Image of John Thompson

John Thompson

Research Fellow

John Thompson has worked on power, policy and sustainability issues in food and agriculture, water resource management and rural development for nearly 25 years, in both developing and industrialised countries.

He joined IDS in October 2006 as a Research Fellow and serves as Joint Co-ordinator of the Future Agricultures Consortium, which aims to encourage critical debate and policy dialogue on the future of agriculture in Africa and other developing regions.

Previously, he served as Director of the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods Programme of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, and Director of Research and Development of Just Food, New York City. Thompson has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, technical papers and reports, and is author and co-editor of several books.

In addition, he has sat on several international task forces, advisory panels and editorial boards, and has worked as a Research Associate at the National Environment Secretariat, Kenya, a Research Fellow at Clark and Harvard Universities, USA, and a Fellow at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria.

John Thompson’s recent work


Contested agronomy: more heat than light?

Ahead of the Contested Agronomy Conference, this blog post sets the stage for the debate and provides new insights to the understanding of knowledge politics within development-oriented agronomy, and the implications in the developing world.

Image of James Sumberg
James Sumberg & 3 others

18 February 2016


Ending Hunger and Malnutrition

The first article in this virtual IDS Bulletin is by Michael Lipton and dates from 1982. In that year the WHO stunting rate for children of preschool age in sub-Saharan Africa was 39 per cent. In 2012 the rate is still 39 per cent.

12 November 2012

Journal Article

Contested Agronomy: Agricultural Research in a Changing World

Part of the STEPS Centre's Pathways to Sustainability book series The dramatic increases in food prices experienced over the last four years, and their effects of hunger and food insecurity, as well as human-induced climate change and its implications for agriculture, food production and...

1 January 2012

Journal Article

The Politics of Seed in Africa’s Green Revolution


This IDS Bulletin takes one element of a bigger debate - the future of cereal seed systems in Africa - and examines some of the challenges, dilemmas, prospects and possibilities for the future, deploying an explicitly critical analytical lens to look at the political economy of seed systems in...

13 June 2011