‘Thousands of models’: Planetary boundaries, values & power

The role of current patterns of human habitation in earth systems processes is pushing beyond planetary boundaries; which is to say our impacts on climate and biosphere risk tipping our environments into states dangerous to our societies. As Katherine Richardson from Copenhagen University puts it, “Earth is familiar with large environmental changes, but modern human…

STEPS Africa research network to boost development in Africa planned

By Gilbert Nakweya for SciDev.net [NAIROBI] A new research and capacity building hub focusing on sustainable development issues in Africa will be established by mid this year, a meeting has heard. The STEPS Africa Sustainability Hub, which was announced during a meeting held in Kenya last year (6 November), aims to create a network of…

Soil and politics

What do you think of when you think about soil? There are radically different ways to answer the question. For some scientists, it’s a subject of investigation – what do soils need to grow which types of plants the best? How can they be managed, improved or damaged? For archaeologists or paleontologists, digging into the…

Political Ecology: resources, power and justice

With conceptual roots in political economy and cultural ecology, as well as close relationships with development studies and science and technology studies, the multidisciplinary field of political ecology shares a number of theoretical and methodological complementarities with the STEPS Centre’s pathways approach. In early September 2014, the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University hosted an…

Call for abstracts: Critical Perspectives on the Financialisation of Nature

A Call for Abstracts has been issued for a workshop in March 2015 on the financialisation of nature. Update (12 December 2014): The call for abstracts has now closed. Successful applicants will be informed by 31 December 2014. Update (28 November 2014): Added a list of speakers (confirmed and tbc) – scroll down for details….

Business for peace?

It is difficult to avoid being swept up in the current tide of optimism about Africa and resource development. For once, Africa is not only portrayed by outsiders as a continent of poor people suffering and fighting over civil wars and dependent on good will and aid. At the same time, the new, positive single…

Join us for What Works at the Nexus?

Join us at the first Nexus Network conference: What works at the nexus? New connections in food, energy, water and environment on Thursday 27 November from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm at the Coin Street Conference Centre in London. This is an opportunity for network members to meet, hear high-profile keynote speakers, discuss nexus challenges from a variety…

Get involved! Your views on water and food security wanted by the UN.

Would you like to help inform a report for the UN on food and water security? Now here is your chance. A year ago, the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) asked the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) to prepare a report on Water and Food Security.  Lyla Mehta, convenor of…

Talking Zimbabwe & Land Reform at ASAUK14 this Wednesday

New research from Zimbabwe will be shared at a double panel session at the UK African Studies Association conference this week. This year’s event is at the University of Sussex, and our session is on Wednesday 10 September from 9 till 10.30 and 11 to 12.30. The session has been organised by Gareth James of…

GM Nation or GM Planet? How to involve citizens in decisions about transgenic crops

The UK’s GM Nation? public debate – conducted over a decade ago, tried to include the voices of citizens in decision-making over transgenic crops. With recent decisions by China and India possibly signalling a shift of opinion against GM in these ‘rising powers’, what kinds of institutions are required to enable democratic governance of these…