these landscape changes and explore the new normative agendas and institutional arrangements that are emerging in response to them, particularly the concept of resilience. Together with a global consortium of BRICS country researchers, Nick is also exploring how non-state actors, particularly those from the insurance sector, are perceiving and anticipating their exposure to coastal risk and what role they might play in the broader governance of Anthropocene harms.

Some examples of Nick’s recent research:

Nicholas Philip Simpson, Clifford D. Shearing & Benoit Dupont. 2019. When Anthropocene shocks contest conventional mentalities: a case study from Cape Town, Climate and Development, DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2019.1609402

Simpson, N.P. and Krönke, M. 2019. Police in Zimbabwe: Helping hand or iron fist? Afrobarometer

Mutongwizo, T., Cameron Holley, Janet Ransley, Clifford Shearing, Nicholas Simpson and Philip Stenning, in press, 2019. Resilience policing: An emerging response to shifting harm landscapes, Policing

Simpson, N.P. 2018. Accommodating landscape-scale shocks: Lessons on transition from Cape Town and Puerto Rico, Geoforum,

Simpson, N.P. and Basta, C. 2018. Sufficiently capable for effective participation in environmental impact assessment? Environmental Impact Assessment Review,

Simpson, N.P. 2018. Applying the capability approach to enhance the conceptualisation of well-being in environmental assessment. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities,

Portia Adade Williams, Olivier Crespo, Mumuni Abu and Nicholas Philip Simpson, 2018. A systematic review of how vulnerability of smallholder agricultural systems to changing climate is assessed in Africa, Environmental Research Letters,