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Urbanisation-climate change: What does this mean for development?

5 March 2018

Dr Arabella Fraser, an expert whose research focuses on the governance of climate and disaster risk in urban contexts of the global South, has joined The Open University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Dr Fraser joins us from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) where she was a Research Fellow, and Kings College London where she worked as a Research Associate. She has also worked in research and advisory roles for the World Bank,  Oxfam GB and Oxfam Spain, and UNDP.

Joining the OU as a Lecturer in International Development, Dr Fraser is also module chair for T879 Conflict and Development – a core module in the University’s MSc in Development Management.

Her research centres on the politics and governance of development and development practice under the changing dynamics of urban vulnerability to climate change risks, with a particular interest in the emergence and impact of institutional innovations for urban climate resilience and the politics of scientific knowledge in those innovations. Sheis currently involved in developing research bids and external research collaborations around the role of international climate finance in building urban resilience, addressing the interlinkages between environmental risks and urban violence, and governing multi-hazard urban risks.

Dr Fraser will deliver a seminar on 25 April 2018 on a paper she is writing titled The Politics of ‘Building Back Better’: Learning, Knowledge and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean post Hurricane Irma.

Talking about her paper, Dr Fraser explained: “Climate and weather-related disaster events not only reveal underlying social conditions but, under certain circumstances, can propel the reorganisation of particular policy regimes to reduce risks. The depth and extent of such changes depends in part on the opportunity and capacity for different forms of learning.

“Drawing on fieldwork I’m undertaking in March, co-conducted by King’s College London, my paper will aim to ask new questions about the drivers of institutional learning processes in the ongoing political negotiation of post-colonial regimes, where notions of sovereignty, responsibility and governance are being worked out across changing spheres of hierarchical and networked authority with implications for the relationship between environmental regulation and development futures.”

More details about the seminar is available on the events page.

To find out more about Dr Fraser, visit her profile page.

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International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
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T: +44 (0)1908 858502
E: international-development-research@open.ac.uk