City street

How understanding politics and science can help create resilient cities

A new article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) explores how urban resilience can be strengthened by considering social and political norms, values and behaviours alongside engineering and environmental science approaches. The article, Urban resilience efforts must consider social and political forces, is written by colleagues at Arizona State University and UNAM…

Beyond two-dimensional perspectives: Sustainable energy access as adaptation and mitigation?

Earlier this year, the Institute of Development Studies convened a one day meeting of scholars to discuss the emerging field of the politics of climate change adaptation. I study sustainable energy access, which doesn’t conventionally get counted as adaptation, so I wondered to what extent the politics of adaptation extends to the framing of sustainable…

How are the LDCs defining a new sustainable development agenda?

In June 2016, the Least Developed Countries Independent Expert Group, the International Institute for Environment and Development and the STEPS Centre hosted a dialogue for Least Developed Country (LDC) experts to discuss how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could help to define a new agenda for development. Our colleagues at IIED interviewed participants at the meeting…

Nepal: resilience, disasters and development

The doyen among Nepal’s ethnographers, the Janku-blessed Bihari Krishna Shrestha had a valid point. Since his phone had gone dead after the Big Earthquake of 25th April, I had gone to his house in Chakupat to find out if he was OK. Our working together goes back to the Marich Man Singh-constituted “Pokhrel Commission” in…

‘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.

Learning from Great Transformations Past and Present

Reflecting on Karl Polanyi at the Resilience 2014 Conference By John Thompson, STEPS Centre Food and Agriculture Convenor In June 2013, I served on the Scientific Steering Committee of the international conference on Transformation in a Changing Climate, which was held at the University of Oslo. One of my duties for that event was to…

Resilience 2014: Limits revisited? Planetary boundaries, justice and power

By Melissa Leach, IDS Director In 1972 Meadows et al’s Limits to Growth made scientific and policy waves, as its ‘World3’ model predicted the end of growth and prosperity as rising, consuming populations ran up against resource limits. In critique, SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research) at the University of Sussex offered alternative models predicting…

Resilience 2014: Planetary boundaries, politics and pathways

How can we build development pathways that enhance sustainability and resilience, integrating ecological integrity, social equality, human rights, well-being and security? That was the tough question at the centre of Professor Melissa Leach’s presentation at the Resilience 2014 conference in Montpellier, France, this morning. Prof. Leach, former STEPS Centre Director and new IDS Director, opened the second day of the conference in…

STEVE WADDELL ON DYNAMIC SUSTAINABILITIES

Steve Waddell, founding Executive Director of Global Action Network Net (GAN-Net) and Leadership for Change (among his many other activities) has written on his blog about the STEPS Centre’s recent flagship book, Dynamic Sustainabilities; Technology, Environment, Social Justice. His piece, entitled Sustainability Networks for Stability, Durability, Resilience and Robustness, takes a critical look at the…

VIDEO: MELISSA LEACH AT NESS 2011

Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre Director, spoke at NESS 2011 (The 10th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference) in Stockholm last week. Her talk (56 minutes), “Pathways to sustainability? Environmental social science and justice in a complex, dynamic age” explains the STEPS Centre’s work in the context of the rapidly changing, complex world we live in. Video…