Centre

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Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre

The ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre carries out interdisciplinary global research uniting development studies with science and technology studies to reduce poverty and bring about social justice.

 

The STEPS Centre is hosted in the UK by the Institute of Development Studies and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. Its main funding is from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council.

STEPS works as part of a Global Consortium with hubs in Africa, China, Europe, Latin America, North America and South Asia.

The centre aims to:

  • Address global challenges through interdisciplinary research projects which bring together development studies and science and technology studies
  • Develop a theoretical pathways approach to understanding interactions between social, technological and environmental dynamics in diverse local conditions
  • Link new theories with practical solutions by devising a suite of tools and methods to create more sustainable, socially just and favourable conditions for the poor
  • Influence policy and generate new debate by engaging with diverse local and global audiences to help make change happen
  • Train a new generation of junior researchers, Masters’ students, PhD students and postdoctoral fellows in the STEPS Centre’s concepts, methods and approaches.

People

Image of Dominic Glover
Dominic Glover

Research Fellow

Image of Georgina Powell-Stevens
Georgina Powell-Stevens

Hub Administration Manager

Image of Gerald Bloom
Gerald Bloom

Research Fellow

Image of Hayley MacGregor
Hayley MacGregor

Research Fellow

Image of Ian Scoones
Ian Scoones

Professorial Fellow

Image of Jeremy Allouche
Jeremy Allouche

Research Fellow

Image of John Thompson
John Thompson

Research Fellow

Image of Linda Waldman
Linda Waldman

Director of Teaching and Learning

Projects

Project

Market-Based Mangrove Afforestation and Reforestation in Kenya and India

This study aims to understand and compare processes and relationships associated with the ‘marketization of nature’ – how nature-based commodities and markets for trading them are brought into being – in the context of mangrove afforestation, reforestation and restoration projects in...

Project

Transitions to Agroecological Food Systems

This project will examine potential pathways for transitioning to more sustainable food systems in order to contribute to improved ecological, economic, social and nutritional outcomes.

Project

Changing health and welfare in China and the UK

The project looks at the changing role of state and non-government actors in providing social services in China’s rapidly evolving welfare regime, and aims to promote mutual learning between officials and researchers in China and the UK. Despite historical, social and institutional...

Recent work

News

Sustainability in an uncertain world

The ESRC STEPS Centre has launched a new theme on Uncertainty, with a series of activities planned for 2019. The STEPS Centre, hosted at the Institute of Development Studies and SPRU, University of Sussex, is hosting an international symposium, The Politics of Uncertainty, in July, as...

13 February 2019

News

IDS Research Fellow joins International Peacekeeping Editorial Board

Research Fellow, Dr Jeremy Allouche has been appointed to the Editorial Board of International Peacekeeping, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Taylor and Francis. Established in 1994, International Peacekeeping was the first scholarly journal devoted to studying the growing...

9 January 2019

Journal Article

Irrigating Zimbabwe After Land Reform: The Potential of Farmer-Led Systems

Water Alternatives;12(1): 88-106

Farmer-led irrigation is far more extensive in Zimbabwe than realised by planners and policymakers. This paper explores the pattern of farmer-led irrigation in neighbouring post-land reform smallholder resettlement sites in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo district. Across 49 farmer-led cases, 41.3...

Image of Ian Scoones
Ian Scoones & 2 others

1 January 2019

News

Learning from rapid change in a warming world

A new initiative to gather stories of rapid change is launched on 3 December, at the start of COP24, the UN’s annual global conference on climate change. The Rapid Transition Alliance (RTA) explores the lessons from changes – over a scale of five to ten years – that represent...

3 December 2018

Book

The Circular Economy and the Global South

The circular economy is a policy approach and business strategy that aims to improve resource productivity, promote sustainable consumption and production and reduce environmental impacts. This book (which is published on the 4 April 2019) examines the relevance of the circular economy in the...

30 November 2018