Deb Cleland

Microfoundations of Democratic Governance (DemGov)
Contact details
P: +61 (0)2 6125 0119
Room: 2.03
Building: Coombs Extension, #8

Deb Cleland is a Post-Doctoral Fellow working with Valerie Braithwaite on the project Regulation and Social Capital. Valerie and Deb are looking at how individuals and institutions can build social capital to improve regulation, quality of life and citizen engagement in our democracy.

Combining her background in human ecology and interest in creative research approaches, Deb is working out how to create playful pathways to participation (as well as how to best incorporate dreadful alliteration into website biographies). This interest came out of her work using computer and board games for science communication and to encourage the sustainable management of small-scale fisheries in the Philippines.

She blogs on occasion at and tweets from @debisda.

Highlight publications

Cleland, Deborah (2017) [Fishing for a career: alternative livelihoods and the hardheaded art of academic failure] (, Journal of Working Class Studies 2(2): 148-160 (special edition on Academic Poverty)

Cleland, Deborah (2017) A playful shift: field-based experimental games offer insight into capacity reduction in small-scale fisheries, Ocean and Coastal Management, 144: 129-137

Cleland, Deborah (2017) Viable metaphors: the art of participatory modelling for communicating sustainability science. Knowledge Management for Development Journal 13(1): 39-55

Cleland, Deborah and Raissa O’Caya San Jose (2018) Rehearsing inclusive participation through fishery stakeholder workshops in the Philippines, Conservation and Society, 16(3) 351-362,

Research interests

Research and institutional ethics

Democracy and inclusion

Qualitative, creative, participatory and interdisciplinary research methodology

Sustainability and environmental governance

Environmental justice

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet