Mohsen Gul

Visiting Fellow

Mohsen is a doctoral researcher at the School of Geography, University of Nottingham. His current research focuses on using Foucauldian concept of multiple environmentalities for critically understanding how youth volunteering can be mainstreamed in environmental governance processes in Pakistan. He has co-founded ‘Green Box’, Pakistan's first youth-driven engagement lab nurturing sustainability leadership in Pakistan.

Mohsen has over 7 years of diverse experience in the international development sector and has undertaken several research and advocacy assignments with UNESCO, UNDP and UN Volunteers in the UK, Thailand, Kenya, Brazil and Nepal. He is currently the lead author for UN Environment's flagship report 'Global Environment Outlook (GEO) for Youth', honourary member of UNESCO advisory panel on youth and has recently been selected as regional finalist for UN Young Champion of the Earth (Asia and the Pacific) award.

Mohsen will be visiting ODID during Trinity Term 2019.

ODID Research

In my doctoral research, ‘weakened social fabric’ has emerged as a key deterrent for effective youth volunteering for the environment. It has been noted that the kind of religious violence and political non-cohesion that has prevailed for decades has created a sense of social alienation, fear and distrust amongst young people which has slowly but surely eaten away one’s willingness to fully engage with the society. This corroborates with the reluctance shown by youth participants in my research at national and sub-national levels in Pakistan to acknowledge their religiosity as a key decision factor when volunteering for the environment. On the contrary, focus on building youth environmental volunteerism infrastructure in Pakistan through religion (particularly Islam) has been identified as a key policy and programmatic priority by state and non-state actors participating in the research.

I am particularly interested in analysing my research data collected to date for identifying ‘spill-over effects’ of Islam as the dominant religion in Pakistan on environmental volunteering choices made by young people; looking critically at the relationship between Islam and environmental volunteering as not univocal or positive by default but possibly differentiated and ambiguous; and, explore Islamic discourse for identifying pathways for mainstreaming youth volunteering in environmental governance of Pakistan.

Research interests:

Environmental governance; youth engagement' youth volunteering; stakeholder engagement; participatory governance.