Dialogues along Plural Pathways: STEPS researchers and Summer School participants in conversation

Following the STEPS Summer School in May 2018, this blog post is a conversation convened by three participants, Nimisha Agarwal, Ankita Rastogi and Jessica Cockburn. It includes introductions to the STEPS Centre’s ideas on six topics by STEPS researchers, and responses to each by different participants at the Summer School, drawing on their own knowledge…

Should we blame livestock for climate change?

Livestock are essential to rural economies and livelihoods across the world. But are these animals contributing to planetary destruction through greenhouse gas emissions? Estimates suggest that 14.5% of all anthropogenic GHG emissions are from livestock, and nearly all of this is from grazing ruminants. But what to do about it? This is a big debate,…

rural scene in Tamil Nadu

Uncovering Transgressive Solidarities

By Divya Sharma, Relational Pathways project In the Relational Pathways project, we are trying to understand the pathways in and out of poverty for farmers in India and Kenya. ‘Green Revolutions’ are a prominent way of discussing how farmers can benefit from technology. In Tamil Nadu, India, we have been using a technique called ‘life…

Sheep in a field in Wales, Photo: Andrew Hill

Wilderness for whom? Negotiating the role of livestock in landscapes

Livestock keeping is seen by some as a scourge on ‘natural’ landscapes, creating devastation through grazing and browsing. Reversion to some form of idealised ‘wilderness’ is seen as the solution, with value created through improved aesthetics, tourism and enhanced ecosystem services.This has been a focus by the ‘re-wilding’ debate. This takes on many forms, but…

Herders and their livestock. Photo: Matteo Caravani

The vegan craze: what does it mean for pastoralists?

by Ian Scoones There’s a vegan craze in full swing in Brighton in the UK – and it seems more broadly. There was a vegan festival near my house the other weekend, and vegan graffiti (in washable chalk, I hasten to add) appears frequently in our local park. My daughter became a vegan for a…

Food

Narratives of scarcity and the global land rush

by Ian Scoones Narratives of scarcity dominate policy discourses about resources, including land. This was certainly the case during the peak of the global land rush, as we show in a paper recently published online in Geoforum (open access, which is part of a forthcoming special issue on the politics of scarcity) The paper is written with Rebecca…

BioLeft: experimenting with open source seed innovation in Argentina

by Patrick van Zwanenberg and Anabel Marin (Conicet / Cenit / UNSAM) It is sometimes said that plant breeders breed their aspirations about how agricultural production systems ought to function directly into their seed varieties. Over the last three decades there has been a collapse in the diversity of seed breeders (and with it the…

Contextualising life histories in Tamil Nadu

by Divya Sharma and V. Gajendra, Relational Pathways project In the Relational Pathways project we are trying to understand the pathways in and out of poverty for farmers in India and Kenya. ‘Green Revolutions’ are a prominent way of discussing how farmers can benefit from technology. In Tamil Nadu, India, we have been using a…

Creating a map with drawings and colourful objects

Mapping a transforming world in the Sierra Huichol, Mexico

by Shiara González, Lakshmi Charli-Joseph, and Beth Tellman The Wixáritari communities, better known as Huichol, are mainly located within the Sierra Madre Occidental, north of Jalisco state, Mexico. These communities, like many others in the world, and particularly in the Americas, are subject to pressures from the ‘Western’ world which are the catalyst for many…

Women working in a waterlogged field

What role does rural people’s agency play in finding pathways out of poverty?

by Saurabh Arora, Divya Sharma, M. Vijaybaskar, Ajit Menon and Joanes Atela This is the inaugural blog post for the project Relational Pathways: Mapping Agency and Poverty Dynamics through Green Revolutions. Based on extensive fieldwork in India and Kenya, we are developing a relational pathways approach, which posits poverty as a process rather than as…