Why are informal water services overlooked in post-conflict state building?

by Jeremy Allouche & Maria Cooper Resource politics is coming back to the forefront of academic and policy debates around peacebuilding. Environmental peace and state building agendas are dominated by questions concerning informality and hybridity in resources. What kind of role do service providers play in peacebuilding and state building and what can we learn…

Sustainable Development Goals: lessons from the ‘nexus’

As part of our engagement with the ‘nexus’ of food, water, energy and the environment, STEPS members will be participating in an Overseas Development Institute event on 11 September 2014. The event Tackling trade-offs in the food-water-energy nexus: lessons for the SDGs features contributions former STEPS Director Melissa Leach and includes a contribution from our…

The nexus – politics, practice and disciplinary dilemmas

STEPS researchers have written a series of blogposts for the Guardian and the Nexus Platform website addressing the challenges of the water-food-energy-environment ‘nexus’. Andy Stirling addresses the challenges of working across disciplines, Jeremy Allouche looks at nexus politics while James Wilsdon and Rose Cairns discuss joining research, policy and practice. The Guardian Nexus blogpost series launches the Nexus Network,…

Telling stories about scarcity

‘Scarcity’ is a key term in debates about the global rush for land and other resources. A new Future Agricultures working paper, co-authored by STEPS director Ian Scoones, looks at different narratives of scarcity related to the future of food and farming in Africa and globally, and finds that political questions – about distribution, needs,…

STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: Nexus narratives – water politics in Asia

By Ian Scoones, Co-Director, STEPS Centre The fourth panel at the STEPS-JNU Symposium focused on the highly contested narratives around how water is stored and accessed in Asia, with cases from Nepal, Laos, and Thailand. As Uttam Sinha from The Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, commented, Asia is facing a “hydrological moment”…

The Water Cookbook: Bhagwati Prasad’s strange and beautiful illustrations from peri-urban Delhi

I’ve just come across a copy of The Water Cookbook which I was given by Lyla Mehta, produced by part of our project looking at water conflicts in peri-urban Delhi. It’s an amazing set of illustrations by Bhagwati Prasad of the Delhi-based research centre Sarai programme, which uses art and media to respond to and…

New articles: Access to Water in peri-urban India

A new article examining the increasing inequalities around water provision in Delhi by STEPS Centre partner Alankar is published this week. Socio-Spatial Situatedness and Access to Water (Economic & Political Weekly, October 12, 2013 vol xlviiI 54 no 41), looks at the social and political biases around large state-managed and institutionalised water provision in the city and the increasing gap…

Getting the facts right on land grabs: 5 new (free) articles

As part of its series on land grabs, The Journal of Peasant Studies has released a collection of 5 new articles on the problem of recording accurate and reliable information on global land deals. The edition includes a contribution from STEPS co-director Ian Scoones. Here’s the description from the JPS: “The recent ‘land rush’ precipitated…

World Water Day 2013

Lyla Mehta, STEPS Centre water and sanitation convenor, writes about the need to look at the Millennium Development Goal on water and sanitation and what it means for gender justice, particularly as we look beyond the MDGs to potential Sustainable Development Goals. “Current water and sanitation indicators to monitor progress are inadequate. They ignore gender dynamics, rights, equality, sustainability…

Land grabs: knowledge and resistance

by Nathan Oxley, STEPS Centre communications officer Shalmali Guttal from Focus on the Global South addresses the opening plenary The Global Land Grabbing II conference at Cornell last week brought together an impressive range of people with different disciplines, views and experience on large scale land deals – a phenomenon that’s erupted worldwide in the…