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Ian Scoones: ‘The SDGs: A new politics of transformation?’ (Sussex Development Lectures)

28th March 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Lecture by Prof Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre director.

This lecture is one of the Sussex Development Lectures. The theme of the current series (2018/19) is Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – Synergies and Tensions.

About the lecture

The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) potentially offer an inclusive, integrated approach to development, centred on social justice, for all of humanity. But how are they being implemented in practice? Too often a piece-meal, sectoral approach is adopted, rooted in modernist assumptions of linear transition and control. Drawing on the work of the ESRC STEPS Centre, this talk will offer a more radical vision of transformatory change, putting power and politics centre-stage. The talk will link the STEPS pathways approach with sustainable livelihoods perspectives to suggest a framework for thinking about and acting on transformations to sustainability for the SDGs. Drawing on examples from Argentina, Kenya, the UK and Zimbabwe, and differentiating structural, systemic and enabling perspectives on transformation, the talk will emphasise the need to foster a new politics for sustainability.

Ian Scoones is a professorial fellow at IDS, and is co-director of the ESRC STEPS Centre. Over the last 30 years, he has worked on agrarian and environmental change, mostly in Africa. Through the work of the STEPS Centre since 2006, he has been involved in collaborative research on the politics of sustainability across the world.


28th March 2019
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Convening Space, Institute of Development Studies
Library Road, Falmer
Brighton, BN1 9RE United Kingdom
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Institute of Development Studies
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