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Cluster

Resource Politics and Environmental Change

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.

People

Image of Amber Huff
Amber Huff

Research Fellow

Image of Dina Zayed
Dina Zayed

PhD Researcher

Image of Dominic Glover
Dominic Glover

Research Fellow

Image of Giulia Simula
Giulia Simula

PhD Student

Image of Hadeer El Shafie
Hadeer El Shafie

DPhil Student

Image of Hubert Schmitz
Hubert Schmitz

Emeritus Fellow

Image of Ian Scoones
Ian Scoones

Professorial Fellow

Projects

Project

The Rapid Transition Alliance

The climate is changing faster than we are. The danger of triggering irreversible environmental damage that spirals, feeding off itself, means that winning too slowly is the same as losing. That’s why rapid, transformative changes are called for to prevent climate breakdown and create the...

Recent work

Opinion

Three ways to improve water security and climate change adaptation

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is Water and Climate Change. This reflects a growing understanding within policy and practice spheres that the two are inextricably linked, and that water is also integral to climate change mitigation and adaptation. People, societies and economies...

Rachel Cooper

20 March 2020

News

Global investment, local struggles

Following the global commodities boom, investment has poured into large-scale extractive, green energy and other resource development projects around the world. Many of these are in the rural margins – places geographically but also politically distant from the centres of economic power. In...

17 March 2020

Opinion

Bringing evidence and action to protracted crises

In 1994, at the age of six years old, Clemantine Wamariya fled Rwanda and spent the next six years moving to the next ‘safer’ country. By the age of twelve, Clemantine had travelled through seven African countries until she was granted refugee status in the United States. Clemantine was...

4 February 2020