What is revolutionary about the Green Revolution?

The dramatic increase in yields of wheat and rice in the 1960s and 1970s in India, along with many other countries in the post-colonial world, was framed as a technological breakthrough made possible by miracle hybrid seed varieties. This breakthrough ostensibly averted mass scale hunger and was central, so the story goes, to realising substantive…

Disciplinary identities and other barriers to advancing interdisciplinary working

By Professor Linda Waldman, Institute of Development Studies, Professor Joanne Sharp, University of Glasgow, and Professor James Wood, University of Cambridge. The following blog was first published on the PLoS ONE blog ‘EveryONE’. Interdisciplinary research is becoming increasingly commonplace. In recent years, climate change, ecosystem sustainability, planetary boundaries and zoonotic disease outbreaks have in particular…

sheep in a grassy field with overcast sky

Why radical land reform is needed in the UK

Half of the land is owned by 1% of the people. Getting information on who owns what land is nigh on impossible. Tax arrangements favour land speculation. Ordinary people cannot get access to land to grow food. Where is this place? Not a settler country in southern Africa, but the UK. With the publication of…

politicians tower over a mass of people in a rural setting with political signs

Turning the populist tide

The last week has seen major gains for nationalist, populist parties in elections, both in Europe and India. Is this the end of the centre-ground consensus? What are the alternatives? In India, the BJP swept to victory on the back of anti-Muslim rhetoric and Hindu nationalist slogans. Only Kerala stood out as a state where…

EU Elections: what does populism mean for rural people?

As countries across Europe await the results of the European Union elections, the campaigns of authoritarian and populist political movements are once again in the news. A new collection of articles shows this not only to be a European phenomenon, but worldwide. And rural people, often forgotten or stereotyped, are crucial both in supporting and…

Antimicrobial resistance and behaviour: an interview with Ayako Ebata

Agricultural economist Dr Ayako Ebata was interviewed in The AMR Studio, a podcast dedicated to interdisciplinary research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR) produced by Uppsala  University. Dr Ebata specialises in value chain analysis and as part of her work for the Myanmar Pig Partnership she is considering value chains in the context of antimicrobial resistance and…

Railway

The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative: what’s in it for Africa?

The huge Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum recently concluded in Beijing. 37 heads of state attended, along with droves of policy advisors and numerous thinktanks and research institutes, including IDS where I work. Monica Mutsvanga, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, attended on behalf of the Zimbabwe government. By all accounts it was…

A group of people in a circle hold a group discussion outside

Summer School 2019: Join us online

A group of 43 early career researchers are coming together from 14-24 May to explore pathways to sustainability in the STEPS Centre’s annual Summer School. During the two weeks, we’ll be sharing snapshots and reflections from the Summer School on Instagram and Twitter. This includes our annual lecture with Derek Wall on 14 May –…

Unpacking the epic narratives of the Green Revolution

by Lidia Cabral, Poonam Pandey and Xiuli Xu Nearly 50 years since its apex, the Green Revolution – a chapter in history associated with rapid expansion in agricultural production driven by science and technology – retains the power to inspire. In spite of the criticism emphasising its social and environmental costs, there is talk about…