Patta Scott-Villiers - Research Fellow
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Patta is Co-Leader of the Power and Popular Politics Cluster.
I research political marginalization, asking how people on the margins explain it and resist or embrace it. People's reaction to political marginalization has major implications not only locally, but also nationally and internationally and my research tries to make these implications clear.
At present, I am focusing on young people and their actions, drawing on many years of work in East Africa's borderlands and latterly in the slums of its large cities. Most important for me is to bring my research back to the people who have contributed to it. Rather than just extracting information, I bring analysis and research results back to people, stimulating conversations about what it means and what can be done. Linked to this, I'm also pursuing a line of inquiry into how people debate public issues. I study the powers and limitations of popular politics – street talk and protest – and the role that research can play in supporting it.
At present I am trying to understand the political margins from three angles:
- Exploring the causes and effects of poor quality education on young people's lives, and its links to growing economic inequality and unraveling insecurity in the East African Region.
- Explaining a contemporary politics of provision, looking at people's and authorities' reactions to a sharply rising cost of living in city slums and distant rural areas. I'm learning why people protest and why they don't and I'm making connections with right to food movements to understand their part
- Understanding how political violence preys on young people, discussing why people join in and how it works. I'm exploring its links to wider political economic processes as well as the efforts people make locally to resist it
My perspective is from the ground up. I want to learn how people on the margins explain the mechanisms of marginalization and how they are acting in response. Adding analyses of the national and international political and economic processes that underpin these local situations, I feed research into three zones:
- international debates about global inequalities and insecurities;
- debates among people on the margins that strengthen their understanding of their situation and its possibilities; and
- debates between young people on the margins and those in government, civil society and the private sector who want to find new ways of narrowing the gaps.
PhD student supervision
- Maria Cascante who is asking what an international NGO campaign in Nigeria might learn from thinking like a social movement
- Violeta Vajda, who is inquiring into identity and racism in Romania
- Marcio Pessoa, who is studying defiant civil society in Mozambique
If you are interested in collaborating, please contact me!
Power, Poverty and InequalityIDS Bulletin 47.5 (2016)
Ten years on from the landmark 2006 edition of the IDS Bulletin that brought us the ‘powercube’ – a practical approach to power analysis that offered a way of confronting its complexity – we return to the question of how to analyse and act on power in development. More details
Precarious Lives: Food, Work and Care After the Global Food CrisisIDS-Oxfam Report (2016)
This report finds that the global food crises of 2007-11 has brougth about lasting changes to the relationship between the work people do and the food they eat - the costs of which have gone uncounted. More details
Life in a Time of Food Price VolatilityIDS Bulletin 46.6 (2015)
Between 2007 and 2012 global food price volatility affected millions of people on low and precarious incomes. As food has been increasingly commodified and people on low incomes have struggled to pay for life’s necessities, they have responded by changing their ways of making a living, residences, diets, family relationships and ways of caring for one another. More details
Evaluation of the Strategy for Support via Swedish Civil Society Organisations 2010-2014: Final Country Report - UgandaReport (2015)
This report shares the findings and recommendations from an evaluation of Sweden’s Civil Society Strategy 2010–2014 as implemented by Swedish civil society organisations and their national partners in Nicaragua, as one of three country studies. More details
Evaluation of the Strategy for Support via Swedish Civil Society Organisations 2010-2014Report (2015)
This report synthesises the findings and recommendations from an evaluation of Sweden’s Civil Society Strategy 2010–2014 as implemented by Swedish civil society organisations and their national partners in three countries – Nicaragua, Pakistan and Uganda. More details