Getting hotter: Regulating biotechnology in India

by Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre co-director Biotechnology offers many potentials but also dangers. Regulation is clearly essential. But how, over what and with what measures is less clear. The debate about how to regulate emerging technologies associated with biotechnology is a hot one the world over. In India, it’s about to become much hotter. Photo:…

BELLAGIO: THE FUTURE OF PHILANTHROPY

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre researcher I was lucky enough to participate in a fascinating discussion on global governance and regulation, organised as part of the Bellagio Initiative last week. The Initiative involves a series of global consultations hoping to deliver a new framework for philanthropy and international development in pursuit of human wellbeing in…

INEQUALITY AND FOOD: 10 TASKS FOR THE UK GOVERNMENT

by Erik Millstone, STEPS Centre Food and Agriculture co-convenor There are massive inequalities between industrialised and developing countries, and they have widened over the past 15 years, but there are also considerable inequalities within developing countries. There are consequently divergent interests, at least over the short term, between different groups within developing countries, and between…

THE IMPACT OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL TURMOIL ON CHINESE VILLAGES

By XIAOYUN LIANG and ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre From 29 November to 2 December 2008, we went to two villages in Tianmen county, Hubei province, in the middle of China. The aim was to revisit the field site of the STEPS Centre Rethinking Regulation project, to check the preliminary findings from the first visit in…

CHINA RURAL REFORMS: WHAT IS A HOUSEHOLD?

ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member reports with our partners professor Ding Shijun and Dr Chen Chuanbo on the challenges of conducting research in China’s changing rural areas In rural transitional China many households include absentees who live and work in urban centres and send money back to their families in the village. These individuals are…

RURAL REFORM IN CHINA: SETTING FARMERS FREE?

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member On the day that the UK has nationalised some of its biggest banking institutions, China has announced bold new proposals to free up the way 700 million peasants can use state-owned land. The plans, announced by the Communist Party yesterday via the Xinhua news agency, could allow farmers to…

RISKING REGULATORY CAPTURE AT THE UK’S FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member “The delivery of safe food and health governance is challenging and contested, and knowledge and institutions independent of vested interests are essential for public health,” write Erik Millstone – STEPS Centre food and agrciulture co-convenor – and Tim Lang in this week’s Lancet. But how independent of vested interests…

Rethinking regulation in China: decisions facing farmers

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member See more photos from this project on our Flickr site The oilseed flowering season is almost over in central China, and cotton planting has started. Farmers first grow seedlings in nursery patches on the sides of their fields, before transplanting to a larger area after oilseed has been harvested….

Rethinking regulation in China: Zhang’s seed shop

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member See more photos from this project on our Flickr site China’s new rural development campaign (Xīnnóngcúndianshi) was initiated in 2003 and has reshaped the agricultural sector in Hubei. Reductions in the public sector workforce led to redundancies in the central Chinese province, motivating several extension workers to move into…

ARE ANTIBIOTICS BECOMING A ‘NON SUSTAINABLE’ DRUG SUPPLY?

With increasing resistance to existing antibiotics and little incentive for pharmaceutical companies to invest in new ones, developing countries face a serious challenge combating killer diseases such as tuberculosis and typhoid fever. SciDev.net has put together a package of news, comment and analysis on this topic, which links closely to the STEPS Centre’s Rethinking Regulation…