Research

I am interested in a variety of issues in my research. Primarily, I am motivated by the normative goals of reducing poverty and inequality. Within academic – policy-relevant – research, for me, this means trying to find ways to better understand development processes and how to encourage them along pathways that are more amenable to sustainability needs. This draws me to frameworks that are cognisant of politics, science, technology, innovation, history, and context (and, perhaps, many others). Many relevant terms and theories have emerged or disappeared over the years, none of which is entirely satisfactory for ‘complete’ understanding. However, notwithstanding these constraints, examples are:

Appropriate technology; Sustainable development; Low carbon development; Green development; Green growth; Innovation systems; Socio-technical transitions; Strategic niche management; Political economy

More recently, following my involvement with the STEPS Centre, I have been increasingly using the Pathways Approach and trying to find ways, together with colleagues, of incorporating relevant insights from some of the above-mentioned frameworks into Pathways thinking. This has so far developed furthest in research conducted with David Ockwell (in the Sussex Geography Department) and colleagues in the African Technology Policies Studies Network (ATPS, in Nairobi) through a recently-completed project looking at the evolution of the PV market in Kenya.