Research

Ricefields

Private sector, philanthropy and development

The role of private philanthropy (particularly the ‘new philanthropy’ or ‘philanthrocapitalism’) and the private sector in development has been a core theme in my research to date. In my current research I am exploring trends towards a greater role for private finance, and financial markets and products, in development.

Selected publications:

Gabor, D. and Brooks, S. (2016) The digital revolution in financial inclusion: international development in the fintech eraNew Political Economy, free to download here

Brooks, S. (2016) Inducing food insecurity: financialisation and development in the post-2015 eraThird World Quarterly, 37(5) 768-780

Brooks, S. (2015) Philanthrocapitalism, ‘pro-poor’ agricultural biotechnology and development,  in B. Morvaridi (Ed.) New Philanthropy and Social Justice: Debating the conceptual and policy discourse Policy Press: Bristol. (Click here for a pre-publication version of this chapter)

Brooks, S., Leach M., Lucas, H. and Millstone, E. (2009) Silver Bullets, Grand Challenges and the New Philanthropy, STEPS Working Paper 24, Brighton: STEPS Centre

Short articles, seminars and blogs:

Private finance and the post-2015 development agendaDevelopment Finance Agenda, 1, 3, p. 24-27 4 p., January 2016

Financing the sustainable development goals: reflections on FfD3. Wicked Issues blog, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, 17 August 2015

Private finance and the post-2015 development agendaopenDemocracy, 23 May 2015

‘Investing in Food security? Philanthrocapitalism, biotechnology and development’, SPRU Friday Seminar, Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU), University of Sussex, 15 November 2013.

Investing in Food Security? On philanthropcapitalism, biotechnology and development, openDemocracy, 18 July 2013

Science, policy and politics of ‘biofortification’

Rice Biofortification

Simultaneously an idea, a set of technologies and a development intervention, biofortification has been promoted as a ‘silver bullet’ solution to the problem of micronutrient malnutrition.

Well-known examples of biofortification include the ‘Golden Rice’ project; the HarvestPlus programme of the CGIAR; and one of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

My research has explored how and why this novel approach has attracted such levels of funding support and political attention; and how it can be made more responsive to local needs and contexts.

These research findings are published in a monograph:

Brooks, S (2010) Rice Biofortification: Lessons for Global Science and Development, London: Routledge

 reviewed in the Journal of Peasant Studies and Journal of Biosocial Science

Journal articles and book chapters:

Brooks, S. (2013) Biofortification: lessons from the Golden Rice projectFood Chain 3(1) 77-88

Brooks, S. and Johnson-Beebout, S.E. (2012) Contestation as continuity? Biofortification research and the CGIAR. In Sumberg, J. and Thompson, J. (Eds.) Contested Agronomy: Agricultural Research in a Changing World. London: Routledge. (Click here for a pre-publication version of this chapter)

Brooks, S. (2011) ‘Living with Materiality or Confronting Asian Diversity? The Case of Iron-Biofortified Rice Research in the Philippines’, East Asian Science Technology and Society (EASTS), 5 (2) 173–188

Brooks, S. (2011) ‘Is International Agricultural Research a Global Public Good? The Case of Rice Biofortification’, Journal of Peasant Studies, 38 (1) 67 – 80

Panels, seminars and blogs:

Is there a need for Golden Rice?
Friends of John Innes Centre event, 29 January 2014

‘Golden Rice’ and the GM Crop debate
STEPS Centre Blog ‘The Crossing’ (24 June 2013)

Biofortification and the biopolitics of sustainable development, SOAS Food Forum, University of London (8 March 2013)

‘Golden Rice’: a golden opportunity?
STEPS Centre Blog ‘The Crossing’ (20 April 2011)

Agricultural innovation, food security and climate change

This research has explored challenges facing smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa in the context of climate change, and the politics and policy processes surrounding different types of response – from governments, NGOs, public science institutions, donors, private companies, and farmers themselves.

Selected publications:

Brooks, S. (2014) Enabling Adaptation? Lessons from the new ‘Green Revolution’ in Malawi and KenyaClimatic Change 122(1) 15-26

Krätli, S., Huelsebusch, C., Brooks, S., Kaufmann, B. (2013) Pastoralism: a critical asset for food security under global climate changeAnimal Frontiers, 3(1) 42-50

Brooks, S. and Loevinsohn, M.E. (2011) Shaping Agricultural Innovation Systems Responsive to Food Insecurity and Climate ChangeNatural Resources Forum, 5(3) 185-200.

Brooks, S., Thompson J., Odame H., Kibaara B., Nderitu S., Karin F. and Millstone, E. (2009) Environmental Change and Maize Innovation in Kenya: Exploring Pathways in and out of Maize, STEPS Working Paper 36, Brighton: STEPS Centre

Guest blog:

Enabling Adaptation? Lessons from the new ‘Green Revolution in Malawi and Kenya,  in Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) Newsletter No. 6 (June-July 2014)