School of Geography - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 120
Pathways to water conflict during drought in the MENA region
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2020-07-02)
<jats:p> As hydro-meteorological hazards are predicted to become more frequent and intense in the future, scholars and policymakers are increasingly concerned about their security implications, especially in the context of ongoing climate change. Our study contributes to this debate by analysing the pathways to water-related conflict onset under drought conditions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region between 1996 and 2009. It is also the first such analysis that focuses on small-scale conflicts involving little or no physical violence, such as protests or demonstrations. These nonviolent conflicts are politically relevant, yet understudied in the literature on climate change and conflict, environmental security, and political instability. We employ the method of qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to integrate quantitative and qualitative data at various scales (national, regional, local) for a sample of 34 cases (17 of which experienced conflict onset). Our findings show that pre-existing cleavages and either autocratic political systems or cuts of the public water supply are relevant predictors of nonviolent, water-related conflict onset during droughts. Grievances deeply embedded into socio-economic structures in combination with a triggering event like a drought or water cuts are hence driving such water-related conflicts, especially in the absence of proper political institutions. We thus argue that drought–conflict links are highly context-dependent even for nonviolent, local conflicts, hence challenging determinist narratives that claim direct interlinkages between climate change, hydro-meteorological disasters and conflict. </jats:p>
Geographies of the future: Prefigurative politics
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2020-05-27)
<jats:p> This paper uses an examination of prefigurative politics – popularly imagined as ‘being the change you wish to see’ – to reflect on geographies of the future. We argue that prefigurative politics, which has become common since the mid-1990s, typically proceeds through multiple forms of improvisation. Successful prefigurative politics is usually institutionalised within organisations and movements and reshapes practices, discourses, and structures of power. We demonstrate how a focus on prefigurative politics can inform scholarship on the ‘anticipatory politics’ associated with dominant institutions and geographies of the future more broadly by highlighting ways in which people seek to enact visions of the future and illustrating the impact of these oppositional practices of future making. We argue that prefigurative politics could be a springboard for investigating means-ends alignment as a characteristic of political action and the present as a terrain of politics. </jats:p>
Abierto pero injusto: el papel de la justicia social en las publicaciones de acceso abierto
Stage one of the Open Access (OA) movement promoted the democratization of scholarly knowledge, making work available so that anybody could read it. However, publication in highly ranked journals is becoming very costly, feeding the same vendor capitalists that OA was designed to sidestep. In this Q&A, Simon Batterbury argues that when prestige is valued over publication ethics, a paradoxical situation emerges where conversations about social justice take place in unjust journals. Academic freedom and integrity are at risk unless Open Access becomes not simply about the democratization of knowledge, but the ethics of its publication too.
Possibility and risk in encounter between people with and without intellectual disability
(Taylor & Francis, 2020)
Background: Unpredictability, the risk of harm and possibility of rewards, are integral elements of encounter. Risk literature offers insight on the complex ways in which risk perceptions and attunements shape behaviours and interactions in encounter between people with and without intellectual disability. Method: The paper draws on risk literature, encounter literature, and examples from the authors’ previously published studies on encounter and work integrated social enterprises. Results: Encounters between people with and without intellectual disability are shaped by perceptions of possible rewards and harms; skills and experience in attunement to risk signals; disposition towards, and strategies of, risk aversion, management or enablement; and, environmental attributes of encounter settings. Conclusions: There is a need to shift community and disability services’ understanding of risk in encounter, by developing a positive appreciation of encounter risk, and development of risk enablement strategies that are learned through experiential practice.
Magnesium in subaqueous speleothems as a potential palaeotemperature proxy
(NATURE RESEARCH, 2020-10-06)
Few palaeoclimate archives beyond the polar regions preserve continuous and datable palaeotemperature proxy time series over multiple glacial-interglacial cycles. This hampers efforts to develop a more coherent picture of global patterns of past temperatures. Here we show that Mg concentrations in a subaqueous speleothem from an Italian cave track regional sea-surface temperatures over the last 350,000 years. The Mg shows higher values during warm climate intervals and converse patterns during cold climate stages. In contrast to previous studies, this implicates temperature, not rainfall, as the principal driver of Mg variability. The depositional setting of the speleothem gives rise to Mg partition coefficients that are more temperature dependent than other calcites, enabling the effect of temperature change on Mg partitioning to greatly exceed the effects of changes in source-water Mg/Ca. Subaqueous speleothems from similar deep-cave environments should be capable of providing palaeotemperature information over multiple glacial-interglacial cycles.
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Research in Small-Scale Societies: Studying Emotions and Facial Expressions in the Field
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2016-07-18)
Although cognitive science was multidisciplinary from the start, an under-emphasis on anthropology has left the field with limited research in small scale, indigenous societies. Neglecting the anthropological perspective is risky, given that once-canonical cognitive science findings have often been shown to be artifacts of enculturation rather than cognitive universals. This imbalance has become more problematic as the increased use of Western theory-driven approaches, many of which assume human uniformity ("universality"), confronts the absence of a robust descriptive base that might provide clarifying or even contrary evidence. We highlight the need for remedies to such shortcomings by suggesting a two-fold methodological shift. First, studies conducted in indigenous societies can benefit by relying on multidisciplinary research groups to diminish ethnocentrism and enhance the quality of the data. Second, studies devised for Western societies can readily be adapted to the changing settings encountered in the field. Here, we provide examples, drawn from the areas of emotion and facial expressions, to illustrate potential solutions to recurrent problems in enhancing the quality of data collection, hypothesis testing, and the interpretation of results.
Extensive elemental mapping unlocks Mg/Ca ratios as climate proxy in seasonal records of Mediterranean limpets
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-03-06)
Elemental analysis of biogeochemical archives is an established technique used to study climate in a range of applications, including ocean circulation, glacial/interglacial climates, and anthropogenic climate change. Data from mollusc archives are especially important because of their global abundance and sub-annual resolution. Despite this potential, they are underrepresented among palaeoclimate studies, due to enigmatic physiological influences skewing the elemental record. Understanding the patterns behind these influences will improve data interpretation and lead to the development of new climate proxies. Here, we show for the first time that extensive spatial mapping of multiple mollusc specimens using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) across a wider region can resolve enigmatic patterns within the elemental record caused by physiological influences. 2D elemental (Mg/Ca) maps of whole limpet shells (Patella caerulea) from across the Mediterranean revealed patterns of variability within individual mollusc records as well as within isochronous parts of specimens. By registering and quantifying these patterns, we established previously uninterpretable correlations with temperature (R2 > 0.8, p < 0.01). This outcome redefines the possibilities of accessing sub-annual climate proxies and presents the means to assess annual temperature ranges using oxygen isotope analysis requiring only 2 samples per shell.
People's Perceptions about the Importance of Forests on Borneo
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-09-09)
We ascertained villagers' perceptions about the importance of forests for their livelihoods and health through 1,837 reliably answered interviews of mostly male respondents from 185 villages in Indonesian and Malaysian Borneo. Variation in these perceptions related to several environmental and social variables, as shown in classification and regression analyses. Overall patterns indicated that forest use and cultural values are highest among people on Borneo who live close to remaining forest, and especially among older Christian residents. Support for forest clearing depended strongly on the scale at which deforestation occurs. Deforestation for small-scale agriculture was generally considered to be positive because it directly benefits people's welfare. Large-scale deforestation (e.g., for industrial oil palm or acacia plantations), on the other hand, appeared to be more context-dependent, with most respondents considering it to have overall negative impacts on them, but with people in some areas considering the benefits to outweigh the costs. The interviews indicated high awareness of negative environmental impacts of deforestation, with high levels of concern over higher temperatures, air pollution and loss of clean water sources. Our study is unique in its geographic and trans-national scale. Our findings enable the development of maps of forest use and perceptions that could inform land use planning at a range of scales. Incorporating perspectives such as these could significantly reduce conflict over forest resources and ultimately result in more equitable development processes.
New evidence of megafaunal bone damage indicates late colonization of Madagascar
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2018-10-10)
The estimated period in which human colonization of Madagascar began has expanded recently to 5000-1000 y B.P., six times its range in 1990, prompting revised thinking about early migration sources, routes, maritime capability and environmental changes. Cited evidence of colonization age includes anthropogenic palaeoecological data 2500-2000 y B.P., megafaunal butchery marks 4200-1900 y B.P. and OSL dating to 4400 y B.P. of the Lakaton'i Anja occupation site. Using large samples of newly-excavated bone from sites in which megafaunal butchery was earlier dated >2000 y B.P. we find no butchery marks until ~1200 y B.P., with associated sedimentary and palynological data of initial human impact about the same time. Close analysis of the Lakaton'i Anja chronology suggests the site dates <1500 y B.P. Diverse evidence from bone damage, palaeoecology, genomic and linguistic history, archaeology, introduced biota and seafaring capability indicate initial human colonization of Madagascar 1350-1100 y B.P.