DSA2019: Opening up Development
The Open University, Milton Keynes, 19-21 June
Events and meetings
Wednesday 19th June
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.
- Religions and Development Study Group - Library Seminar Room 7 (Library Building)
- Women and Development Study Group - JLB Meeting Room 1 (Jennie Lee Building)
- DSA Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change Study Group - CMR Room 11 (Christodoulo Meeting Rooms)
We invite all DSA student members to meet with the DSA Council student representatives to discuss ways that students can interact more effectively with the DSA, as well as to select student representatives from the institutional members of the DSA. For those who cannot attend this meeting, there will be a DSA student booth in Juniper/Medlar building on all days of the conference where you can find one of the DSA Council Student Representatives during the lunch & tea breaks of the conference.
13:15-13:45 Welcome and Conference Opening
The Open University's Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Kevin Hetherington
DSA2019 Conference Convenor: Giles Mohan
Berrill Theatre, Berrill Building & Hub Theatre (video link)
13:45-15:15 Keynote Plenary 1: Development and Change Annual Lecture:
Mahmood Mamdani (Columbia University)
Chair: Sarah White (DSA President, University of Bath)
Berrill Theatre, Berrill Building & Hub Theatre (video link)
Sponsored by Development and Change.
'The making of permanent minorities: decolonizing the nation-state' - Mahmood Mamdani
The autobiography of the modern state in Europe begins with the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. This ‘internal’ European story has a moral underpinning: that a culture of tolerance was born of a century of religious wars, and in turn shaped the modern sovereign state which imposed a secular peace on warring factions in society. In this story, nationalism came first. It was the elevating moment. Then followed colonialism, the downside of the story. I suggest we rethink this narrative, and trace the founding moment of the modern state to a time two centuries before, 1492, a year marking the confluence of two developments. This will allow us to tell the story differently: that the constitution of the modern state was less an act of tolerance than of conquest unfolding in two connected waves, on the one hand, the creation of a Homeland through ‘reconquest’ and ethnic cleansing and, on the other, the settler conquest of overseas colonies as the beginning of a global ‘civilizing’ process.
Sponsored by Development and Change.
2015 saw the launch of an annual dissertation prize. The DSA dissertation annual prize of £500 was awarded to the best Masters level dissertation in development studies or development economics. At DSA2019 we congratulate the winner of the 2019 prize: Hamid Khalafallah (Division of Peace Studies & International Development, University of Bradford), for his work "The Role of Development NGOs In the Context of Authoritarian Regimes: A Case Study of Sudan". Hamid will be presenting his work at the conference in Panel C3 on 20th June 2019
After the ceremony, delegates are invited for drinks and canapés to celebrate the first day of the 2019 event!
Thursday 20th June
11.00-12.30 Keynote Plenary 2: sponsored by Journal of Development Studies
Robtel Neajai Pailey (University of Oxford)
Chair: Giles Mohan (Open University)
Berrill Theatre, Berrill Building & Hub Theatre (video link) [FILMED & LIVE-STREAMED EVENT]
Sponsored by Journal of Development StudiesRead the abstract and biography
'De-centring the “White Gaze” of Development' - Robtel Neajai Pailey
In its crudest form, ‘development’ has traditionally been about dissecting the political, socio-economic, and cultural processes of black, brown, and other non-white subjects in the so-called Global South and finding them ‘regressive’, particularly in comparison to the so-called ‘progressive’ Global North. However, in the midst of a twenty-first century, ‘de-colonial’ scholarly pivot, opening up development fundamentally demands turning the colonial, ‘white gaze’ on its head. In particular, contemporary social media movements challenging white supremacy such as #BlackLivesMatter have gained prominence while non-white development actors such as China have emerged as enticing alternatives. These phenomena have pried open development with both positive and negative results, intended and unintended consequences. My keynote seeks to put Critical Development Studies in fluid conversation with Critical Race Studies in an examination of how scholars, policymakers and practitioners have simultaneously succeeded and failed in subverting the ‘white gaze’ of development.
Robtel Neajai Pailey is a Liberian academic, activist and author of the award-winning anti-corruption children’s books Gbagba and Jaadeh!. With more than 15 years of combined personal and professional experiences at the intersection of scholarship, policy and practice, she has worked across a broad range of fields supporting universities, governments, media institutions, multilateral, regional, non-governmental and community-based organisations in Africa, Europe and North America. Robtel’s core areas of research expertise include the political economy of development, migration, conflict, post-war recovery and governance. She has published in academic journals (ie, African Affairs; Review of African Political Economy); edited book volumes (ie, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics; From the Slave Trade to ‘Free’ Trade: How Trade Undermines Democracy and Justice in Africa); magazines and newspapers (ie, New African; International New York Times).
An increasingly sought-after thought leader and public scholar, Robtel contributes regularly to Al Jazeera English and was recognised by the Financial Times in 2015 as one of ‘25 Africans to Watch’. In 2014, she completed a doctorate in development studies at SOAS, University of London, as a Mo Ibrahim Foundation PhD Scholar. Most recently an Ibrahim Leadership Fellow at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Robtel currently serves as Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development (ODID) in Oxford, UK, where she conducts research on race, citizenship, ‘South-South’ migration and development cooperation in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Visit www.robtelneajaipailey.com for more information.
12:40-14:10 Publication strategies briefing for students and early career researchers (ECR)
Library Seminar Room 4, Library Building [FILMED EVENT]
Chair: Aravinda Guntupalli (Open University)
- 12:40-13:25 Journal publication strategies briefing from three Development journal editors
- 13:25-14:10 Book publication strategies briefing three Development book publishers
This panel has two back-to-back 40-45 minute sessions that will, in the first session, involve editors of some leading journals in development studies and, in the second session, representatives of book publishers who will provide advice on effective publishing strategies. This is aimed particularly at PhD students and early career colleagues. Time is tight, so please grab your lunch quickly at 1230 and head to the Library Seminar Room 4 to be ready for a start as soon after 1230 as possible!
13:00-14:00 DSA NGOs in Development Study Group meeting
Library Seminar Room 7 (Library Building)
13:00-14:00 DSA South Asia Study Group meeting
Library Seminar Room 2 (Library building)
13:00-14:00 DSA Business & Development Study Group meeting
JLB Meeting Room 1 (Jennie Lee Building)
Gender and Work in global value chains: Capturing the Gains? - Stephanie Barrientos - Cambridge University Press, 2019
Global sourcing by supermarkets and brands depends on hundreds of millions of workers. Many are women, but they face systemic gender discrimination.
Drawing on extensive research in agriculture and apparel in Africa, Asia and Latin America, this book asks: How are global retail value chains shaping gender patterns of work? What are the outcomes for workers?
Women’s skills are critical in global retail value chains, but their contribution is under-valued. Capturing the gains from their work requires bargaining and contestation. Proactive governance is needed to promote gender equitable value chains.
Professor Stephanie Barrientos,
Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.
Building Development Studies for the New Millennium
Edited by: Isa Baud, Elisabetta Basile, Tiina Kontinen and Susanne von Itter
The session discusses the new volume from EADI, Building Development Studies for the New Millennium, edited by Isa Baud, Elisabetta Basile, Tiina Kontinen and Susanne von Itter. The volume contributes to debates on the current state and future visions of international development studies by focusing on social and democratic transformation, inclusive development and global environmental issues, and drawing out implications for research practices. It brings together multiple critical assessments of the current state and future visions of global development studies. It also examines how the field engages with new paradigms and narratives, methodologies and scientific impact, and perspectives from the Global South.
The Green Revolution Narratives of Politics, Technology and Gender - Robert Kilby
This book reviews what was known as the Green Revolution in agricultural research from the 1940s to the 1970s and the recurring theme of the forgotten women farmers in all of these processes and that these technical advances were, and still remain, gender blind. This narrative is put in the context of what is referred to as a second Green Revolution in the 2000s, which focuses mainly on Africa.
Despite a significant proportion of farmers or principal cultivators being women they are generally left out of this research and its application on farms. There are two overarching themes the book develops that are central to this gendered narrative: the role of the state in supporting these programs, and how neoliberal-based ideology can hinder the state; and secondly, the almost religious zeal in the belief that technological advances can solve problems like global hunger. This story is rounded out with a discussion of Cold War politics and case studies from Mexico, India, and China.
Dr Patrick Kilby is a Senior Lecturer and convener of the Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development Program, at the Australian National University. His research interests include NGOs and NGO accountability; gender and development; international development program management; and most recently the story of foreign aid. He has published two solo books on NGOs in India: The challenges of women's empowerment and accountability (2011), and NGOs and Political Change: A History of the Australian Council for International Development (2015). He has recently completed a Fulbright Senior Scholars Fellowship at Kansas State University looking at the history of the Green Revolution, and also to advise on how to improve women’s engagement in their agriculture research.
15:45-16:15 DSA-OUP Book Series Update and OUP Book Launch - Nicoli Nattrass and Jeremy Seekings' Inclusive Dualism: Labour-intensive Development, Decent Work, and Surplus Labour in Southern Africa
Library Seminar Room 4 (Library Building)
Book launch with the authors and series editors
'Inclusive Dualism: Labour-intensive Development, Decent Work, and Surplus Labour in Southern Africa'
By Nicoli Nattrass and Jeremy Seekings
- Challenges the prevailing development wisdom about productivity growth and upgrading
- Uses South Africa as a case study to explore broader patterns of job destruction, highlighting the importance of ideology, trade-union strategy, and the political-economy of policy-making
- Places the issue of unemployment centre stage by identifying surplus labour countries
- Makes the case that labour-intensive growth remains relevant and is essential for inclusive development in surplus labour countries, especially in South and Southern Africa
Sponsored by Oxford Development Studies and the Development Studies Association.
Confirmed speakers are:
Elvis Avenyo (University of Johannesburg)
Innovation and the performance of informal MSMEs in Ghana: A gender perspective
The relationship between the performance of businesses and gender has gained research and policy traction in recent years, but the empirical findings remain inconclusive. This paper explores, and analyses the product innovation activities of female and male-owned enterprises, and how these innovations enhance employment in non-farm informal enterprises. The paper investigates these objectives by exploiting unique data on 513 informal enterprises from two urban centres of Ghana (Accra and Tema), covering 2013 - 2015. Using the Dose Response Model, the findings presented herein provide consistent evidence that suggest that product innovation has considerable beneficial impacts on employment creation of informal enterprises. While our findings do not reflect, generally, systematic differences in the factors that affect product innovativeness of female- and male-owned enterprises, our results suggest that female-owned enterprises, compared to male-owned enterprises, sell more of innovative products on the one hand and less likely to introduce product innovation on the other hand. These findings support the view that innovation is ‘gendered’, and therefore requires a ‘gendered’ policy.
Jessica Hope (University of Bristol, UK)
Global Development in a time of climate change: routes to transformation
The severity of global warming (IPCC 2018) and staggering losses to biodiversity, habitats and forests necessitate new approaches to development. Multilateral, mainstream Development actors have responded with the 2015 UN ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) and by re-orientating development agendas to include the Global North and cast development challenges (such as climate change) as shared (UN 2015; World Bank 2015; Horner & Hulme 2017). Simultaneously, there is increasing momentum to decolonise development, which encompasses demands for the redistribution of land and articulates alternative ontologies of nature(s) (partly in response to the socio-environmental effects of development) (Johal & Hern 2018). In this panel, I argue for attention to the contemporary demands and struggles of environmental activism - crucial for understanding how these differing responses to climate change are being institutionalised (and marginalised) by shifts to Global Development.
Drawing on recent fieldwork with anti-extractive and indigenous movements in Bolivia, as well as on recent publications (Hope 2015, 2016 & 2017; Hope forthcoming), I will use environmental activism as an entry-point to examine Global Development in a time of climate change, specifically how differing responses to climate change are being institutionalized, structured and disciplined. Finally, I will suggest theories of decolonization, assemblage and infrastructure as offering ways to extend our analysis and understanding of the multiplicities and complexities of how socio-natural futures are being articulated.
Sergio Montero (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia)
Leveraging Bogotá: Sustainable development, global philanthropy and the rise of urban solutionism
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is marked by the consolidation of sustainability as a key guiding principle and an emphasis on cities as a potential solution to global development problems. However, in the absence of an agreement on how to implement sustainable development in cities, a set of urban policy solutions and ‘best practices’ became the vehicles through which the sustainable development agenda is spreading worldwide. This article shows that the rapid circulation of Bogota´ as a model of sustainable transport since the 2000s reflects an increasing focus of the international development apparatus on urban policy solutions as an arena to achieve global development impacts, what I call the ‘leveraging cities’ logic in this article. This logic emerges at a particular historical conjuncture characterised by: (1) the rising power of global philanthropy to set development agendas; (2) the generalisation of solutionism as a strategy of action among development and philanthropic organisations; and (3) the increasing attention on cities as solutions for global development problems, particularly around sustainability and climate change. By connecting urban policy mobilities debates with development studies this article seeks to unpack the emergence, and the limits, of ‘leveraging cities’ as a proliferating global development practice. These urban policy solutions are far from being a clear framework of action. Rather, their circulation becomes a ‘quick fix’ to frame the problem of sustainable development given the unwillingness of development and philanthropic organisations to intervene in the structural factors and multiple scales that produce environmental degradation and climate change.
Sameen Zafar (Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan)
In an increasingly close-knit world, it is important to include the voices of all the marginalized groups in policy circles. The elderly, particularly those based in poor developing countries, who are sometimes forced to flee their homelands due to wars and disasters and live as refugees in foreign lands, are often left out from such debates and policies. In this context, there is a need for new research as well as surveys which exclusively focus on the older refugee population to ensure that the aged refugees are included in wellbeing and economic analyses. It is also important for the practitioners to include the elderly refugees in their studies to examine their contribution to foreign societies. Refugees of all age groups are living in different countries across the globe. Most of them flee their homes to escape violence, conflict and appalling living conditions and settle in different countries to attain security, peace of mind, an improved standard of living and better opportunities for education and employment. While the younger refugees are able to adjust to their new lives fairly quickly and get engrossed in the faster pace of life by enrolling in schools or universities, supported by teachers and mentors, the older refugee population usually takes much more time to adjust to their new lifestyle and living conditions. This research paper is geared towards assessing the needs of the older refugee population. The target population which is included in the research are those who are about nearly 60 years of age. Being older restricts the opportunities available to such refugees. It is thus important to assess their standard of living and health needs as well as their ambitions. The paper analyses the experiences of the elder refugee population, using mainly interviews and questionnaires. It provides important insights and policy recommendations for the host countries.
Maureen Mackintosh (Open University, UK)
There will not be a formal conference dinner once again this year but a more informal and less exclusive event similar to last year's conference. Delegates with social event tickets will be able to enjoy the variety of world food stalls on offer which will set up on Thursday evening in the Hub building on the OU campus. There will be several different world cuisines on offer with a tasty selection of freshly made meals as well as soft drinks. There will also be a cash bar in the same building, offering for those who so wish, something alcoholic. Entertainment will be from a live local band playing from under a Marquee set out on the main Lawn while you eat, drink, mingle and even dance into the summer evening. Social event tickets are £10 each and this allows you to obtain a meal and drink combination from one of the world food stalls at the event. We regret that you will not be able to purchase more food than your provided portion, as the catering will be limited to the ticketed numbers. The ticket cannot be exchanged for alcohol which will be sold for cash only.
Friday 21st June
All members of the association are invited, indeed encouraged, to attend the annual general meeting of the association.
Agenda to follow
Sheela Patel (Slum Dwellers International)
Chair: Sam Hickey (GDI, Manchester)
Berrill Theatre, Berrill Building & Hub Theatre (video link) [FILMED & LIVE-STREAMED EVENT]
Sponsored by Journal of International DevelopmentRead the abstract
Disruptive transformations to produce impactful knowledge for change - Sheela Patel
I come here as a representative of SDI, a transnational organisation of the urban poor. It is a unique institution that has united informal households into city federations in 33 countries. These federations seek inclusion, voice and agency in city development that works for them. They come from the global south and seek to challenge the processes whereby informal habitats, and those who live in them, are rendered invisible. This invisibility produces repeated cycles of evictions or threats of demolition. As a result, these communities are locked for generations into a poverty cycle where just surviving and protecting the next generation seems the only option. Since the legal and governance frameworks do not acknowledge their needs and desires, SDI’s work is to explore practical scalable and sustainable alternatives to push for change. My association with these federations of the urban poor for almost four decades indicates that we are not making much progress. Although some significant breakthroughs have happened, but they are not enough. Challenges are exacerbated by the paucity of “fit for purpose” knowledge, the colonial feudal systems that underpin the legal frameworks determining how cities are managed, and the ways wealth remains undistributed.
I come here to a gathering of knowledge producers and development activists to share my reflections and seek collective reflection on what we need to change, through new partnerships, new alliances and new means of exploring exciting development paradigms, which will fulfil our commitment to leave no one behind. I want to explore what academia and academics see as their contribution in this area. We live in an already urban world that is getting more urban through every crisis of war, climate episode and desperate poverty. So, should people like me take as given that urbanisation is here to stay? Should we agree that urban poverty and the gini coefficient in cities is increasing exponentially while the UN target for both SDGs and climate change looms close, and the market forces and governance of cities are pulling against these expectations?
I want to ask what knowledge, which partnerships and what development architecture should inform developmental transformative practices? How will that knowledge and the architecture for its delivery get produced, and by whom? Can new paradigms combat the inequalities in which actors (including academic researchers) allow most of the development investments to stay in the north? Can we challenge a system that contracts cheap labour from the south to undertake research? Can we challenge those hypotheses that are not accountable to the constituencies of the poor they survey? Can we reverse situations where lying, cheating and stealing by the poor in corrupt and opaque governance systems is punished, while millions of dollars get wasted, diverted or remain unutilized? Can the present justification of the need to objectify the poor and their institutions continue, allowing academics to avoid deep and long-standing partnerships with organisations of the urban poor? Can those from the universities who work with the poor and produce new knowledge that assists them, as well as bring fresh new perspectives into the global developmental knowledge framework, become the rule rather than the exception?