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.


Image of Lyla Mehta

Lyla Mehta

Professorial Fellow

Image of Ian Scoones

Ian Scoones

Professorial Fellow

Image of Amber Huff

Amber Huff

Research Fellow

Image of Jeremy Allouche

Jeremy Allouche

Professorial Fellow

Image of Lars Otto Naess

Lars Otto Naess

Research Fellow

Image of Wei Shen

Wei Shen

Research Fellow

Image of Shilpi Srivastava

Shilpi Srivastava

Research Fellow

Programmes and centres

Recent work

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New podcast: Trade links for a new world

In this episode of the IDS Between the Lines podcast, IDS Fellow Amrita Saha interviews James Bacchus about his book: Trade Links: New Rules for a New World. James is a Distinguished University Professor of Global Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Economic and Environmental...

29 July 2022


Pandemic Perspectives: Why Different Voices and Views Matter

IDS Bulletin 53.3

Responding effectively to the Covid-19 crisis and in ways that address systemic inequalities in the longer term raises many challenges – and opportunities – for researchers and commissioners of research. Launched in October 2020, the Covid Collective brought together the expertise...

29 July 2022


Development and trade at IDS

International trade and trade policy play a key role in contributing to improved livelihoods across the world. Yet it is well-established that trade generates winners and losers. Research has shown that despite the overall benefits from trade, trade can lead to increasing poverty or have...

27 July 2022

Working Paper

Responsiveness to religious inequalities in contexts of displacement: Evidence from providers of humanitarian assistance to Shi’a Hazara refugees from Afghanistan in Pakistan

CREID Working Paper 12

This Working Paper discusses inequalities caused or exacerbated by religious diversity in displacement and how humanitarian action can be aware of and responsive to this. It is based on interviews with Shi’a Hazara refugees from Afghanistan and local, national and international providers of...

26 July 2022


IDS welcomes the SPECTRA Art Collective

There are many unseen elements to any spectrum, and autism is no different. Navigating this world and society is a means of study for many within the autistic community. Why are things the way they are? What are the rules and governance structures that we must learn from the ground up? How do we...

26 July 2022