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Sustainability

Our interdisciplinary research explores how pathways to sustainability, green transformations and equitable access to resources such as land, water and food can be achieved and help us meet the environmental as well as human development-related goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Our work builds on a long tradition of critical social science engagement with environmental issues and resource politics in collaboration with partners globally. It explores how pathways to sustainability are shaped by political-economic and social processes, and understands how they are driven by technology, markets, states and citizens.  Our research sheds new light on how we can achieve green transformations that move us from fossil fuel to renewable energy, from throw-away to circular economies. It addresses the politics of sustainability, and understands how transformations occur at local levels as well as global, in both rural and urban settings, and be led by citizens as well as national governments. In doing so, it shines a light on how sustainable resource use, consumption and production is shaped by issues such as gender, livelihoods and politics.

Programmes and centres

Programme

Future Agricultures Consortium

Future Agricultures is a network of researchers on agriculture and food policy in Africa, formed of more than 100 people working in 12 countries across Africa and in Europe.

Projects

Project

System Change Hive

The System Change HIVE will explore and communicate visions of better lives to inform public thinking and work towards fairer systems that safeguard life-support systems and prioritise well-being and justice.

Project

The Rapid Transition Alliance

The climate is changing faster than we are. Rapid, transformative changes are called for to prevent climate breakdown and create the conditions for people to thrive together. Keeping to the globally-recognised 1.5 degree upper limit on global warming means significant changes in economies, lives...

Recent work

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Past Event

EADI Webinar – Engaged Excellence

This webinar session is the second in the series on "Building Development Studies for the New Millennium", based on the new European Association of Development Institutes volume. In this session Melissa Leach and John Gaventa, co-authors of the chapter on "Engaged Excellence", will share their...

19 March 2019

Journal Article

Understanding the Nourishment of Bodies at the Centre of Food and Health Systems – Systemic, Bodily and New Materialist Perspectives on Nutritional Inequity

Social Science & Medicine

That nutritional inequalities continue to proliferate at a global level requires new insight from all disciplines, given their formation at the intersection of broader inequities in food, health and other systems. This paper argues that critical social scientific perspectives are needed to...

4 March 2019

Journal Article

Can China Lead in Multilateral Environmental Negotiations? Internal Politics, Self-Depiction, and China’s Contribution in Climate Change Regime and Mekong Governance

The impacts of China’s intensified efforts to engage in regional and global environmental governance is widely noted and debated. With rapidly increasing economic and political influence, China has been gradually changing its attitude and strategy in negotiations over some of the most...

19 February 2019

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