07. March 2023

Prof. Jessica Budds is new Professor of Development Geography and Risk Research Prof. Jessica Budds is new Professor of Development Geography and Risk Research

Prof. Budds leads the research group in "Development Geography and Environmental Governance" from summer semester 2023.

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Prof. Budds' research focuses on how economic growth influences environmental governance and risk, and how the new policy directions affect disadvantaged groups (such as the urban poor, small farmers, and indigenous peoples) in the Global South, primarily in Latin America. Located within political ecology, her focus is primarily on how power relations shape the water sector, including in relation to water availability, infrastructure, allocation between different economic sectors, institutional structures, and discourses around water issues. Her work argues that interventions that overlook power relations, such as market solutions and technological innovations, can reinforce unequal access to water. She thus employs a framework of hydrosocial relations to direct analysis towards water-society relations rather than the resource itself.

Prof. Budds has worked extensively on water privatization and water markets. She has contributed to critical research on the role of Chile’s water markets model in enabling export industries to over-exploit the country’s rivers and aquifers, and she has also examined the implications of the growth in demand for water for the mining and hydroelectric power sectors in Peru and India, respectively. Her recent research has considered how responses to water scarcity may protect or promote capital accumulation, through the cases of Chile, Brazil, Kenya and Ethiopia, as well as how the materiality of infrastructure influences practices of maintenance and repair. At Bonn, her research group will be examining the relationship between climate change adaptation and economic growth, and what this implies for water security and human development. More details are available on her research group's website.

Prof. Budds will be taking over the directorship of the joint University of Bonn – United Nations University MSc Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security. In the Summer Semester, she will teach a graduate seminar on Politics of Environmental Security for this course, and lead a master’s field trip to Great Britain. Prof. Budds is also available for bachelor's and master's thesis supervision, and is accepting enquiries from prospective doctoral candidates.

In addition to her research and teaching, she is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Latin American Geography, and is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Environment and Urbanization and Ambiente e Sociedade.

We are happy to welcome Prof. Dr. Jessica Budds to the department and wish her a smooth start!

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