Lyla Mehta, Jeremy Allouche and Amber Huff, members of the ESRC STEPS Centre, are involved in a workshop in February as part of a series organised by the Nexus Network, on the subject of ‘Resource Conflicts and Social Justice’. The workshop is led by Lyla Mehta and follows our symposium on Resource Politics last September.
In recent years, the notion of the nexus has gained traction in the domain of natural resource governance. It has become the defining vocabulary to understand the interlinkages between land, water, food and climate. Since the 2008 World Economic Forum pushed key players to be concerned about water, food and energy security and their interlinkages, the nexus has become a strong policy metaphor to address the ‘world in crises’.
The nexus has also brought in new players such as global corporations, who are now taking a keen interest in addressing water, climate change and energy risks. Driven by narratives of scarcity and uncertainty, the language of nexus is increasingly framed in the language of security.
- While nexus thinking has highlighted the importance of integration across diverse sectors, several unanswered questions remain:
- What are the on-the-ground challenges of integration across food, water, energy etc across diverse scales?
- How is nexus thinking being picked up in bureaucracies, institutions and scientific bodies, especially in the global South where capacity can be weak?
- Can nexus thinking be used to achieve social justice in resource management?How are competing trade-offs and their ensuing resource conflicts dealt with across local and national scales?
- What does it mean to securitise water, food, energy and the climate? Is this securitisation enhancing local people’s wellbeing and rights or is it allowing new actors to increase the insecurities of poor and marginalised people?
- While nexus thinking has highlighted the importance of integration across diverse sectors, debates have tended to be abstract. The purpose of this workshop is to ground these debates and hammer out the implications for local resource users.
- Lyla Mehta, Professorial Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies / STEPS Centre
- Jeremy Allouche, water governance, security and development, Institute of Development Studies
- Rosaleen Duffy, Professor in the Political Ecology of Development, SOAS, University of London
- Yacob Mulugetta, Professor of Energy and Development Policy, University College London
- Dorothy-Grace M. Guerrero, Author and consultant working with NGOs and social movements @deeguerrero
- Stefan Bouzarovski, Professor of Geography, University of Manchester. @stefanbuzar
- Alex Bolding, Wageningen UR
- Nick Hildyard, Cornerhouse
- Steffen Böhm, Director, Essex Sustainability Institute
- Mike Bradshaw, Warwick Business School