Trump and Brexit: what’s the alternative?

Sometimes when you suffer trauma, you have to look elsewhere to seek out radically new ways of framing things in order to recover. This year we’ve suffered two major traumas – Brexit and the US elections. Who would have believed our world would have been radically reshaped in the space of a few short months?…

Science, Brexit and ‘post-truth’ politics

STEPS co-director Andy Stirling is one of six researchers writing in the Guardian on ‘science after Brexit’. A longer version of his part of the Guardian article is below. The current woes of British democracy are grim and momentous. This is no time for gratuitous piggy-backing of other issues. The early indications of ‘Brexit’ specifically…

Call for papers: 2016 Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS) colloquium

A call for papers has been issued for the international colloquium on Global governance/politics, climate justice & agrarian/social justice: linkages and challenges on 4-5 February 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands. Among the speakers will be STEPS Centre director Ian Scoones. The colloquium is organised by the Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS), a community of…

Why we should argue about agronomy

“The real problem is that too many people are playing politics with agriculture, and poor people are suffering – agronomists should stick to the facts!” Organic agriculture, agroecology, Conservation Agriculture, the System of Rice Intensification, Holistic Management (Savory System), integrated pest management, Green Revolution style intensification, genetically modified crops – what do all of these…

Join us for Resource Politics 2015

The ESRC STEPS Centre’s annual conference, Resource Politics: transforming pathways to sustainability will be held at the Institute of Development Studies on 7-9 September 2015. Registration is now closed. Among the plenary speakers are: Rohan D’Souza, Betsy Hartmann, Melissa Leach, Johan Rockström and Michael Watts with those among the panel speakers including Tor Benjaminsen, Esteve…

Green Transformations: Whose Politics and which Green?

By Professor Peter Newell, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex Talk of transformation is back in vogue. This time the call is for a green transformation. Recent and recurrent financial and ecological crises have drawn attention to the ecological, social and economic sustainability of the global economy. This has prompted calls for a new…

Warning tape and turning points: how we talk about planetary boundaries

Last week, updated research on ‘planetary boundaries’ was published, with new analysis of what humanity is doing to various natural processes and the risks we face as a species. Reading the paper, I was struck by the prominence, alongside the various statistics and methodology, of something quite different: the authors spend some effort to define…

Soil and politics

What do you think of when you think about soil? There are radically different ways to answer the question. For some scientists, it’s a subject of investigation – what do soils need to grow which types of plants the best? How can they be managed, improved or damaged? For archaeologists or paleontologists, digging into the…

Living on the edge: Rethinking aid amidst complexity

By Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre director These days, a remarkably short and convenient flight takes one from Sussex UK –  where among other STEPS Centre activities this week I’ve been contributing to the post-2015 global sustainable development goals process and the international Future Earth Science Committee  – and Sierra Leone. Here, I’m on my way…

Engaging science and politics in a Post-2015 framework

A new STEPS Centre/IDS policy briefing examines how science and politics must be engaged in a post-2015 framework in order to tackle the interlinked environmental and social justice challenges which the world faces. It highlights the need for technical and social innovation alongside a new politics of innovation guided by the concepts of social and planetary boundaries and…