Dr. Larry Reynolds

Researcher, Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change

School of Social Work, Care and Community


Subject Areas: Geography and Environment, Sociology, Energy and Sustainability

Dr. Larry Reynolds is a sociologist of science, technology and the environmental crisis. Over the past fifteen years he has conducted research on energy systems, agro-food systems and the genomic or ‘biotech revolution’.  His current research interest includes new forms of public ownership, infrastructure and city sustainability transitions. Prior to his arrival at UCLan, Dr. Reynolds has held research fellowships at the Paris Institute of Advanced Studies, the Kennedy Institute at the Freie Universität Berlin and Lancaster University. 

Dr. Reynolds is a member of the European Sociological Association.

Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change website

Twitter: @UCLanICSC

Full Profile

Dr. Larry Reynolds is part of the core research team at UCLan’s flagship new Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change. His work here involves investigating how new transdisciplinary research collaborations can emerge at UCLan, that bridge the arts, social and natural sciences and humanities – and work with wider society to facilitate transformative change. 

Dr Reynolds current research project investigates the new ‘municipal energy transition’. This project explores how cities are attempting to facilitate the transition to sustainability by experimenting with new forms of public ownership, technology and democratic participation.

This research received funding from EDF R&D for a  16 month residential fellowship at the Paris Institute of Advanced Studies, where Dr. Reynolds conducted a programme of investigation into  British and German cases of energy re-municipalisation. His work examines the often complex and contradictory interface between market liberalisation, emerging technologies of distributed generation and political imaginaries of decentralised community, citizen and civic control. Now at Preston, this work is taking a new direction in relation to the ‘Preston Model’ and the ‘New Municipalism’.

While Dr. Reynolds disciplinary background and training is in the sociological studies of science and technology (or ‘STS’) his research also engages with themes from political economy, geography / urban studies, and social and political theory.

In 2013, Dr. Reynolds was awarded a 22 month Einstein foundation fellowship to conduct research at the  Freie Universität Berlin. This involved work on the ‘Rethinking Crisis’ project with the distinguished critical theorist and feminist philosopher, Professor Nancy Fraser, of the New School, New York.

Between 2004 and 2012, Dr. Reynolds was a Research Associate, then a Senior Research Associate and Cesagen Fellow at Lancaster University. Here he worked in the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change and the ESRC Centre for the Study of Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen). In these roles Dr. Reynolds investigated  economic and social aspects of the biotechnology and genomic innovation. As Cesagen Fellow, Dr. Reynolds co-convened the ESRC Cesagen research theme on ‘bio-knowledge economies, publics and sustainable innovation’. Other projects included the study of public participation in the European genetically modified crops controversy for the EU FP7 Paganini Project. 

Dr. Reynolds gained his PhD from the University of Essex (Sociology) for his thesis on the innovation, regulation and social contestation of agricultural biotechnology.


  • PhD – University of Essex (Sociology).
  • MA (Distinction) – Lancaster University (Sociology of Science and Technology).
  • BA Hons (First Class) – University of Central Lancashire (Politics with History).


Reynolds , L (2019). ‘Émergence du secteur de l’énergie municipale au Royaume-Uni: modèles et enjeux’ in Douzou, Guyon & Luck ‘Les territoires de la transition énergétique’, Lavoisier, Paris ISBN : 978-2-7430-2443-7

Reynolds, L and Szerszynski, B (2016) ‘Neoliberismo e tecnologia: innovazione permanente o crisi permanente?’ Countdown. Studi sulla crisi, Volume 2 Colibrì Edizioni ISBN-13: 978-8897206293

Reynolds, L and Szerszynski B (2014) ‘The Post-Political and the End of Nature: The Case of Agricultural Biotechnology’ in Swyngedouw, E. & Wilson J. (eds.) The Post-Political and its Discontents: Spaces of Depoliticization, Spectres of Radical Politics, Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978 0 7486 8297 3

Reynolds, L (2013) ‘The Contested Publics of the UK GM Controversy: A Tale of Entanglement and Purification’, Science as Culture, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp 452 – 475. https://doi.org/10.1080/14636778.2013.764070


Sustainable energy transitions and the new municipalism (ICSC).


Reynolds, L. ‘Taking Back Control'? Energy Democracy, Municipalism And The Crisis Of Liberal markets’ European Sociological Association Annual Conference. 20-23 August 2019 Manchester

Reynolds, L. ‘Technology, Crisis and Transition - the long duration of the ecological regime of petro-Fordism’  13th Annual Historical Materialism Conference Limits, Barriers and Borders, 10-13 November 2016, SOAS, London.

Reynolds, L. ‘Municipal Energy Transition in the UK – investigating new forms of public ownership at the intersections of market, state and civil society’. Energy Transitions in Europe. International conference, May 2016, Paris.

Reynolds, L ‘Energy Municipalism in the UK and Germany’. Invited presentation. European Institute for Energy Research. Jan 2016 Karlsruhe. Germany.

Reynolds, L ‘Scales of Justice: Democracy and Distributed Energy’. Justice and Climate Transitions, Conference. Sept 2015. Paris.

Reynolds, L ‘Cities and citizens – distributed energy and democracy in the UK’. European Sociological Association. Aug 2015. Prague.

Reynolds, L ‘Actor Network theory, emergent systems and the crisis of critique. Prague Conference on the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, July 2014. Prague. 

Reynolds, L ‘Transition in crisis? Multi-level perspective theory and cultural political economy‘ Energy and Society’ Conference June 2014 Krakow, Poland