Dr Peter Ferguson



Senior Lecturer, Politics and Policy Studies


Faculty of Arts and Education


SHSS Arts & Education


Melbourne Burwood Campus



Peter Ferguson has been a lecturer in Politics and Policy Studies (PPS) at Deakin University since 2015, and is currently the PPS Discipline Convenor. Previously, he was a lecturer in environmental politics at the University of Melbourne, from where he obtained his PhD in political science in 2014. Peter also holds a Bachelor of Planning and Design (Architecture), a Graduate Certificate in Arts (Political Science) and a Master of International Politics, all from the University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Certificate of Higher Education and Learning from Deakin University.

Read more on Peter's profile

Research interests

Peter is a discourse analyst and critical theorist, whose research focusses on the political barriers to moving toward a socially just and ecologically sustainable states system and global economy.

This was the focus of his 2018 book Post-growth Politics: A Critical Theoretical and Policy Framework for Decarbonisation (Springer, London), which uses a critical political economy approach to develop an historically and politically grounded set of strategies for states to move toward a post-growth, decarbonised global economy. In Post-growth Politics, Peter argues that significant decarbonisation can only be achieved if conventional growth-based economies are replaced by an alternative post-growth economy, in which sustainable biophysical thresholds are not breached, the social and ecological costs of economic activity do not exceed its benefits, and the commitment of governments to economic growth is replaced by objectives such as societal well-being and environmental protection. However, rather than proposing an idealised and politically naïve model of socioecological transformation, the proposed post-growth policy framework is highly cognisant of the geopolitical and international economic pressures facing states and demonstrates how these can be managed in the transition toward a post-growth economy.

Peter has also published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals on environmental politics, ecological security and green political economy. His most recent article, entitled ‘Discourses of resilience in the climate security debate,’ was in published in 2019 in Global Environmental Politics (vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 104-126), and seeks to make sense of the multifarious ways the language of resilience is deployed in the climate change debate to articulate notions of security, insecurity, vulnerability, responsibility and ultimately power.
In 2015, Peter was a co-author of a report from the Centre for Policy Development (The Longest Conflict: Australia's Climate Security Challenge), which outlined the serious risks climate change poses to Australia’s national security and the human security of vulnerable people in our region.

Teaching interests

Peter teaches introductory politics and environmental politics at the undergraduate level, and research methods at the honours level. He is interested in supervising students at the honours, masters and/or doctoral level in any area of environmental and climate change politics and policy and some areas of political and international relations theory.

Units taught

AIP107 Introduction to Politics

AIP245 Environmental Politics

AIX493 Honours Research Design


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Discourses of resilience in the climate security debate

Peter Ferguson

(2019), Vol. 19, pp. 104-126, Global environmental politics, Cambridge, Ma., C1

journal article

Post-growth politics: a critical theoretical and policy framework for decarbonisation

P Ferguson

(2018), Cham, Switzerland, A1


Liberalism and economic growth: a theoretical exploration

P Ferguson

(2016), Vol. 25, pp. 593-619, Environmental values, Winwick, Eng., C1

journal article

Productivity growth as a barrier to a sustainability transition

P Ferguson

(2016), Vol. 20, pp. 86-88, Environmental innovation and societal transitions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

The politics of productivity growth in Australia

P Ferguson

(2016), Vol. 51, pp. 17-33, Australian journal of political science, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

The green economy agenda: business as usual or transformational discourse?

P Ferguson

(2015), Vol. 24, pp. 17-37, Environmental politics, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article

The longest conflict : Australia's climate security challenge

R Sturrock, P Ferguson

(2015), Sydney, N.SW., A6-1

research report/technical paper

Prospects for a post-growth liberal society

P Ferguson

(2014), pp. 1-23, Proceedings of the 2014 Australian Political Studies Association Conference, University of Sydney, E1-1


Post-growth policy instruments

P Ferguson

(2013), Vol. 7, pp. 405-421, International journal of green economics, Olney, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Anti-environmentalism and the Australian culture war

P Ferguson

(2009), Vol. 33, pp. 289-304, Journal of Australian studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Transitioning to Life After Parliament.

Prof Matthew Clarke, Dr Amy Nethery, Dr Zim Nwokora, Dr Peter Ferguson

  • 2020: $20,000


No completed student supervisions to report