Ghana,’Brazil of Africa’: Keeping lights on for the World Cup

By Sandra Pointel in Accra Over recent years, concerns to “keep the lights on” have featured high on energy policy agendas and in media headlines, especially in the developed world. Competing concerns to ensure energy security – including geopolitical turbulence associated with oil and gas supply, potential terrorist attacks and attempts to mitigate climate change and transition…

The nexus – politics, practice and disciplinary dilemmas

STEPS researchers have written a series of blogposts for the Guardian and the Nexus Platform website addressing the challenges of the water-food-energy-environment ‘nexus’. Andy Stirling addresses the challenges of working across disciplines, Jeremy Allouche looks at nexus politics while James Wilsdon and Rose Cairns discuss joining research, policy and practice. The Guardian Nexus blogpost series launches the Nexus Network,…

GM crops: what people in the global South really think

Durham University has just published an important new research report on the governance of transgenic crops in three of the world’s ‘rising powers’ – Brazil, Mexico and India – looking at how different groups in those countries have reacted to GM crops. The document, A new approach to governing GM crops? Global lessons from the…

Andy Stirling at events on well-being and research methods

STEPS director Andy Stirling was a speaker at “Let’s Talk Happiness – beyond GDP”, a conference organised by the Various Interests Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) last week. The event assessed the state of affairs, democratic challenges and political commitment to developing indicators on well-being and social progress in the context…

Sustainable intensification: a new buzzword to feed the world?

The term ‘sustainable intensification’ (SI) has entered academic and policy discourse in recent years, including in debates about what to do about agriculture in Zimbabwe. I have been intrigued for some while to find out what it actually means. Is this yet another contradictory hyphenation of two words for political ends, or does it have…

GM Crops: Continuing controversy

By Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre Director In 2002, the international press was full of headlines such as ‘Starving Zimbabwe Shuns GM Maize’. This was repeated again in 2010. The context was the refusal to import whole-grain GM maize from South Africa, as regulatory approval had not been granted, and there were fears that the food…

The Badaun murder: violence, vulnerability and safer sanitation

by Shilpi Srivastava, DPhil Student, Institute of Development Studies The heinous rape and murder of two teenaged girls in the Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh (India) has provoked a mix of outrage and debates across the globe. Among them is the critical issue of women’s vulnerability and safety. In particular, as the girls were heading…

‘Resilience’ and the peri-urban: limitations & potential

A new IDS Briefing looks at the potentials and pitfalls of the use of the ‘resilience agenda’ in talking about the role of the peri-urban space in urban expansion. One of the authors is STEPS Centre member Lyla Mehta.

‘Negotiating Environmental Change’ now available as an e-book

The 2003 book Negotiating Environmental Change: New Perspectives on Social Science, edited by STEPS director Ian Scoones, Melissa Leach (former director) and Frans Berkhout (Interim Director of Future Earth), has been released as an e-book, with chapters available in digital form from Edward Elgar Publishing. The book includes an opening chapter by the editors, as…

STEPS Summer School 2014 – Elsie Khakasa’s review

Guest post by Elsie Khakasa, STEPS Summer School 2014 participant. This post is reposted from Elsie’s blog with kind permission. Two weeks of a thought provoking and intense summer school have left me excited, and intellectually invigorated. I was fortunate to take part in this year’s STEPS Centre Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability, held from…