Biofuels and the Globalisation of Risk: The Biggest Change in North-South Relationships since Colonialism?

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Biofuels and the Globalisation of Risk offers the reader a fresh and compelling analysis of the politics and policies behind the biofuel story, critically examining the technological optimism and often-idealised promises it makes for the future. Starting with a brief history of bioenergy policy, the book goes on to explore the evolution of biofuels as a policy narrative, as a development ideal and as a socio-technical system through a series of interlinked case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Smith argues that the nature of biofuels, so debated and contested, allow us to understand the relationships between and possible impacts of climate change, globalisation and development in entirely new ways and in doing so allow us to better understand the shifting dynamics of risk, responsibility and impact that investment in biofuels creates.  This essential new critique argues that the support for biofuels points to a deep reconfiguration of risk and responsibility and new forms of environmental determinism where the global south is encouraged to re-orient its agro-food systems towards biofuel crop production in order to allow the global north not to meaningfully engage with altering its levels of consumption, energy use or unsustainable development. Therefore, he argues, risks and responsibilities migrate from north to south and biofuels may constitute the biggest change in North-South relationships since colonialism.

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About the Author:

James Smith is co-director of and a senior lecturer in the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is also a director at the ESRC Innogen Research Centre at Edinburgh and a visiting fellow in development policy and practice at the Open University. His research explores the relationships between knowledge, science and development, particularly in relation to agricultural research and how it is practised. He has worked with many international organisations and research centres including Oxfam, DFID, IDRC and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research.

Review:

'This is a revolutionary body of work that analyses the allure of biofuels from a global, historical and political perspective.' Judi Wakhungu, African Centre of Technology Studies 'James Smith has produced an incredibly important book for anyone interested in why global investment in biofuels continues to expand at breakneck speed despite the technology's current inherent inability to make any significant impact on energy security or green house gas emissions.' Simon Trace, Practical Action 'I strongly recommend the reading of this book, for the expert and non-expert and politicians. If biofuels are to play an important role in our energy future, it is imperative we address all questions including uncomfortable ones, as Smith has done in this book.' Frank Rosillio-Calle, Imperial College

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Book Description ZED BOOKS LTD, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Biofuels and the Globalization of Risk offers a fresh, compelling analysis of the politics and policies behind the biofuels story, with its technological optimism and often-idealized promises for the future. This essential new critique argues that investment in biofuels may reconfigure risk and responsibility, whereby the global South is encouraged to invest its future in growing biofuel crops, often at the expense of food, in order that the global North may continue its unsustainable energy consumption unabated and guilt-free. Thus, Smith argues, biofuels may constitute the biggest change in North-South relationships since colonialism. Seller Inventory # AAR9781848135727

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