Tsegaye Moreda is an Assistant Professor of Agrarian Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS, The Hague) of Erasmus University Rotterdam and a founding member of Young African Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) network based at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. At ISS, he is a member of the Political Ecology Research Group and teaching team of the MA in Development Studies, Major in Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES). The graduate courses that he teaches – together with many senior scholars at the ISS – include Political Economy/Ecology of Agriculture and Environment (ISS-4150) (with, among others, Dr. Julien-Francois Gerber, Prof. Jun Borras, and Prof. Murat Arsel) and Politics of Agrarian Transformation (ISS-4240) (with Prof. Borras, and Dr. Oane Visser). He also teaches a graduate course on the politics of agrarian transformation and development in the College of Humanities and Development Studies (COHD) at China Agricultural University in Beijing. He has also previously taught various undergraduate courses in Ethiopia, including political geography, economic geography, development theory and practice, and research methods.
His research interests are in the politics of agrarian transformation and natural resources governance (land, water, forests, sub-soil minerals) – examined in the era of the global resource rush (land grabbing, the rise of extractivism, agro-extractivism, large-scale development interventions, neoliberal developmentalism) and environmental and climate change (focusing on narratives of and responses to them, including politics around mitigation and adaptation) – with special emphasis on understanding how contemporary politics around natural resources links to broader questions of social, economic, political and environmental justice. He focuses on understanding the role and location of land politics in global, regional and national trajectories. He also has work and interest in the various forms of political reactions by poor people towards dynamic changes in the political economy (land/property, labour, income, reproduction) of natural resources, including in studying – and at the same time, working with – social movements. Transversal themes in his interest in and treatment of all these issues are conflict, power and political contestations across social classes and identity politics, mediated by and through the state. It is in this context that he also looks into converging social movements partly in reaction to the parallel and overlapping processes of global resource rush and climate change mitigation narratives: agrarian movements, environmental movements, fishers' movements, food sovereignty movements. He works and continues to hone his intellectual skills along the tradition of scholar-activism. His regional focus is on Sub-Saharan Africa.
He is currently a team member of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant awarded project "Commodity & Land Rushes and Regimes: Reshaping Five Spheres of Global Social Life (RRUSHES-5)" led by Professor Jun Borras. This five-year (2019-2024) research project studies recent transactions in land and land-use change and how these impact the general situation around the issues of food, climate change politics, geopolitics, labour and migration, and state-society relations in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The project mainly focuses on Colombia, Ethiopia and Myanmar.
He is also a member of an ongoing action research project on governance instruments and the intersection between climate change politics, resource grabbing, conflict and political contestations in Mali (with Via Campesina's CNOP) and Nigeria (with Friends of the Earth's ERA), funded by IDRC and anchored by FIAN International.
Previously, he was a lecturer in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Gondar in Ethiopia. He also held a position of community service coordination in the Research and Community Service Office of the same university.
He holds a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies and M.A. in Development Studies from Addis Ababa University, and completed a Ph.D. in Development Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He also went to a summer school at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, UK.