Authoritarianism, populism and political ecology

by Amber Huff and Levi van Sant Based on a number of events convened under the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative, we introduce a series of interventions that explore how political ecologies can help us to better understand and confront the emergence of contemporary authoritarian populism. Shaped by the crises of progressive neoliberalism – and its contradictory nexus of elite cosmopolitanism,…

New book: Sustainable Livelihoods and Rural Development

Livelihoods are a vital lens on rural development, but should be examined in the context of wider questions of political economy. A new book by STEPS director Ian Scoones looks at the relationships between livelihoods and sustainability, and proposes four elements of a new politics of livelihoods: interests, individuals, knowledge and ecology. Sustainable Livelihoods and…

The power and politics around ‘objective’ performance monitoring

Performance monitoring, most prominently exemplified in the Millennium Development Goals, is often perceived as providing objective results. Using the case of access to rural water supplies in Ethiopia, a new journal article (£) by STEPS alumna Katharina Welle explores the power and political dynamics inherent in sector performance monitoring. Welle, K. (2014) Monitoring performance or…

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…

RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LIVESTOCK: TRENDS, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member An update on our Veterinary Science, Transboundary Animal Diseases and Markets comes from William Wolmer who gave a presentation at a Botswana workshop earlier this month. The presentation explores achieving compatibility between the Transfrontier Conservation Area concept and international standards for the management of Transboundary Animal Diseases. Have a…

TODAY’S LANDFILL, TOMORROW’S HOUSING ESTATE

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member The rapid expansion of peri-urban areas presents opportunities and challenges for urban and rural activities, institutions and sustainability. No longer soley seen in spatial terms, the peri-urban interface is increasingly recognised in terms of dynamic flows of commodities, capital, natural resources, people and pollution. Although often seen as a…

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…