Development and Resilience: Re-thinking poverty and intervention in biocultural landscapes

Author(s): Haider, L. J.
In: Stockholm University
Year: 2017
Type: Dissertation
Theme affiliation: Stewardship
Link to centre authors: Haider, Jamila
Full reference: Haider, L. J. 2017. Development and Resilience: Re-thinking poverty and intervention in biocultural landscapes (PhD dissertation). Stockholm University.


How can efforts to alleviate poverty better account for coevolving relationships between people and nature? Persistent poverty is often conceptualised as a poverty trap, a concept which has thus far failed to incorporate interdependencies between human well-being, nature and culture. As such, interventions to alleviate poverty are often ineffective or may even exacerbate poverty – especially in areas with rich biological and cultural (biocultural) diversity. Drawing upon multiple approaches, the thesis advances new conceptualisations of poverty traps that more explicitly incorporate social and ecological interdependencies, and offers a new lens for examining the implications of development interventions. The thesis proposes that resilience can be interpreted as the active and passive filtering of practices via the constant discarding and retention of old and new, social and ecological, and endogenous and exogenous factors. This interpretation deepens understanding of resilience as the capacity to persist, adapt and transform, and ultimately shape new development pathways. The thesis also underscores the need to improve how to navigate tensions among the various contrasting epistemologies and methodologies that together are needed for delivering a rigorous sustainability science.

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