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Emancipatory rural politics: confronting authoritarian populism

by Ian Scoones, Marc Edelman, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Ruth Hall, Wendy Wolford & Ben White The Journal of Peasant Studies, Forum on Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World A new political moment is underway. Although there are significant differences in how this is constituted in different places, one manifestation of the new moment is…

Cultivating sustainable developments in makerspaces

 In October 2015, we convened a workshop for 80 researchers and practitioners involved in makerspaces in Europe. Our aim was to explore how makerspaces can help cultivate sustainable developments. This paper reports workshop discussion and ideas on the topic, and illustrates interest in the deliberative potential for this kind of ‘citizen lab’. Interestingly, given the…

Freebook feature

FreeBook: Pathways to Sustainable Agriculture

This Routledge FreeBook highlights some of the major findings that have emerged over the last decade of the STEPS Centre’s research on sustainable agriculture. It draws on four books which address three themes central to understanding how pathways emerge in agriculture, and how sustainability, is or indeed is not, generated. The three themes are: framing…

Placards with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Report: New innovation approaches to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts forward a broad and ambitious agenda for global action on sustainable development. The scale and ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals require innovation in development and innovation for development. To achieve the Goals by 2030, new modalities for development are required, including bringing innovation into the foreground of…

Making ‘Mangroves Together’: Carbon, conservation and co-management in Gazi Bay, Kenya

STEPS Working Paper 95 Market-based strategies are increasingly being framed by highlevel stakeholders as ideal means of responding to environmental problems on various scales. As a result, concepts and mechanisms that link markets to local conservation initiatives such as payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes, carbon trading and other forms of offsetting, and conservation finance…

The political economy of state-led transformations in pro-poor low carbon energy: A case study of solar PV in Kenya

International efforts to achieve goals such as universal energy access and climate change mitigation are expected to stimulate billions of dollars of private financial flows to developing countries for clean (energy) technology transfer investments. Policies for realising these ambitions are framed in terms of neoliberal development orthodoxy, but critical voices call for more active state…

The Political Economy of State-led Energy Transformations: Lessons from Solar PV in Kenya and China

STEPS Working Paper 92 Amid talk of the need for a low carbon ‘clean energy revolution’ to address the challenges of energy poverty and climate change, there is growing academic and policy interest in understanding the role of key actors that are expected to enable transitions and transformations towards a low carbon economy in a…

Solar PV and poverty alleviation in China: Rhetoric and reality

STEPS Working Paper 93 In 2014, China announced an ambitious plan to help alleviate rural poverty through deploying distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in poor areas. The solar energy for poverty alleviation programme (SEPAP) initiative aims to add over 10 GW capacity and benefit more than 2 million households from around 35,000 villages across the…

How did we do that? The possibility of rapid transition

Is rapid transition possible? Sometimes events or new knowledge throw up reasons why we must make change happen quickly. At the present moment, climate change and chronic social inequality seem to demand radical change – but what kind of changes will work, and how can they be achieved? This booklet collects stories of rapid transitions…

Double coupling: modeling subjectivity and asymmetric organization in social-ecological systems

Ecology and Society 20(3): 26 Social-ecological organization is a multidimensional phenomenon that combines material and symbolic processes. However, the coupling between social and ecological subsystem is often conceptualized as purely material, thus reducing the symbolic dimension to its behavioral and actionable expressions. In this paper I conceptualize social-ecological systems as doubly coupled. On the one hand,…