Global Studies Research Seminar 2020

The making and unmaking of development: de- and reconstructions

The Global Studies Research Seminar of 2020 is co-organised with the Governance in Conflict Network and will focus on ‘post-development’ as a burgeoning academic and societal debate. The development paradigm, rooted in colonial heritages, based on modernist notions of progress, and premised on unsustainable economic growth, has been subject to postcolonial academic and (grassroots) activist critiques almost as early as it was introduced in the 1950s. Presently, however, with the compounded effects of economic and climate crises, and the migration/refugee debate, the notion of ‘post-development’ is gaining wider currency, urging both academics and the development sector to explore alternatives to development. This seminar is part of a PhD research training programme and will introduce researchers to development critiques and the different strands of post-development thought and practice, including the degrowth paradigm proposed in the Global North, as well as decolonial perspectives and indigenous epistemologies from the Global South (e.g. post-extractivism and Buen Vivir in Latin America). Addressing key challenges such as debt, poverty, growing inequality and environmental degradation, the seminar will allow to bridge debates and initiatives in the Global North and South, so as to replace the unidirectional North-South development paradigm with an integrated critical global perspective.