How could camel milk change the fortunes of Gujarat’s pastoralists?

by Ranit Chatterjee, Rohit Jha, Sahjeevan, Shilpi Srivastava, Lyla Mehta, Nobuhito Ohte, Shibaji Bose, TAPESTRY project Kachchh is a dryland in Western India with a dynamic ecosystem. The livestock-based economy has always been one of the most important sources of livelihood for people there. In this arid to semi-arid region, pastoralism has been practiced for…

Herder with a flock of sheep in a dryland landscape, with sun setting behind mountains in the background

Beyond the ‘Balance of Nature’: Pastoralists’ Alternative Perspectives on Sustainability

By Ian Scoones and PASTRES Read the original blogpost David Attenborough’s mission to restore the balance of nature in the documentary A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement, is at once inspiring and concerning. What if the balance of nature doesn’t exist? What if this mission is misplaced? PASTRES lead researcher Ian Scoones, in a recent…

Podcast: Forest of Thought – Andy Stirling on ‘imaginations of control’

In our age of converging environmental, ecological, and health crises, decision-makers and commentators often state we need to “listen to the science”. But what structures lie beneath these assumptions of impartiality?  STEPS Centre co-director Andy Stirling is featured in the most recent episode of the Forest of Thought podcast, discussing this question and its implications….

Watch: Andy Stirling and Sobia Kaker on Covid-19, uncertainty and development

In a virtual Sussex Development Lecture on 12 November 2020, Andy Stirling and Sobia Ahmad Kaker discussed the politics of uncertainty in the light of Covid-19 pandemic. The conversation drew on insights from the STEPS book The Politics of Uncertainty: Challenges of Transformation, published this year by Routledge, of which both speakers are co-authors. You…

Thriving in an ever-changing world: from technocratic control to emancipatory care?

This is the fourth and last in a series of blog posts on the climate by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, under the heading: ‘Controlling a stable planetary climate – or caring for a complex changing Earth?’ Read part 1 / part 2 / part 3 The first three in this quartet of blogposts explored whether…

pastoralism and uncertainty course heading

Online course: Pastoralism and Uncertainty

A new online course introduces key debates and concepts about pastoralism, and explores the varying ways that pastoralists respond to uncertainty around the world. Based on the work of PASTRES, a research programme linked to the STEPS Centre, the course is aimed at students, practitioners and policy-makers. It is divided into 13 parts with a…

A manifesto for models: New Nature Comment article

A new comment article in Nature by a group of authors, including STEPS co-director Andy Stirling (SPRU), takes the form of a ‘manifesto’ for responsible mathematical modelling. This relates to the theme of Uncertainty which cuts across various important projects and research agendas. The article aims to persuade those developing and using models to examine…

A Kharai camel stands with factory chimney stacks behind it on the horizon.

How pastoralists in Kutch respond to social and environmental uncertainty

The TAPESTRY project is working in three different ‘patches’ across India and Bangladesh, creating opportunities for interactions with communities in marginalised environments to co-produce transformative change in sustainable development. In this blog post, Lyla Mehta (IDS), Mihir Bhatt (AIDMI) and Pankaj Joshi (Sahjeevan) introduce the research that TAPESTRY is undertaking together with the Kutch camel…

control dials

Modernity Without its Clothes: the pandemic crisis shines a light on futilities of control

With so many self-appointed pundits (like me!) currently locked down with their laptops, the present rush of commentary on how to pivot the coronavirus crisis is hardly surprising. Beyond the general news and commentary, scores of articles are exploding across the media, diagnosing what this global catastrophe means, and prescribing how it can be turned…

A Tale of Crab Farming in Satkhira: Navigating Uncertainties ‘from below’ in the Sundarbans

The TAPESTRY research project is exploring how transformations may occur ‘from below’ in marginal environments with high levels of uncertainty. In this blog post, Shababa Haque and Mahmuda Mity, part of the research team in Bangladesh, share this story of people living on the ‘front line’ of drastic environmental changes in the Sundarbans. In the…