Monday, July 24, 2017

UNESCO announces winners of 2017 International Research in the Life Sciences Prize

UNESCO Press Release No.2017-86

UNESCO announces winners of 2017 International Research in the Life Sciences Prize

Paris, 24 July—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has announced the laureates of the UNESCO–Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences for 2017.

The Prize-winners are:

Agricultural Research Organization (Volcani Center, Israel)

The institute has successfully developed cutting-edge innovations and methodologies in agricultural research with practical applications as well as capacity building programmes to promote food security in arid, semi-arid and desert environments, advancing human well-being.

Rui Luis GONçALVES dos REIS (University of Minho, Portugal)

For his outstanding innovative contributions to the development and engineering of natural-based biomaterials and their biomedical applications including tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, stem cells and drug delivery, which have a significant potential to improve human health.

Ivan Antonio IZQUIERDO (Biomedical Research Institute, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)

For his seminal discoveries in elucidating the mechanisms of memory processes including consolidation and retrieval and their clinical applications in aging, psychological disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases leading to the promotion of the quality of human life.

 

Recommendations for the Prize-winners were made by an international jury of renowned experts in the life sciences, including:

 

  • Prof. Wagida Anwar, Director of the Ain Shams University Center for Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Genomics, Cairo, Egypt;

  • Prof. Indrani Karunasagar, Director of the UNESCO MIRCEN for Marine Biotechnology, Mangalore, India;

  • Dr. Constantinos Phanis, Specialist in Biological and Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus;

  • Prof. Vincent Titanji, Honorary Dean and Former Vice-Chancellor, Biotechnology Unit, University of Buea, Cameroon; and

  • Prof. Pathmanathan Umaharan, Director, Cocoa Research Centre, University of the West Indies, Trinidad.

    Each of the three laureates will receive a statue made by the artist Leandro Mbomio Nsue, a diploma and a cheque for $100,000.  An award ceremony will take place at the Grand Hotel Djibloho, Djibloho (Equatorial Guinea) on 4 December 2017.

    The UNESCO–Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences rewards the outstanding scientific research projects of individuals, institutions or other entities working in the life sciences that have led to an improvement in the quality of human life. This is the fourth time it has been awarded.

    ****

    More information on the Prize

    Media contact: Roni Amelan, UNESCO Press Service, r.amelan@unesco.org



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UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, PARIS, NA FRANCE France

EPW Commentary | 'Development' and 'Modernity' in the Global South | by Jayanta Bandyopadhyay

'Development' and 'Modernity' in the Global South
by Jayanta Bandyopadhyay
EPW Commentary, 2017, 52(27).
The terms "development" and "modernity" have been used widely and diversely during the past several decades, and continue to be evoked extensively in the present time. Development is projected as the path to modernity, a unique and inevitably desirable state for all human societies.


Monday, July 17, 2017

[apeid.higher_education.bgk] Wenhui Award for Educational Innovation 2017 - final call for nominations

Wenhui () Award for Educational Innovation 2017

Innovations in the Professional Development of Teachers

 

 

Final countdown: 21 July 2017!

 

The closing date for the 2017 Wenhui Award, Innovations in the Professional Development of Teachers, is just a few days away. The Award this year seeks to recognize exemplary teachers’ professional development practices. This is a great opportunity to share and showcase efforts that have contributed to enhance teachers’ capacity and their teaching practices. Two individuals or institutions from the Asia and Pacific region will be selected by a jury of distinguished educators. The winners will each receive a Certificate of Excellence and prize money of US$ 20,000. Certificates of Merit may also be awarded to individuals or institutions that have demonstrated commendable innovative practices.

 

More information is available in the Wenhui Award Brochure. The Application Form and Consent Form can be downloaded from the the Award website: http://bangkok.unesco.org/content/wenhui-award-2017.

 

 

Important dates

Closing date for nominations      21 July 2017

Announcement of winners          End of September 2017

Award ceremony                        To be confirmed

 

 

For further information, contact:

 

Wenhui Award Secretariat

UNESCO Bangkok

920 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong

Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Tel: (66-2) 391-0577

Fax: (66-2) 391-0866

Email: apeid-award@unesco.org

Website: http://bangkok.unesco.org/content/wenhui-award-2017

 

The Wenhui () Award for Educational Innovation, established by the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO, and coordinated by UNESCO Bangkok, aims to recognize the contributions of educators and institutions which have optimized the potential of education and the human innovative spirit to address and resolve pressing issues and problems facing our world today.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

[apeid.higher_education.bgk] Call for Nominations for the 2017 Edition of the UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Education

Dear all,

 

The Secretariat of the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education has been informed that some Member States had difficulties accessing the online nomination platform established for the 2017 edition of the Prize. To respond to this concern, the deadline for nomination has been extended to 21 July.

 

Nominations should be submitted by Member States (via their National Commissions and Permanent Delegations) or NGOs and Foundations in official partnership with UNESCO in English or French by 21 July 2017 at the very latest (midnight, Paris time).

 

The nomination process takes place online via a platform accessible through the UNESCO website, available now through 21 July 2017, at the following internet link:  http://unesco.org/gwe.

 

For more information, please visit Prize website.

 

Further enquiries regarding the Prize may be addressed to Mr Leyong Gao and Ms Joséphine Leblanc, Section of Education for Inclusion and Gender Equality, phone: +33 (0) 1 45 68 06 32, e-mail: GWEprize@unesco.org.

Monday, July 10, 2017

[apeid.higher_education.bgk] Networking on foreign qualifications (TAICEP)

Dear Colleagues,

 

Just FYI - For those of you who are interested, The Association for International Credential Evaluation Professionals (TAICEP) will host its annual conference in Rome, Italy from 5-7 September 2017. They would like to have colleagues from Asia-Pacific take part in the exchange and capacity building opportunity. The networking would focus on assessing foreign qualifications.

 

For more details, please contact the organizers via http://www.taicep.org/  and taicepconference@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development (EISD)
UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education

 

Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building

920 Sukhumvit Rd.,
Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Tel.: +66 23 91 05 77 Ext 371

www.unesco.org/bangkok


Thursday, July 6, 2017

[apeid.higher_education.bgk] Outcome Statement - Regional Conference on Quality Assurance of Higher Education in Asia-Pacific, 15~16 June in Shenzhen, P.R. China

Dear Colleagues,

 

Warm greetings from Bangkok – We are so pleased to share with you the outcomes from our consultations in Shenzhen for the Regional Conference on Quality Assurance of Higher education in Asia-Pacific (15-16 June in Shenzhen, P.R. China).

 

We are grateful to all our colleagues in Paris and throughout the Asia-Pacific region for collaborating with us to convene such an important gathering. Thanks to our generous hosts at the National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO and UNESCO International Center for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI), more than 100 guests from over 30 countries took part in this special conference. Through a pre-conference survey and two rounds of interactive consultations, we developed the “Shenzhen Statement” which we hope effectively captures the need to develop a “living culture focused on quality” in higher education in Asia-Pacific. It was a wonderful and collective writing experience.

Please take a look at the stunning keynotes and results of this collaborative approach:

·         Keynotes on “From Teaching to Learning?” and many others are now online:
http://bangkok.unesco.org/content/regional-conference-quality-assurance-higher-education-asia-pacific

·         Shenzhen Statement - Building Local and Regional Capacity for a Living Quality Culture in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific
http://bangkok.unesco.org/sites/default/files/assets/article/Higher%20Education/QAShenzhenChinaJune17/ShenzhenStatement-QAinHE-June17-China.pdf

As additional inputs or ideas come to mind, please don’t hesitate to contact me or our unit in higher education. We look forward to supporting preparations for the 2018 conference in Paris and to learning more about your needs throughout Asia and the Pacific.

 

Warm regards,

Libing

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Libing Wang, PhD

Chief, Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development (EISD)

UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education

United Nations

Educational, Scientific and

Cultural Organization

Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building

920 Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Tel.: +66 23 91 05 77 Ext 212 Fax: +66 23 91 08 66

www.unesco.org/bangkok

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Call for Participation | MOOC on Understanding the Blue Economy | Starts July 2017

Call for Participation | Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Understanding the Blue Economy | Starts July 2017
The online course is offered through the University of Seychelles and available to learners globally.

The Commonwealth of Learning, in collaboration with the University of Seychelles' James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute, is offering a free online course on the Blue Economy. The course, titled "Understanding the Blue Economy," is aimed at individuals new to the concept and has six units:
Unit 1: The Blue Economy: An emerging concept
Unit 2: Ecosystem Services
Unit 3: Fisheries and Aquaculture
Unit 4: Emerging High Technology Sectors
Unit 5: Tourism
Unit 6: Maritime Transportation and Services
The course will focus on developing new and improved sustainable business models related to the use of coastal and ocean resources. It fits well with Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals which aspires to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. 

The course is flexible, free and will be run by the University of Seychelles, starting on 10 July 2017. Depending on a learner's weekly commitment, they will be able to complete the course between 8 to 10 weeks.

Please contact John Lesperance at jlesperance@col.org and Eugenie Khani at Eugenie.Khani@unisey.ac.sc for registration with following details: 1. Name, 2. Surname, 3. Country of residence, 4. Institution/organisation, 5. Email address, 6. Phone number, 7. Gender, 8. Date of birth. The deadline for registration is 5 July 2017. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

TRAI organizes Open House Discussion on Consultation Paper on "Approach Towards Sustainable Telecommunications" | 5th July, New Delhi

TRAI organizes Open House Discussion on Consultation Paper on "Approach Towards Sustainable Telecommunications"


IJHS Article "General Scientific Societies in British India" by BK Sen

General Scientific Societies in British India
by BK Sen, Indian Journal of History of Science, 2017, 52(2), 197-219. 
Abstract: British India gave birth to hundreds of scientific societies devoted to various sub-disciplines of science such as physics, chemistry and mathematics. However, some of them were devoted to science in general and played a significant role in science, society and scientific researches in India.Thirty three such societies are streamlined here with nature of foundation, objectives, publications and other details. The oldest of course is the Asiatic Society (1874) established in Kolkata and the latest being the Association of Scientific Workers of India (1947) inaugurated by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.They were established for popularization of science, promotion of science education, research, development of scientific terms in regional languages, translation of foreign scientific texts in Indic languages, and so on. Many of the societies perished for varied reasons. Some of them are existing till to date. 
Keywords: Scientific societies - British India; Scientific societies – India; Scientific societies – 18th century - India; Scientific societies – 19th century - India; Scientific societies – 20th century - India. 

Article "How well are we managing E-waste in India: evidences from the city of Bangalore" by A. Borthakur & M. Govind

Borthakur, A. & Govind, M. (2017). How well are we managing E-waste in India: evidences from the city of Bangalore. Energy, Ecology and Environment, doi:10.1007/s40974-017-0060-0. 

Abstract: As a toxic waste stream, E-waste poses serious challenges to the waste management initiatives in India. While the hazardous components of E-waste call for environment-friendly disposal mechanisms, the valuable and precious metal constituents necessitate adequate infrastructural provisions and responsible management programmes to avoid the loss of economically vital materials. Considering this duality, this paper is an attempt to evaluate the current E-waste disposal practices in India, particularly emphasizing on the city of Bangalore. Three sectors listed as 'bulk consumers' of electrical and electronic equipments under the recent E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, namely (1) IT and electronics, (2) banking and (3) education, are considered for the study purpose. Our experience suggests that these bulk consumers adopt two different approaches to comply with the new EPR guidelines as enlisted in the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016. These are: (1) IT companies like Wipro adopts a 'take-back system' where it is responsible for taking back the products originally produced in its various facilities from the consumers; (2) most of the banks and educational institutes take 'auction' as the measure by calling tenders from authorized E-waste recyclers with some banks embracing an 'E-waste exchange system', or complying through producer responsibility organizations (PROs) for responsible E-waste management in the city. However, we sense a lack of meticulous initiatives towards addressing the E-waste crisis largely prevalent across these sectors. We argue that ensuring responsible disposal behaviour is central in any successful E-waste management initiative. Further, we emphasize on the relative disinterestedness of the research community in addressing the issues concerning E-waste in India by carrying out a detailed bibliometric analysis on the topic. We conclude that a transparent system across these diverse sectors with adequate infrastructural provisions and administrative controls is the key to address India's E-waste apprehensions.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Writing Technology-Neutral Law: An Instructive Example | EPW Article

Writing Technology-Neutral Law: An Instructive Example
by Hans Verghese Mathews, EPW, June 2017.

Abstract: The regulation of "biotechnology" seems to present legislative difficulties of another kind. The Government of India proposes to institute a biotechnology regulatory authority—the Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015—for the purpose of collating the DNA information of citizens so as to strengthen the criminal justice process and system. However, the regulation of such technology needs to be technologically neutral and requires safeguards against any information abuse and exploitation on the part of the "experts" and "specialists" appointed to the new regulatory institution governing biotechnology.

Download Full-text PDF

Vigyan Prasar invites applications for its Director position

Vigyan Prasar invites applications for its Director position

Friday, June 30, 2017

[apeid.higher_education.bgk] 6th UNESCO-APEID Meeting on Entrepreneurship Education, 23-25 October 2017, Manila, Philippines

Second call for applications

 

Remember to submit your application for the 6th UNESCO-APEID Meeting on Entrepreneurship Education, Designing a Relevant and Innovative Entrepreneurship Education: Towards Mutual Recognition of Qualifications in ASEAN, East and South Asia, to be held in Manila, the Philippines, on 23-25 October 2017.

 

The objectives of the meeting are to:

 

·         Define a model of an “Entrepreneurship Program and Curriculum” within the domain of a Mutually Recognized Qualification/Agreement” (MRQ/A) for ASEAN, East and South Asia to achieve the SDG 4-Education Agenda 2030;

·         Develop specific, achievable and realistic factors and action plans as important foundation input to the MRQ/A for ASEAN, East and South Asia;

·         Establish a network or consortium for sharing, exchange and collaboration of ideas and expertise to support the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications and Standards for ASEAN, East, and South Asia at the tertiary education level.

 

The local organizers in the Philippines will cover 4 nights’ accommodation and meals during the meeting. All other costs, including travel and miscellaneous expenses, will be the responsibility of the participants.

 

Since space is limited, the participants will be selected based on the information provided in the application form, which must reach the organizers by 18 August 2016.

 

 

Applicants from the Philippines, send your forms to:

 

UNESCO EE Net Philippine Chapter – Miriam College

College of Business, Entrepreneurship, Accountancy 

Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City, 1108

Philippines

Email: unescoeenetphilippines2017mc@gmail.com

 

 

Applicants from other countries, send your forms to:

 

EE-Net Secretariat

UNESCO Bangkok

Thailand

Email: eenet@unesco.org

EE-Net Portal: http://www.unesco-eenet.org/

 

For more information, visit http://bangkok.unesco.org/content/6th-unesco-meeting-entrepreneurship-education.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

UNESCO EE-Net Secretariat

UNESCO Bangkok

920 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong

Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Tel: +66 2 391 0577

Fax: +66 2 391 0866

Email: eenet@unesco.org

EE-Net Portal: www.unesco-eenet.org

Web: http://bangkok.unesco.org/content/6th-unesco-meeting-entrepreneurship-education

Thursday, June 29, 2017

New Book | Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe | by Shobita Parthasarathy

Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe
by Shobita Parthasarathy, University of Chicago Press, 2017, 304 pages, ISBN: 9780226437859. 

Summary: Over the past thirty years, the world's patent systems have experienced pressure from civil society like never before. From farmers to patient advocates, new voices are arguing that patents impact public health, economic inequality, morality—and democracy. These challenges, to domains that we usually consider technical and legal, may seem surprising. But in Patent Politics, Shobita Parthasarathy argues that patent systems have always been deeply political and social.
To demonstrate this, Parthasarathy takes readers through a particularly fierce and prolonged set of controversies over patents on life forms linked to important advances in biology and agriculture and potentially life-saving medicines. Comparing battles over patents on animals, human embryonic stem cells, human genes, and plants in the United States and Europe, she shows how political culture, ideology, and history shape patent system politics. Clashes over whose voices and which values matter in the patent system, as well as what counts as knowledge and whose expertise is important, look quite different in these two places. And through these debates, the United States and Europe are developing very different approaches to patent and innovation governance. Not just the first comprehensive look at the controversies swirling around biotechnology patents, Patent Politics is also the first in-depth analysis of the political underpinnings and implications of modern patent systems, and provides a timely analysis of how we can reform these systems around the world to maximize the public interest.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Chapter One: Defining the Public Interest in the US and European Patent Systems
Chapter Two: Confronting the Questions of Life-Form Patentability
Chapter Three: Commodification, Animal Dignity, and Patent-System Publics
Chapter Four: Forging New Patent Politics Through the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debates
Chapter Five: Human Genes, Plants, and the Distributive Implications of Patents
Conclusion
Appendix 1: Major Events Related to the US and European Life-Form Patent Controversies
Appendix 2: Methodological Note

Current Science article | Plagiarism, Research Publications and Law

Plagiarism, Research Publications and Law
by R. Saha, Current Science, June 2017, 112(12): 2375-78. 
AbstractPlagiarism in scientific research has, in recent times, become a topic of discussion and concern in India. The core level of discussion has largely been driven by ethical considerations rather than by the relevant laws existing in the country such as the Copyright Act. Ethics can mean different things to different people and therefore issues related to legitimacy of one point of view as against another will always remain debatable. Punitive actions purely based on ethics may not be acceptable to all and may be difficult to implement, unless supported by law. Plagiarism is stealing someone's intellectual property, which is legally and morally untenable. In addition, it can cause economic disadvantage to the original author. The issue of plagiarism needs to be handled at a much higher level of academic, legal, political and social debate for enhancing the image of Indian research.
Keywords: Copyright, intellectual property, law and ethics, plagiarism, scientific research. 

Call for Participation: 1st International Conference on Large-Scale Grid Integration of Renewable Energy in India | 6-8 September | New Delhi, India

1st International Conference on Large-Scale Grid Integration of Renewable Energy in India

6-8 September 2017 | New Delhi, India

Organized by: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany | MNRE, India; Ministry of Power, India| Energynautics GmbH, Germany

The 1st International Conference on Large-Scale Grid Integration of Renewable Energy in India is endorsed by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and organized by Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Energynautics, Germany.
The Government of India has set the very ambitious goal to install 175 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2022. Grid integration thus becomes a very critical challenge to successfully accomplish this target. This international conference aims to connect international experts and Indian stakeholders to jointly discuss the latest technological, regulatory and conceptual developments in this field.

About the Conference
The Conference provides an International Forum to:
  • Discuss technical and economic issues of the large-scale integration of solar and wind power including the recent advances in transmission technologies (AC and DC)
  • Discuss worldwide project experiences
  • Discuss innovative ideas and present results from ongoing research
  • Stimulate interdisciplinary thinking between renewable energy and power transmission and distribution industries, as well as universities
  • Identify subjects requiring more research efforts
Proposed Preferential Topics
  • Project experience related to wind/PV/CSP/storage grid connection
  • Innovative Smart Grid solutions with wind/solar power and storage
  • Experience with large-scale integration of wind/PV/CSP/storage power into power systems
  • IT technology for the integration of wind/solar power and storage
  • Wind/PV/CSP/storage power monitoring and prediction systems
  • Wind/PV/CSP integration study experience
  • Wind/PV/CSP/storage power plant performance for plant operation and interconnection with the grid
  • Protection aspects of wind/PV/CSP/storage
  • Wind/PV and storage in distribution grids (distributed generation)
  • Wind/solar integration study methodologies and data requirements
  • Modelling of inverters and wind/solar power plants for system inte-gration studies including methods of testing and verification of compliance with requirements, and technologies (on grid side and power plant side) to facilitate integration
  • Wind/PV/CSP/storage system models for interconnection and planning studies
  • Design and operation of hybrid systems with wind/PV/CSP/storage
  • Modelling wind/PV/CSP/storage plants output variability and assessing the impacts
  • Power balancing methods and solutions, e.g. balance markets, to manage wind/solar power variability in power systems
  • Evaluation of rules and mechanisms for integrating of wind/PV/CSP/storage in electricity markets
  • Demand forecast with distributed wind/PV and storage
  • State-of-the-art wind/solar resources forecasting and opportunities for improvement
  • Interconnection standards for wind turbines, wind power plants, solar systems, solar system models for system planning and interconnection studies
  • Market design and regulatory issues related to Variable Renewable Energy (VRE)
  • Power system balancing with high share of VRE
  • Solar/wind power generation forecasting, scheduling and related applications
  • Load/demand forecasting
  • Power system balancing with high share of VRE
  • Ancillary services from RE and Non-RE sources
  • Flexibility of the conventional power plants
  • Grid codes and interconnection guidelines related to wind and solar power plants
  • Compliance testing for grid codes
  • Demand response in smart grid context
  • Virtual power plants
  • Communication, control and coordination between control centres
  • New and emerging features of power systems with high share of VRE





Dr. Anup Kumar Das 
Centre for Studies in Science Policy 
School of Social Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University 
New Delhi - 110067, India 

Friday, June 23, 2017

[apeid.higher_education.bgk] Call for Consultancy: Development of a synthesis report on gender assessment in teacher education

CALL FOR CONSULTANCY

Application date

Jun 23, 2017 - Jul 03, 2017

 

Development of synthesis report on gender assessment of teacher education in Asia

Type of contract

Contract for individual consultants

Consultancy duration

As soon as possible through 29 September 2017

Closing date

3 July 2017

File attachment

call-consultancy-development-synthesis-report-gender-assessment-teacher-education.pdf151.67 KB

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Call for Applications: ERPI Small Grants Call to Launch Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative

Small Grants Call to Launch Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative

Steps-centre.org | May 11th, 2017 | Nathan Oxley

 

The new Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) has launched with a call for small grants applications. The grants will fund working papers and fieldwork to generate new, empirical reflections and analysis on authoritarian populism and the rural world.

 

About ERPI

ERPI logoDeepening inequalities, failed livelihoods, mass (under)employment, climate chaos and racist anti-immigrant attacks characterise many settings across the world. Forms of 'progressive neoliberalism' — peddled inaccurately as social democracy — have failed to stem disillusionment, disenfranchisement and marginalisation. The rise of populist, nationalist movements — with racist, misogynist and isolationist characteristics — has been one very visible response. Such exclusionary politics are unravelling protections for women, racial minorities, disabled people, LGBTQ communities and many others. This type of populism depicts politics as a struggle between 'the people' and some combination of malevolent elites and racialized, unfairly advantaged 'Others'.

Yet the reactions to authoritarian populism are incredibly diverse, across and indeed within countries. In this Initiative, we are interested in changes ongoing in and in relation to rural areas that both give rise to a particular form of politics, but also offer alternatives. Whether in the US, across Europe, Turkey, India, the Philippines, Brazil or South Africa – and many other countries besides – various forms of reactionary nationalism have entrenched a narrow, sometimes violent, conflictual, exclusionary politics. This may be in the name of 'taking back control' in favour of 'the people', or putting one ideology and position 'first', while excluding others, generating tensions across society. All are responses to crises in contemporary capitalism, yet they are rooted in specific histories, institutional and social structures and political dynamics. Responses may be contradictory: for example shoring up a certain style of political power, while selectively offering progressive policies, whether free education, land reform or investment in rural communities.

The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) is focused on the social and political processes across rural spaces that are giving rise to such political reactions today. We seek to understand – but not judge – the characteristics of the social base that give rise to such political dynamics. We also aim to explore how alternatives are being actively generated to regressive, authoritarian politics.  We seek to create the space for a debate about alternatives, documenting, analysing and theorising these in order to begin to outline new emancipatory politics that challenge narrow, exclusionary, violent and populist visions, analysing, sharing, supporting, deepening and scaling up alternatives.

 

Activities

With this call we seek to engage scholars, activists, and practitioners from across the world who are both concerned about the current conjuncture, but also hopeful about alternatives. As outlined below, we will initiate a Working Paper series, supported by a limited number of small grants, to allow for the writing up of original research. In parallel we are inviting other, shorter contributions in a variety of media, helping to map out responses and alternatives.

The Initiative will hold a major conference in early 2018, bringing this work together, with the aim of thinking together about new directions, both for academic research and practical action. We will be encouraging publication of a series of papers in the Journal of Peasant Studies, as well as other popular and media outlets, as a focus for an intense, informed and radical engagement around this theme. We hope others in social movements, political formations, policy institutions, and elsewhere will participate, developing new visions that respond to the current moment.

 

1. Core Themes

We propose three core themes for the Initiative:

(i) The current conjuncture: rural roots and consequences

(ii) Resisting, organising and mobilising for an emancipatory rural politics

(iii) Alternatives: understanding, supporting, creating, deepening and scaling

 

2. What is to be Done? A Challenge for Scholar-Activists

The urgent tasks are numerous. Given the challenges, resistance must be big, wide and insurgent. Yet, the ranks of scholar-activists within academic institutions are relatively thin. However modest our capabilities and resources, we can nevertheless do something that can make an important contribution to wider, global resistance. Our contribution has two important characteristics. It is coordinated by a network of scholar-activists/activist-scholars largely working in academic and independent research institutions, in both the global North and South, and it brings insights to our analysis of and political action around the current conjuncture from longstanding work with a rural perspective. By doing this we hope that we can make a small contribution in sharpening our analysis of the global situation, and by doing so, help inspire more people to join in peoples' movements, community conversations and local innovations and experiments, wherever these may be.

 

3. Provisional Questions

Under our three core themes, some possible questions for further exploration are outlined here. These are indicative, and not restrictive. There are many, many more, so please do frame and explore them, as long as they broadly link to our core themes and wider political project.

 

4. What Are We Proposing?

Our initial aim is to kick-start a wide, informed conversation on the themes outlined above, creating a platform for onward debate and action. In this context, we are inviting both short contributions in a range of formats and research-based papers for a new Working Paper series that addresses the themes above. All contributions must be rooted in recent engagements in rural transformation and politics, speaking to particular contexts and experiences, from anywhere in the world. We encourage in particular collaborations between academics and activists/practitioners.

 

Call For Applications: Small Grants

We have a limited number of $2000 small grants available for those aiming to produce Working Papers, allowing perhaps additional fieldwork to supplement work already done. If you wish to apply for one of these grants, the deadline is 30 June 2017. Final papers are due at the latest on 1 January 2018. Please send a short application, including a one-page abstract, a half-page-word statement on a how you will spend the funds, and a half-page short bio of all proposed authors, including name, background, affiliation and country of residence – all these in one Word file. Applications should be sent to the email address emancipatoryruralpolitics@gmail.com, with the subject line marked ERPI SMALL GRANT APPLICATION.

Beyond those contributing directly, we invite any researchers and activists interested in this area of work and keen to keep in touch to sign up, via social media and email. Please let people know about this Initiative!

For now, we can remain in touch via the Initiative's email address: emancipatoryruralpolitics@gmail.com. You can also follow the ERPI on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Coordinating Collective

Ian Scoones (STEPS Centre/IDS Sussex), Wendy Wolford (Cornell University), Marc Edelman (City University of New York), (Ruth Hall, PLAAS University of the Western Cape), Ben White (ISS, The Hague), Jun Borras (ISS, The Hague), Agrarian & Environmental Justice Program of the Transnational Institute (Lyda Fernanda, Pietje Vervest and Jennifer Franco), ICAS: Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Zoe Brent, Liu Juan, Natalia Mamonova, Elyse Mills, Tsegaye Moreda, Salena Tramel).

 

Source: https://steps-centre.org/news/small-grants-call-launch-emancipatory-rural-politics-initiative/

STEPS Centre launches free online course on Pathways to Sustainability


Announcing a new learning website from the ESRC STEPS Centre

STEPS launches free online course on Pathways to Sustainability

STEPS LearningThe ESRC STEPS Centre has launched a new online learning website for self-study and use in teaching.

The STEPS Learning site features a course on Pathways to Sustainability with video lectures, reading lists and questions, and a guide to linking research & activism.

Explore the site

Course: Pathways to Sustainability

This course introduces the STEPS Centre's core conceptual approach, the Pathways Approach to sustainability, and how it can be applied in research and practice.

In six parts, it covers uncertainty and knowledge, policy processes, technology & innovation, planetary boundaries, resource politics and methodologies for sustainability appraisal.

It is fully open access and designed for users to study at their own pace, or as a resource for teachers.

Take the course

Guide: Research & Activism

How do scholars and activists understand and address the opportunities and challenges of linking research and activism? What are some of the approaches and platforms that can help? This guide was developed in collaboration with participants at the 2016 Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability.
 
Explore the guide

Video: About STEPS Learning

Ian Scoones, director of the STEPS Centre, introduces our learning website.
 
Watch the video

Creating a new generation of sustainability professionals

The latest in our series of impact stories shows how, since its launch in 2006, STEPS has worked in various ways to connect research, action and training to foster the new skills and alliances needed to address the challenges of sustainability.
Read the story

Confronting authoritarian populism

A new open access paper in the Journal of Peasant Studies explores the rise of 'authoritarian populism' in rural areas, emerging in response to poverty, inequality and marginalisation. The paper also examines the potential for more emancipatory rural politics, based on collaboration, mutualism and solidarity across boundaries and social divides.
 
Written by Ian Scoones, Marc Edelman, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Ruth Hall, Wendy Wolford & Ben White, the paper marks the launch of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI). This is a new initiative from the STEPS Centre, the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), PLAAS (UWC, Cape Town), Cornell University, City University of New York (CUNY), the Transnational Institute and Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS).
Read the paper

Small grants: call for applications

A small grants call for fieldwork and working papers is currently live, with a closing date of 30 June. Researchers around the world are invited to join ERPI in exploring the current conjuncture, examining how authoritarian populism flourishes in diverse rural settings, and how resistance and alternatives to it are being generated for more emancipatory futures.
 
Small grants: apply

What drives infectious animal-to-human diseases?

A Tanzanian woman carrying firewood, accompanied by a goat

Infectious diseases traceable to animals are driven by climate change, land-use change and the massive expansion of towns and cities, according to contributors to a paper in a major new output from the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, a STEPS Centre-led project.

One Health for a Changing World: zoonoses, ecosystems and human well-being is a Special Issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. It is co-edited by Professor Ian Scoones, Director of the STEPS Centre, Professor Andrew Cunningham of ZSL (Zoological Society of London) and Professor James Wood of the University of Cambridge.

Find out more
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