SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

photo of Markku Lehtonen

Dr Markku Lehtonen

Post:Associate Faculty (SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit)
Personal homepage:187591
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Markku got his MSc in environmental protection at the University of Helsinki in 1994 and a PhD in environmental economics (institutional/ecological economics) at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, in 2005. In his PhD thesis, Markku analysed the impact of environmental policy evaluation, with the OECD Environmental Performance Review programme as a case study. While carrying out his doctoral research, he also worked as a consultant, notably for the OECD Environment Directorate. Between 1995 and 2000 he worked for the Finnish Ministry of the Environment with climate negotiations and evaluation of environmental policies as his main areas of responsibility. In 1995, working as an intern at the UNEP Environment and Trade Unit, he carried out a study of the criteria used in eco-labelling schemes. Since 2005 he has been Research Fellow at SPRU.


Markku joined the Sussex Energy Group in October 2005. His current research projects analyse decision-making and public controversies in the areas of nuclear power and radioactive waste management in Finland, France and the UK, the role of indicators in policymaking, environmental policy evaluation, and debates and technological innovation in the area of biofuels. He has recently finished research projects on energy use and sustainability in the UK road freight transport, and on the role of control technologies in facilitating broader adoption of distributed electricity generation in the UK and Denmark. In 2008-2011, Markku was involved in an EU FP7 funded project Policy Influence of Indicators (POINT), which analysed the influence of sustainability and environmental indicators on policy. In 2011-2014, he worked on the EU FP7 project Assessment of Policy Interrelationships and Impacts on Sustainability in Europe (APRAISE). Markku's further research interests relate to the role of expert knowledge in policymaking, the role of international organisations in environmental policy, evaluation research, environmental policy integration, ecological economics, and transitions to sustainable energy systems. From October 2009 until September 2010 Markku worked as a visiting research scholar, with a scholarship from the Paris city council, at the Groupe de Sociologie Pragmatique et Réflexive (GSPR) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). Between 2012 and 2014, he conducted research on socio-economic evaluation of geological disposal of radioactive waste in France, at the Institute for Research and Innovation in Society (Ifris), Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée. From November 2014 until June 2015, Markku does again research at GSPR on the role of economic argumentation in policies and debates on nuclear power and in energy scenarios in Finland, France, and the UK.