Complex combinations: climate, poverty and health in the Sundarbans

by Upasona Ghosh, Senior Research Officer at the Indian Institute of Health Management Research, and researcher on the STEPS Centre’s project on Uncertainty from below. My first trip to Sundarbans was as a tourist. I was left mesmerized by the beauty of the natural mangrove trees and crisscrossing creeks. I found it difficult to imagine…

Talking Zimbabwe & Land Reform at ASAUK14 this Wednesday

New research from Zimbabwe will be shared at a double panel session at the UK African Studies Association conference this week. This year’s event is at the University of Sussex, and our session is on Wednesday 10 September from 9 till 10.30 and 11 to 12.30. The session has been organised by Gareth James of…

Why are informal water services overlooked in post-conflict state building?

by Jeremy Allouche & Maria Cooper Resource politics is coming back to the forefront of academic and policy debates around peacebuilding. Environmental peace and state building agendas are dominated by questions concerning informality and hybridity in resources. What kind of role do service providers play in peacebuilding and state building and what can we learn…

‘Innovation histories’: capturing legacy & learning from long-term programmes

By Annie Wilkinson, post doctorate researcher, Institute of Development Studies (This post is part of a series of reflections emerging from a workshop on complex adaptive systems research methods held in Baltimore in June 2014.) At the recent workshop on methods for complex adaptive systems (CAS) research in Baltimore, jointly organised by the STEPS Centre and Future Health Systems (FHS),…

New methods needed: How can complexity science help us to understand pluralistic health systems?

This is the first blogpost in a series of reflections emerging from a workshop on complex adaptive systems research methods held in Baltimore in June 2014. It was first published on the Future Health Systems website. Until recently, the dominant view of a health system was as a combination of building blocks — such as human…

Article roundup: STEPS Latin America monthly debates

As part of the build up to the launch of the STEPS Centre’s Latin American hub in 2015, we have started a series of monthly debates in Buenos Aires on sustainability and development. The debates are an important first step in identifying and discussing themes that the new Centre will explore, and in creating a…

GM Nation or GM Planet? How to involve citizens in decisions about transgenic crops

The UK’s GM Nation? public debate – conducted over a decade ago, tried to include the voices of citizens in decision-making over transgenic crops. With recent decisions by China and India possibly signalling a shift of opinion against GM in these ‘rising powers’, what kinds of institutions are required to enable democratic governance of these…

GM in China: ‘Paranoia’ and public opinion

Biosafety certificates permitting Chinese researchers to grow genetically modified rice and corn expired last week, with little indication that the Ministry of Agriculture will renew them. The certificates, issued in 2009, concerned two types of Bt rice, which express a gene of the bacillus thuringiensis bacterium, conferring pest resistance, and phytase maize, which when used…

A day with Argentina’s ‘street engineers’

They take pride in what they do at the Reciclando Sueños co-operative. Situated in the La Matanza district of greater Buenos Aires, the workers describe themselves as cartoneros profesionales (professional recyclers) and ingenieros callejeros (street engineers). Whilst some in the city see waste picking as a lowly activity, these workers consider themselves to be providing…

Why STEPS is creating a new research hub in Latin America

I am in Buenos Aires for the ESOCITE/4S conference, which is bringing together Latin American scholars in Science & Technology Studies and visitors from the USA, Europe and other regions of the world. It is an exciting moment to convene in Argentina. The government is mired in controversy over payment of debts, vulture funds, nationalisations,…