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…

Cities, Uncertainty and Systems Change

Depending who and where you are in the world, you will be experiencing the effects of climate change differently. Here in the UK, the recent hot-weather days in February might have felt unsettling, even as your body welcomed the warmth and sunshine. Meanwhile, people in some parts of the United States were caught in freezing…

Dam viewed from above

Rediscovering the Water-Food-Energy Nexus

A few months ago, I presented the findings of a new book, The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Power, Politics and Justice, to an International Water Association conference on the same topic at Salerno. To my great surprise, I was the only social scientist out of 200 participants. Nexus approaches help to bridge the separate domains of water,…

A colourful chart showing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Realising the SDGs: why a sustainable livelihoods approach can help

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were launched with great fanfare in September 2015. This was an ambitious agenda for the whole world, aiming to transform development towards sustainability, while leaving no-one behind. I was excited by the prospects. Back then, I expressed the hope that this was perhaps the moment when a new politics of…

Poverty traps: a short film about how people in rural Appalachia see poverty

Poverty is often described as a ‘trap’. How does this reflect the perception of people who live with poverty in their everyday lives? Researchers often use the words ‘poverty trap’ for contexts where systems keep feeding back in a way that maintains a cycle of poverty. It’s not just about a lack of money: poverty…