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…

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump standing on a staircase together

Rural support for authoritarian populism is strong – but another way is possible

The rise of authoritarian populism continues. Now the UK has a fully signed-up version in its new right-wing government, with allies in Trump, Modi, Bolsarano, Orban and others. It is a dangerous, but perhaps inevitable, trend. The soul-searching on the Left after the UK election rather belatedly diagnosed the problem. It has been long in…

ERPI banner

Rural resistance and the far right: news from ERPI Europe

The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) is continuing to explore changes and conflicts in rural politics, with a couple of forthcoming events and some publications from the Europe group of ERPI. In August 2020 in Croatia, there will be an ERPI-inspired session “Geographies of Rural Resistance/s” at the 28th Colloquium of the International Geographical Union…

A participatory approach to initiating transformative actions from the bottom-up

Jai and Ketaki Bhadgaonkar (Bombay 61) give this report from the Ideation Workshop in Mumbai for the TAPESTRY project.  Versova Koliwada is one of the most thriving fishing villages in the city of Mumbai. It is important to address the concerns and uncertainties around the sustenance of those who live in this village. The TAPESTRY…

Sustainable Energy Policy in Germany: A Case of Natural Gas Lock-in

A new Working Paper from STEPS Summer School alumni seeks to explain why (and how) natural gas has assumed such a dominant role in German energy policy, and at what cost. The authors call upon fellow researchers to challenge the increasing dominance of gas in energy systems worldwide, and to intervene in academic, NGO and…

Unpacking uncertainty in times of climate change

By Shilpi Srivastava, Hans Nicolai Adam and Lyla Mehta Climate change undoubtedly is one of the most significant development challenges of our times. Research over the last few decades has demonstrated clearly the links between anthropogenically induced emissions and climatic changes. Despite these scientific advancements, uncertainties persist at multiple scales; with respect to future societal…

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…

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…

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…