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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 Dieunedort Wandji
Dieunedort Wandji

Research Officer

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

Projects

Project

Climate Justice Scoping Study

This study, commissioned by the International Development Research Centre, identified gaps and future entry points for Southern-led research on climate justice. The study was framed around the concept of transformative climate justice, reflecting the need to bridge gaps between climate justice...

Recent work

Opinion

China’s road to carbon neutrality by 2060 will be long and bumpy

Last month at the UN general assembly, President Xi Jinping surprised the world by announcing China’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. His unexpectedly forthright speech received mixed responses and raised many unanswered questions about what carbon neutrality means and how...

20 October 2020

Journal Article

Pastoralists and Peasants: Perspectives on Agrarian Change

The Journal of Peasant Studies

For many years, studies of peasants and pastoralists have run in parallel, creating mutual blind-spots. This article argues that, despite contrasting research traditions and conceptual framings, there are many commonalities. The classic problematics of agrarian studies – around production,...

27 September 2020

News

IDS alum appointed CEO of Rwanda’s Green Fund

IDS alum, Teddy Mpinganzima Mugabo, has been appointed CEO of Rwanda’s Green Fund. The Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) is a ground-breaking environment and climate change investment fund that provides targeted financial and technical support to contribute to Rwanda's vision of becoming a...

1 September 2020