Climate disruption, environmental change and resource scarcity have become the subject of growing policy attention, academic debate and popular political mobilization in recent years. These issues are linked in political and media discourses to phenomena ranging from famine, migration, urbanization and vulnerability to natural hazards, warfare, terrorism and other sub-national, national and international security threats.
Environmental and climate change – including framings of and responses to them – carry huge consequences for politics, the economy and for social and biological life globally. But at the same time, unequal power relations, diverse knowledge uncertainties, incumbent technologies and institutions, and issues around spatial scale and time horizons influence pathways to achieving just and transformative change. Understanding and untangling the complex, contested, cross-sectoral and multi-scalar politics of natural resources and environmental change and seeking out just, sustainable pathways of transformation are therefore more important than ever.
Our starting point is that the complex challenges around resource politics and environmental change require diverse, innovative and critically attuned methods and strategies for research, policy engagement and communication. The questions that we ask and knowledge that we produce, must reflect how dynamics of political and material exclusions – including those related to inequitable access to natural resources and technology, rights and citizenship, gender and labour – shape the contemporary terrain of environmental struggle and natural resource politics at and across different scales. How do forces of globalization and regimes of extraction, industrial production and consumption of resources affect states, landscapes, societies and conflicts in different places and different types of resource environments? What does environmental and social justice mean in diverse development contexts, across the global north and south?
Specifically, our research and engagement focuses on three overlapping themes: (1) Political economy and environmental change; (2) Climate and environmental justice; and (3) Scarcity, security and resilience.