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About Ian Scoones

Director

Ian is an agricultural ecologist whose research links natural and social sciences, focusing on relationships between science and technology, local knowledge and livelihoods and the politics of agricultural, environment and development policy processes.

All posts by Ian

Pastoralism is changing in the Horn of Africa

A few weeks back, Ian Scoones, representing the PASTRES project, joined Andy Catley and Peter Little in a webinar organised by the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, and chaired by Greg Gottlieb, the Center’s director. The one-hour webinar, aimed at policymakers, donors and field practitioners, can be listened to again here. It gets going about 6 minutes…

Care or control? Four challenges for transformations to sustainability

This post introduces a series of blog posts on ‘Transformations’, our theme for 2018. Transformation is one of those buzz words that’s everywhere these days, especially in relation to the big issues of our time such as sustainability. But what does it mean, and how do we go about it? Over the last year or…

This post introduces a series of blog posts on ‘Transformations’, our theme for 2018. Transformation is one of those buzz words that’s everywhere these days, especially in relation to the big issues of our time such as sustainability. But what does it mean, and how do we go about it? Over the last year or…

Large old telephone switchboard with connecting wires

Want to transform access to technology? Follow the invisible threads

by Adrian Smith, Rob Byrne, David Ockwell and Ian Scoones This is one in a series of four blog posts exploring ideas and case studies on ‘transformations’, drawing on research carried out in 2017 and looking forward to the STEPS Centre’s work in 2018. For background and links to the other posts, read the introduction….

Herder with a flock of sheep in a dryland landscape, with sun setting behind mountains in the background

Pastoralism, uncertainty, resilience: introducing the PASTRES project

by Ian Scoones and Michele Nori, PASTRES project This month we are launching a new European Research Council funded project, Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience: Global Lessons from the Margins (PASTRES) led by Ian Scoones (director of the STEPS Centre) and Michele Nori at EUI, Florence. We are asking: What lessons can we learn for global…

Sign in rural landscape which reads 'Farmers for Trump'

Why agrarian studies should confront the rise of authoritarian, populist movements

Last week I was in Russia at the fascinating fifth BRICS Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies conference. Throughout the event we heard about the emergence of particular styles of authoritarian populist regimes, including in the BRICS countries, but elsewhere too. Based on my remarks at the final plenary, I want to ask what the challenges are for…

Mana pools, Zimbabwe

NEW PAPER: People, patches and parasites

Just out in Human Ecology is a new paper – People, patches and parasites: the case of trypanosomiasis in Zimbabwe. It’s open access, so do have a look! It presents the results of a project looking at the socio-ecology of disease in Africa – part of the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium –…

ERPI banner

Confronting authoritarian populism: a new initiative and a new paper

A few weeks back, I highlighted the launch of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI), and the availability of small grants for doing research on both the contours of the current conjuncture, and how authoritarian populism emerges and is sustained in rural areas, as well as the forms of resistance and diversity of alternatives being…

Tsetse fly

To combat neglected tropical diseases, we need more than just drugs and vaccines

Neglected tropical diseases have been in the news this week. A big meeting at the World Health Organisation in Geneva has resulted in big pledges from the UK aid progamme and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to banish the scourge affecting around a billion people worldwide. This is good news, and to be commended….

Trump and Brexit: what’s the alternative?

Sometimes when you suffer trauma, you have to look elsewhere to seek out radically new ways of framing things in order to recover. This year we’ve suffered two major traumas – Brexit and the US elections. Who would have believed our world would have been radically reshaped in the space of a few short months?…

Dryland landscape with trees, people and animals

Why we should stop talking about ‘desertification’

A great new book has just been published called ‘The End of Desertification? Disputing Environmental Change in the Drylands’, available at a shocking price from Springer. It is edited by two people who know a thing or two about these issues – Roy Behnke and Mike Mortimore – and it has 20 top quality chapters…