DSA2018: Global inequalities
University of Manchester, 27-29th June
Events and meetings
Wednesday 27th June
12.30-13.45 Keynote Plenary 1: Changing perspectives on inequality in a globalising world, sponsored by Journal of Development Studies
Chair: Sarah White (DSA President, University of Bath)
Plenary theatre C16 (Ground floor) Renold building
Changing perspectives on inequality - Frances Stewart (University of Oxford)
Inequality and institutions - Jan Nederveen Pieterse (UC Santa Barbara)
Read the abstracts
Changing perspectives on inequality - Frances Stewart
This presentation will review ways in which perspectives on inequality and development have changed over the last half century, with emphasis on changing views concerning inequality of what; inequality among whom; and the interconnections between inequality and development. Finally, the talk will focus on two major current challenge -- first, that focus continues to be largely on distribution among individuals, to the neglect of functional distribution and horizontal inequalities; and secondly, partly as a consequence, while the norm of what is widely advocated as desirable (less inequality) has moved in one direction, policy (largely) is doing little about this and even moving in the opposite direction.
Inequality and institutions - Jan Nederveen Pieterse
What forms of action can best combat global inequalities? The norm is quality growth (shared growth, inclusive development), the practice is often uneven growth. Why? A common feature of low quality growth and high social inequality is weak institutions that enable political and elite capture. Why are institutions weak? Since the reasons differ by region and history we must adopt a multicentric approach. While governance gaps are a common feature the way they come about, remain or grow differs. Are there parallels between patterns of inequality and the variety of institutional arrangements? Institutions, a key frontier in contemporary development, are the key variable in inequality.
17:45-19:00 Keynote Plenary 2: Development and Change Annual Lecture: The spectrum of inequality in the era of neo-liberal globalisation: diversities of fundamentals, or a multiplicity of political settlements and market failures?
José Gabriel Palma (University of Cambridge and USACH)
Chair: Diana Mitlin (GDI, Manchester)
Plenary theatre C16 (Ground floor) Renold building
Sponsored by Development and Change this lecture will be recorded and made available on the journal’s website.
I will first examine the five main stylised facts of the current broad spectrum of inequality, and then propose two new ways of looking at inequality that are closely related to what Alex Cobham and Andy Sumner have called the “Palma ratio”. I will also discuss how neo-liberal globalisation triggered a new process of “reverse catching-up” among OECD countries, so that it is now the highly-unequal middle-income countries (such as those in Latin America) that tend to show the advanced ones the shape of things to come. (“Welcome to the Third World!”). We are all indeed converging in this neo-liberal era, but towards features that so far have characterised countries with huge inequalities, such as mobile élites creaming off the rewards of economic growth, and ‘magic realist’ politics that lack self-respect if not originality. Finally, I will discuss why the neo-classical theory of factor shares that underpins influential accounts of inequality today (e.g. Piketty) not only does not ‘fit the facts’, but also relies on a methodology and social ontology that assumes that particularly complex and over-determined processes are just the simple sum of their parts. In this way, the account of inequality can be reduced to the description of individual constituents, and of the algebraic representation of the supposed simple causality interconnecting them, thus ignoring the complex interactions between politics and market failures that define contemporary patterns of inequality. I conclude that in order to understand current distributive dynamics, what really matters is to comprehend the forces determining the share of the rich — and, in terms of growth, what they choose to do with it.
Sponsored by Development and Change.
2015 saw the launch of an annual dissertation prize. The DSA dissertation annual prize of £500 is to be awarded to the best Masters level dissertation in development studies or development economics. At DSA2018 we congratulate the two joint winners of the 2018 prize: Bushra Rehman (IDD, University of Birmingham) and Henrique Lopes Valenca (GDI, University of Manchester), for their work "The intersection of gender and disability in exacerbating poverty in displacement settings: Jordan as a case study" and "Industrial policy and structural change in Brazil after the Washington Consensus (2003 – 2014)" respectively.
After the ceremony, delegates are invited for drinks and canapés to celebrate the first day of the 2018 event!
Thursday 28th June
12:40-13:00 Student social lunch
Room D1 (First floor) Renold building
This is an opportunity to meet other development studies students, so grab your lunch from the food distribution points and then come along to meet others, before the publication strategies meeting in room D2 (along the corridor).
13:00-14:00 Publication strategies briefing for students and early career researchers (ECR)
Room D2 (First floor) Renold building
This panel will involve editors of some leading journals in development studies and representatives of publishers who will provide advice on effective publishing strategies. This is aimed particularly at PhD students and early career colleagues.
OUP Mini book launches:
1. Frances Stewart, Gustav Ranis and Emma Samman, 'Advancing Human Development: Theory and Practice'
2. Hazel Gray 'Turbulence and Order in Economic Development: Institutions and Economic Transformation in Tanzania and Vietnam'
3. Lant Pritchett, Kunal Sen and Eric Werker, 'Deals and Development: The political dynamics of growth episodes'
4. Tony Bebbington et al. 'Governing Extractive Industries: Politics, Histories, Ideas'
5. Sam Hickey and Naomi Hossain 'The Politics of Education in Developing Countries: From Schooling to Learning?' (Forthcoming)
16:00-17:15 Keynote Plenary 3: Oxford Development Studies Annual Lecture: The politics of preserving gender inequality
Anne Marie Goetz (New York University)
Chair: Uma Kothari (GDI, Manchester)
Plenary theatre C16 (Ground floor) Renold building
Sponsored by Oxford Development Studies.
Income inequality has been widening exponentially since the 2008 financial crisis and the austerity policies adopted in response. While conventionally perceived in terms of deepening class and racial divides, there is a gendered dimension to the increased material insecurity of the poorest people everywhere, and to the patterns of social polarization and the threats to liberal democracy that emerge in response. A feature of the latter are male-dominated extremist groups asserting an almost atavistic patriarchy and that target women’s (real and imagined) freedoms for attack. This talk will explore signs of slowdown and reversal in the pace of change towards gender equality (while acknowledging areas of progress), and then examine how misogyny has featured in the recent turn to illiberal politics in many industrialized and developing states. There are connections between the backlash against women’s rights and increasingly militarized societies and nationalist politics; misogyny is a convenient and effective mobilizing tool and is a core feature of the alternative states proposed by right wing and religious extremists of all kinds. In intergovernmental institutions, unconventional alliances are being formed between countries hostile to women’s liberties that are collaborating to dismantle aspects of women’s rights (particularly sexual and reproductive rights). Feminist collective resistance has taken a variety of forms, including the surprising effectiveness of the #MeToo movement. This talk will weigh up prospects for righting the gender equality project in light of long-term changes in levels of women’s political participation (on the increase), labor force participation (stalled), the endurance of discriminatory gender norms (very sticky) and changes in men’s uptake of unpaid care work (grudging, slow).
Sponsored by the Development Studies Association.
Confirmed speakers are:
Oscar Garza - (Universidad de las Américas Puebla, México)
Sen’s Capability Approach and the persistence of injustice: Reconceptualising injustice
Inequalities within and across countries are extensive and reflect prevalent local and global injustices. While Sen’s capability approach has been highly influential in global debates concerning the conceptualization of such injustices such as poverty and inequality, one could argue that it has been less successful in translating its rich conceptual apparatus into practical action capable of promoting a more equitable development. Indeed, despite (or independently of) its theoretical contributions, the literature on the capability approach has failed to provide practical guidance to orient policy interventions to lessen the social ailments of poverty and inequality within and across the globe. My research aims at filling this gap. At the theoretical level, I argue that the capability approach remains insufficient to promote effective injustice-reducing interventions due to the failure of capability-enhancing policies in accounting for the social/relational reproduction of injustice. I illustrate this argument with reference to the social policy of Oportunidades (recently renamed as Prospera) in Mexico. I suggest that, in order to create a more just society, injustice-reduction policies need to go beyond the removal of capability-deprivations and address the ways in which injustice is reproduced through social interactions.
Lipika Kamra - (Georgetown University, Qatar)
Gender Inequalities in the Global South: Development, Democracy and New Self-Imaginaries
My talk at the plenary will focus on how gender inequalities in the Global South might be addressed through development interventions and democratic politics. I will draw on my research of the past 6 years, which examines the gendered politics of development and democracy in contemporary rural India. I found, much to my surprise, that poor women actively participate in development programmes (state-led and NGO-led) and in democratic elections in order to challenge the gender inequalities they face at home and outside. While they are aware of the limitations of these programmes, they nevertheless creatively negotiate with the state, NGOs, and elected representatives to create a new space for themselves in the rural public sphere. I argue, therefore, that material goods do not draw women to state officials, NGO workers or elected representatives, but the promise of carving a role outside the household. Women’s new desired roles in the rural public sphere might not be enough to overturn patriarchal social and familial structures. However, by linking themselves to development actors and by participating in democratic politics, poor rural women activate a new sense of their own self. This finding contributes to knowledge on gender inequalities in the Global South and how those might be tackled. Drawing on recent work which argues that ‘development’ might be strongly desired by marginalized groups, I shall make a case for focusing on processes of self-making in our scholarship and responses to global inequalities challenges.
Jackie Kauli (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Arts based approaches and their role in challenging power and agency in international development
The field of international development is characterised by uneven power dynamics between those who fund programs and those who are regarded as beneficiaries of such initiatives. A gap often exists between western frameworks and developing locally appropriate solutions to development. To address this gap and make visible everyone's varied contributions, arts-based approaches can create spaces that acknowledge people's creative and innovative engagements embedded in local contexts. Here, creative processes embedded in the arts based forms are critical in ensuring that these spaces provide equal opportunities to participants while exploring different perceptions, understandings and tensions. In these spaces arts based practitioners can contribute to mediate tenuous spaces using the tools and processes that artistic practices offer. In this paper, we draw on our collective experience using storytelling, drama and film for research, advocacy and monitoring and evaluation. We present case studies of undertaking action research using creative approaches to develop communication strategies to address sorcery and gender related violence in Papua New Guinea. In partnership with local human rights organisations we used participatory creative methods including digital storytelling and process drama forms to yield nuanced understandings of local conceptualisations and knowledges, and to uncover innovative community-led approaches addressing the issue of violence. Incorporating an indigenous research framework, the project emphasises joint ownership of narratives and visual outputs which in turn are shared with communities and stakeholders nationally. This paper then makes a key contribution to understanding collaborative and co-creative research processes to investigate community-led innovations that can support sustainable social change and challenge power and agency in development
Julia Schöneberg (University of Kassel, Germany)
Entanglements of Positionality: Reflections on development research practice
I was enthusiastic to embark on my PhD field research and ready to produce knowledge about a country I had never been to before and whose language I did not speak. Thankfully, doubts about my role and the legitimacy of the questions I undertook were cast very early. In one of the PhD introductory lectures, a room full of colleagues from various countries of the Global South, the lecturer asked me, the only German in the room – and for that matter – the only person not to research in her home country, why a white, privileged, Western European girl like me should be able to contribute meaningfully to knowledge production in and about Haiti. I did not have a response to that question then, but it prompted intense reflections on the webs of relationships and entanglements of positionality, on questions of knowledge, knowledge (co-)production and the authority of different knowledges especially in a context dominated by funding guidelines and financial imbalances. In my talk I will speak about the difficulties one faces while attempting to contribute meaningfully, I will reflect about inherent, post-colonial power structures and the difficulty to overcome them and I am asking: who speaks, how, on what terms and to whom, and, most importantly: who listens?
Alice Evans - (King's College London, UK)
- DSA Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change Study Group - Room D1 (First floor) Renold building
- DSA NGOs in Development Study Group - Room D2 (First floor) Renold building
- DSA Rising Powers Study Group - Room E1 (Second floor) Renold building
We invite all delegates from the Global South and others to join DSA Council members to discuss how the DSA might be able to enhance its interaction with those based in the Global South.
There will not be a formal conference dinner this year but instead, a more informal and less exclusive event than previous years' conferences. All delegates will be able to enjoy the small night market/ food festival which will set up on Thursday evening in the quads behind the Renold building. There will be several different food vendors from the Levenshulme Market offering a tasty selection of freshly made meals as well as soft drinks. There will also be a mobile bar which operates often at the same market, offering for those who so wish, something alcoholic. Entertainment will be from a live local band playing within the quads while you eat, drink, mingle and even dance into the summer evening. Every delegate will receive a £10 voucher to spend at one of the food vendors at the event, this is included in your registration fee. If you wish to purchase any extra nibbles over and above your voucher, you can do so in cash. The voucher cannot be exchanged for alcohol which will be sold for cash only.
Friday 29th June
All members of the association are invited, indeed encouraged, to attend the annual general meeting of the association.
- Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (The New School)
- Lidy Nacpil (Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development & Fight Inequality Alliance)
- Alex Cobham (Tax Justice Network)
Sponsored by the Global Development Institute.