SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Dr Andrew Newsham

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Andrew Newsham
Department of Development Studies

Senior Lecturer in International Development

Dr Andrew Newsham
Email address:
020 7898 4884
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
By appointment:
On Sabbatical:
Term 3 (2019/20)


I am Lecturer in International Development in the Department of Development Studies. Sitting in the overlap between human geography and anthropology, I bring practical and theoretical insights from political ecology and science and technology studies to a research agenda which encompasses environment and development in Southern Africa and South America. Broadly, my research fits into two areas: a) the relationship between conservation and development; and b) climate change adaptation and development.


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised

Currently, I am convenor of the MSc Environment, Politics and Development. As part of this role, I convene the core module Political Ecology of Development, as well as an optional module, Environment, Governance and Development. Additionally, I lecture on Political Economy of Development, Introduction to Political Economy of Development, and Migration and Development. I designed and convened the first year of the online MSc Climate Change and Development (run by the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy)

PhD Supervision

I am currently supervising the following students:

  • Valerie Ponder, ‘The Political Economy of Climate Smart Agriculture’
  • Birsha Ohdedar, ‘The Human Right to Water in the Context of Climatic Change in India’
  • Shyamal Chakma, ‘Conservation and Displacement in the Northeast India’
  • Linlan Huang, ‘International Joint Ventures to Seek for Policy Support Promoting Sino-Japanese Cooperation on Clean Coal Technologies Cooperation: A Multi-staged Analysis’
  • Caitlin Sturridge, ‘How can changing rural/urban livelihoods build households’ capacity to adapt to growing resource scarcity? A political ecology of mobility in Laikipia, Kenya’
  • Faizaa Fatima, ‘Relational Patterns in Communal Land Governance and Localized Violence in Sudan’

I have supervised through to completion the following students:

  • Catherine Doe Adodoadji, ‘Climate Change and Vulnerable Coastal Cities in Ghana’
  • Maliha Muzammil, ‘Opportunities and barriers for low carbon, climate resilient development pathways in Bangladesh’

I am especially happy to consider proposals on locally-held knowledge and power-politics within climate adaptation policy; ecosystems-based adaptation, vulnerability analysis; community-based conservation in the 21st-century, with a good theoretical grounding in political ecology and science and technology studies.


As highlighted in my bio, my empirical research is most related to two areas: the relationship between conservation and development; and climate change adaptation and development. On the former, I wrote my PhD on privileged knowledge and the implications for local-level participation in combined conservation and development initiatives in Argentina and Namibia. Subsequently, I have written a book, Conservation and Development (2016, with Shonil Bhagwat) which provides an overview of unhealthy interdependence between these two imperatives. On the latter my interests have ranged from agro-ecological knowledge co-production as adaptive capacity in North-Central Namibia, to analysing vulnerability to climate (and other) impacts amongst people living in protected areas in Mexico, to assessing the prospects for agricultural commercialisation pathways in sub-Saharan Africa in the face of climate change. 

Across my work, I have been interested in a number of recurring themes, including:

  • privileged or marginalised knowledge and the implications for the inclusivity, legitimacy and efficacy of interventions;
  • the underlying philosophical commitments of different approaches to understanding human-environmental relations;
  • the linked political and economic processes which give rise to environmental problems, poverty and inequality alike;
  • processes which drastically change both how (and where) people make a living, and levels of vulnerability and resilience in the face of climate impacts.

 I am currently involved in two research initiatives:

  1. Agricultural Policy Research Africa (APRA): This five-year research programme poses the following question: which pathways to agricultural commercialisation are the most effective in empowering women, reducing rural poverty and improving food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa?  Funded by the Department for International Development, APRA aims to generate new evidence on pathways to agricultural commercialisation. APRA is coordinated by the Future Agricultures Consortium, led by the Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex and comprised of a number of UK universities (including SOAS) and research institutions in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. My role in the consortium is climate change crosscutting theme leader.
  2. Taking stock of ‘relational ontologies' in human-environmental scholarship: I will be running a British Academy-funded workshop, in June 2020, exploring the philosophical underpinnings of 'socio-nature'. This term, increasingly used across the social sciences, rejects the apriori separation of society and nature, and insists on ontological, not epistemic, primacy in seeking to explain human-environmental behaviour and socio-material phenomena. The workshop will bring into dialogue advocates and skeptics of this contemporary trajectory in social theory, via a methodology predicated on engagement and mutual learning. Rather than adjudicate between rival positions, the aim is to make space for diverse accounts and theoretical resources to understand fundamental human-environmental questions. In addition to the workshop, the output will be a special issue in a prestigious journal commonly drawn on by scholars interested in social theory and human-environmental relations, and which builds upon the mutual learning created through the workshop.


Authored Books

Newsham, Andrew and Bhagwat, Shonil (2015) Conservation and Development. Abingdon; New York, NY: Routledge.


Natarajan, Nithya and Newsham, Andrew and Rigg, Jonathan and Suhardiman, Diana (2022) 'A sustainable livelihoods framework for the 21st century'. World Development, (155) 105898.

Nightingale, Andrea J and Eriksen, Siri and Taylor, Marcus and Forsyth, Tim and Pelling, Mark and Newsham, Andrew and Boyd, Emily and Brown, Katrina and Harvey, Blane and Jones, Lindsey and Bezner Kerr, Rachel and Mehta, Lyla and Naess, Lars Otto and Ockwell, David and Scoones, Ian and Tanner, Thomas and Whitfield, Stephen (2019) 'Beyond Technical Fixes: climate solutions and the great derangement'. Climate and Development, (12) 4, pp 343-352.

Newsham, Andrew and Pulido, María T. and Ulrichs, Martina and Cruz, Roberto Muñoz and Ocón, Xóchitl Cantellano and Shankland, Alex and Cannon, Terry (2018) 'Ecosystems-based adaptation: Are we being conned? Evidence from Mexico'. Global Environmental Change, (49), pp 14-26.

Naess, Lars Otto and Newell, Peter and Newsham, Andrew and Phillips, Jon and Quan, Julian and Tanner, Thomas (2015) 'Climate policy meets national development contexts: Insights from Kenya and Mozambique'. Global Environmental Change, (35), pp 534-544.

Béné, Christophe and Newsham, Andrew and Davies, Mark and Ulrichs, Martina and Godfrey-Wood, Rachel (2014) 'Resilience, poverty and development'. Journal of International Development, (26), pp 598-623.

Davies, Mark and Béné, Christophe and Arnall, Alex and Tanner, Thomas and Newsham, Andrew and Coirolo, Cristina (2013) 'Promoting Resilient Livelihoods through Adaptive Social Protection: Lessons from 124 programmes in South Asia'. Development Policy Review, (31) 1, pp 27-58.

Newsham, Andrew and Thomas, David (2011) 'Knowing, farming and climate change adaptation in North-Central Namibia'. Global Environmental Change, (21), pp 761-770.

Guthiga, Paul and Newsham, Andrew (2011) 'Meteorologists Meeting Rainmakers: Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Policy Processes in Kenya'. IDS Bulletin, (42) 3, pp 104-109.

Book Chapters

Quan, Julian and Naess, Lars Otto and Newsham, Andrew and Corral Fernandez, María (2017) 'The Political Economy of REDD + in Mozambique: Implications for Climate Compatible Development'. In: Nunan, Fiona, (ed.), Making Climate Compatible Development Happen. Abdingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp 1-27.

Kelman, Ilan and Colbourn, Tim and Costello, Anthony and Georgeson, Lucien and Kovats, Sari and Maslin, Mark and Newsham, Andrew and Sammonds, Peter and Urban, Frauke and Waage, Jeff and Wilkinson, Paul (2015) 'Climate and Climate Change.'. In: Waage, Jeff and Yap, Chris, (eds.), Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development.. London: Ubiquity Press, pp 11-17.

Monographs and Working Papers

Newsham, Andrew and Kohnstamm, Sarah and Naess, Lars Otto and Atela, Joanes (2018) Agricultural Commercialisation Pathways: Climate Change and Agriculture: APRA Brief 6. Falmer, Sussex: UK: Institute of Development Studies.

Newsham, Andrew and Kohnstamm, Sarah and Otto Naess, Lars and Atela, Joanes (2018) Agricultural Commercialisation Pathways: Climate Change and Agriculture, APRA Policy Brief 6. Future Agricultures Consortium.

Newsham, Andrew and Kohnstamm, Sarah and Naess, Lars Otto and Atela, Joanes (2018) Agricultural Commercialisation Pathways: Climate Change and Agriculture. Brighton: IDS/Future Agricultures Consortium.

Quan, Julian and Naess, Lars Otto and Newsham, Andrew and Sitoe, Almeida and Corral Fernandez, María (2014) Carbon Forestry and Climate Compatible Development in Mozambique: A Political Economy Analysis. IDS Working Papers Series (2014) 448: Institute of Development Studies.

Maina, Immaculate and Newsham, Andrew and Okoti, Michael (2013) Agriculture and Climate Change in Kenya: Climate Chaos, Policy Dilemmas. Brighton: Future Agricultures Consortium.

Béné, Christophe and Cannon, Terry and Davies, Mark and Newsham, Andrew and Tanner, Thomas (2013) Social Protection and Climate Change: A paper prepared for the OECD-DAC Task Team on Social Protection. Centre for Social Protection and Climate Change team, Institute of Development Studies.

Béné, Christophe and Godfrey-Wood, Rachel and Newsham, Andrew and Davies, Mark (2012) Resilience: New Utopia or New Tyranny? Reflection about the Potentials and Limits of the Concept of Resilience in Relation to Vulnerability Reduction Programmes. IDS Working Paper Series (2012) 405: Institute of Development Studies.

Newsham, Andrew and Guthiga, Paul and Naess, Lars Otto (2011) Farmers' Knowledge and Climate Change Adaptation: Insights from Policy Processes in Kenya and Namibia. Future Agricultures Consortium Working Papers (70): Future Agricultures Consortium.

Newsham, Andrew and Satterthwaite, David and Winkels, Alexandra and Seballos, Fran (2011) Tackling Poverty in a Changing Climate: Bridging Concepts and Practice for Low Carbon Climate Resilient Development. DfID-IDS Learning Hub Bridging Paper Series (2): Institute of Development Studies.

Conference Items

Newsham, Andrew and Belcher, Oliver and Schmidt, Jeremy and Bauer, Andrew and Gebara, Maria Fernanda and Ernstson, Henrik and Petersen, Arthur and Hepach, Maximilian and Ohdedar, Birsha and Ribot, Jesse and Sundberg, Juanita and Swyngedouw, Erik and Taylor, Marcus and Tozzi, Arianna (2021) 'Taking stock of 'relational ontologies' in human-environmental scholarship' In: Taking stock of 'relational ontologies' in human-environmental scholarship, 1-2 July 2021. [Unpublished]

Book Reviews

Newsham, Andrew (2008) 'African development and African studies'. Oxford Journals, (107) 429, pp 641-650.

Opinion Pieces / Media / Blogs

Newsham, Andrew and Shonhe, Toendepi and Bvute, Tsitsidzashe (2021) Lessons from Zimbabwe’s tobacco farmers for the COP26 climate change talks.


Béné, Christophe and Newsham, Andrew and Davies, Mark (2013) 'Making the most of resilience' IDS In Focus Policy Briefings.

Béné, Christophe and Newsham, Andrew (2011) 'Social Protection and Climate Resilience. Report from an international workshop, Addis Ababa' World Bank Workshop Reports.

Newsham, Andrew and Goulden, Marisa (2009) 'Changing the climate of African development. Workshop report.'.


This list was last generated on Tuesday, 16th August 2022, 19:43 Europe/London.