How the Water-Energy-Food ‘Nexus’ in Asia affects real lives

By Carl Middleton, Center for Social Development Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University In Asia and globally, the water-energy-food nexus has received growing attention from policy makers, researchers, and practitioners. A key premise of ‘the nexus’ is that water use is interdependent with energy and food production. Thus, from a nexus viewpoint, the relationship between…

Grub’s up: great infographic on the future of eating insects

A handy infographic (see below) by Alexandra Sexton outlines some of the case for insects as part of human and animal diets – as well as the key uncertainties and questions for the future. Advocates of more insect-eating have sold it as a more eco-friendly and low-carbon option – but questions over commercialisation, production methods…

GM report: Some nice recommendations, shame about the spin

The UK Parliamentary Select Committee on Science and Technology has today released its long-awaited report on ‘Advanced genetic techniques for crop improvement: regulation, risk and precaution’. The ESRC STEPS Centre welcomes the moves made by the Committee – as reflected in the report title – to somewhat broaden out the original narrow terms of the…

Is it time to refocus the Water-Energy-Food nexus?

The water-energy-food nexus is the ‘new kid on the block’ in development thinking since 2008, and is a key concept within the UN post-2015 development agenda. The current framing of the nexus, however, needs to refocus onto the big issues of inequality and local access rights to resources, according to a new Special Issue of…

Journal of Peasant Studies new special issue: critical perspectives on Food Sovereignty

A new special issue on ‘Critical perspectives on food sovereignty’ from the Journal of Peasant Studies has been released, with free articles available for a limited period. The guest editors are Marc Edelman, James C. Scott, Amita Baviskar, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Deniz Kandiyoti, Eric Holt-Gimenez, Tony Weis and Wendy Wolford. View/download the issue: Critical perspectives…

Join us for What Works at the Nexus?

Join us at the first Nexus Network conference: What works at the nexus? New connections in food, energy, water and environment on Thursday 27 November from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm at the Coin Street Conference Centre in London. This is an opportunity for network members to meet, hear high-profile keynote speakers, discuss nexus challenges from a variety…

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: 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…

Food Sovereignty: a Critical Dialogue

On 24 January 2014, the event ‘Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue’ will bring together sceptics and advocates of food sovereignty to discuss the future of this controversial idea in critical agrarian studies. Ian Scoones will be chairing the opening keynote session of this event, held at the International Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands….

Good & evil: two articles on closing down the debate on GM crops

Is it right to call opponents of GM crops ‘wicked’? In a recent interview, Owen Paterson denounced in starkly moralistic language people whom he sees as holding up progress on Golden Rice and other genetically modified foods. In a piece for the Guardian’s Political Science blog, Andy Stirling argues in defence of scepticism and democracy…