Buba river

Degrowth and the pluriverse: continued coloniality or intercultural revolution?

by Saurabh Arora and Andy Stirling “And then all helplessly we peered into those Other-worlds, and wailed, “O World of Worlds, how shall man make you one?”” W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1903 It is just over the past decade – as the many worlds of the pluriverse are at last being…

weird flower

“The world has become weird”: crisis, natures and radical re-enchantment

In this essay, Amber Huff and Nathan Oxley reflect on questions that have emerged through Natures, the STEPS Centre’s theme throughout 2020. Dear Reader, I hope that this essay finds you well in these turbulent times. When we last reached out in this format nearly one year ago, at the beginning of 2020, it was…

comic illustration

The Killing Famine: an outsider’s view of conservation and colonialism

The Killing Famine is an original comic by the artist Tim Zocco, who has been working with the STEPS Centre throughout 2020. In this piece, Tim Zocco reflects on a strange encounter with mining and conservation in Madagascar, leading to a glimpse into a horrifying chapter in the country’s colonial history. The most successful liars…

geothermal plant with pipeline in landscape

How have large investment projects affected people in Africa’s drylands?

by Jeremy Lind, Doris Okenwa and Ian Scoones In recent years, the gaze of global investment has been directed to Africa’s land and resources. Over the past decade, global capital from Europe, the Near East, China and elsewhere poured into land-based investments in industrialised agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa alongside green energy projects, oil exploration and…

pastoralism and uncertainty course heading

Online course: Pastoralism and Uncertainty

A new online course introduces key debates and concepts about pastoralism, and explores the varying ways that pastoralists respond to uncertainty around the world. Based on the work of PASTRES, a research programme linked to the STEPS Centre, the course is aimed at students, practitioners and policy-makers. It is divided into 13 parts with a…

Comic: ‘These Days…’ Covid, crisis and beyond

In our Natures theme for 2020, we are collaborating with the artist Tim Zocco. In the comic ‘These Days…’, a glimpse of a future age shaped by traumatic events, Zocco reflects on crisis, the difficulties of predicting radical change and thinking about what is to come. It’s the first in a series of creative responses…

Sharing knowledge instead of food: TAPESTRY at the Versova Koli Seafood Festival

The TAPESTRY project is working in three different sites across India, creating opportunities for interactions with communities in marginalised environments to co-produce transformative change in sustainable development. In this blog post, Lalatendu Keshari Das shares news from the project’s Mumbai team, which is conducting action research that examines the ways in which fishing communities adapt…

Claiming space: infrastructure, uncertainty and fisherfolks’ livelihoods in Mumbai

Blog post by Synne Movik and Hans Nicolai Adam (from the TAPESTRY project team) The coastal mega-city of Mumbai is a vibrant bustling hub, home to some 20 million people and a magnet for migrants who flock to the city seeking new opportunities and a better life. The city is a complex conglomerate of contrasts;…

How to respond to Nature in crisis: look beyond the big stories

The STEPS Centre’s theme for 2020 is Natures. In this introductory blog post by Amber Huff and Nathan Oxley, we look at four lines of enquiry that can help us get behind big stories of crisis. Modern life seems to be increasingly defined through anxiety about humanity’s perverse relationship with nature. Everywhere we look, we…

Community, belonging, identity

Yesterday, Andrea Nightingale visited IDS and we had a discussion about ‘boundary-making’. Her research in Nepal looks critically at what boundaries mean, how they are made, and how they are constantly being remade and renegotiated. From purity codes, caste, class and gender boundaries, to disagreements about access to water, boundaries shape people’s lives, but they’re…