Friday, 21 February 2014

Link Pack: Development economics, constructions of climate change

Book: Zed books, one of my favourite publishers, recently reissued several pivotal books under their Critique Influence Change Series. I just finished the incredibly provocative and engrossing 'Reclaiming Development' by Ha-Joon Chang and Ilene Grabel which makes a compelling case against neoliberal hegemony and maps out alternative economic instruments that can usher in stable, sustainable, and equitable development. A review coming soon!

Article: Recent research by Simelton et al. (2013) at the University of Leeds show that rainfall changes are easily confused with increased agricultural sensitivity and understanding perceptions of changes in the weather are crucial for adaptation decision making and action. Similar to my findings on farmer perceptions of climate change in rural Rajasthan!

Blog: 'Making climate change visible' by Dr. Ian Scoones summarises discussions from the recently concluded STEPS-JNU Symposium on 'Exploring Pathways to Sustainability'. Key points: 1) To understand uncertainty as lived and experienced by the marginalised, it is important to question dichotomies of 'modern' and 'indigenous' knowledge. 2) Boundaries organisations and actors (e.g. researcher-activists) can begin to challenge one-sided constructions of climate change. 3) Perspectives and narratives from 'below' can help open the currently model-heavy, techno-centric discourse on climate change. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Book Review: Food Security and Sociopolitical Stability edited by CB Barrett

Global food price spikes in 2008 and again in 2011 coincided with a surge of political unrest in low- and middle-income countries. In some places, food riots turned violent, pressuring governments and in a few cases contributed to their overthrow. Foreign investors sparked a new global land rush, adding a different set of pressures, and the spectre of widespread food insecurity and sociopolitical instability weighs on policymakers worldwide. 'Food Security and Sociopolitical Stability' edited by CB Barrett represents a critical and timely contribution to food policy and global security discourses and a launch pad for political action. Read my review of it here.
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