Our research, teaching and cooperation engage with justice, knowledge and power in agriculture, forestry, development and environmental politics. We approach rural areas as dynamic material spaces made up of networks of relations that span between the rural and the urban, the Global North and South. By bringing to bear social science questions of gender, race, class, territorialisation, state formation, scale, policy and development we are able to combat mainstream imaginations of the rural as residual, uninhabited, spaces for extraction and passive providers of food and natural resources. Our strength lies in our commitment to probing how development processes unfold through interdisciplinary conceptualisations and participatory methodologies.
Our research is clustered into two overlapping themes:
Politics of Environment
The Politics of Environment uses environmental and natural resource related issues as an entry point for understanding how rural lives, identities, economies, governance processes and policies shape the emergence of nation states, agricultural and forestry resources, citizenship, and territory. Our work encompasses the entanglements of humans and non-humans that shape current development challenges including: commodification of nature, natural resource governance, food security, technological change, and land and property conflicts.
The Rural Transformations theme begins from rural economies and policies to probe how rural-urban linkages, markets and entrepreneurship shape changing demographics, political economies and livelihood possibilities for rural residents. Rural concerns are conceptualised as interdependent with wider processes of development and social change, encompassing some of the most pressing challenges faced by nations and peoples around the world including refugees, conservation, economic sustainability, and human security.