Young people and land in Zimbabwe: livelihood challenges after land reform

This article explores the livelihood challenges and opportunities of young people following Zimbabwe’s land reform in 2000. The article explores the life courses of a cohort of men and women, all children of land reform settlers, in two contrasting smallholder land reform sites.

Transforming Access to Clean Technology: Learning From Lighting Africa

The working paper analyses the case of Lighting Africa, which successfully transformed access to solar lighting in Kenya and, as far as we are aware, conceptualises and illustrates for the first time Lighting Africa’s approach. This builds on past STEPS research that focusses on building sociotechnical innovation systems.

Crises in Variegated Capitalism, Co-produced, Hydro-Social Impacts

Drawing on fieldwork undertaken on Dutch aid in the Mozambican waterscape, this working paper asks how seemingly unrelated crises jointly reproduced politico-economic and hydro-social conditions in Mozambique. To this end, literature on the political ecology of crisis and austerity is mobilised and adapted to the needs of this paper through the notion of variegated capitalism. This relational approach helps to make sense of interdependencies between the two crises (and the responses they triggered) in a singular global, but spatially differentiated, capitalism. 

‘Good Governance’ as Conflict Resolution? Locally Mediated Governance and Mining Law at the Côte d’Ivoire Ity Gold Mine

This paper examines the exploitation and management of gold mining in the western region of Côte d’Ivoire and the associated local social tensions and conflicts.

Destabilisation of Sustainable Energy Transformations: Analysing Natural Gas Lock-in in the case of Germany

STEPS Working Paper 106 by Louise Fitzgerald, Isabell Braunger and Hanna Brauers Download this paper In recent years, natural gas has seen increased support in the context of climate change mitigation. Described as a ‘bridge fuel’ it is seen as aiding in the low-carbon energy transformation process. This is puzzling, given the high global warming…

The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Power, Politics and Justice

by Jeremy Allouche, Carl Middleton and Dipak Gyawali Earthscan/Routledge, April 2019 Buy this book Download a chapter Download the Accepted Manuscript (AM) of a chapter of the book. This document is Open Access and can be downloaded for free. Chapter 4: The Knowledge Nexus and Transdisciplinarity Download (PDF) Events The book was launched with an…

The new politics and geographies of scarcity

Scarcity is a dangerous idea and has long been a totalising discourse in resource politics and mainstream economics. A large body of work has critiqued the naturalisation of scarcity in discourses of environmental change, and has highlighted problems in how scarcity is conceptualised and the ways in which scarcities are socially and politically generated. Despite…

A Class-Analytic Approach to Agricultural Joint Ventures in the Communal Areas of South Africa

STEPS Working Paper 103 July 2018 This paper engages with key debates regarding the dynamics of class formation in the former Bantustans (or ‘homelands’) of South Africa. It is widely acknowledged that the oppressive, racially defined character of the labour regimes that emerged in the colonial and Apartheid eras, constrained rural class formation in these…


The world’s urban population is expected to rise from 3.9 to 6.4 billion people between 2014 and 2050, with 90% of this increase in Asia and Africa (UN, 2014). While the impacts of urbanisation on ecosystems and the dependence of urban populations on ecosystem services are acknowledged (Gómez-Baggethun et al., 2013), the complex nature of…

Living on the Edge: Climate Change and Uncertainty in the Indian Sundarbans

STEPS Working Paper 101 February 2018 The Sundarbans is a coastal delta and major climate hotspot located at the southern end of Bangladesh and in the state of West Bengal in India. The delta faces significant climatic and other ecological challenges (e.g. disappearing mangrove forest, islands affected by rising sea levels, erratic rainfall and cyclones)….