By Tomaso Ferrando and Giedre Jokubauskaite
This post introduces a blog series where multiple authors explore the role of debt as one of the most popular financial tools behind the ‘green transition’. Green and sustainability bonds, green microfinance, insurance and loan-enabled ‘loss and damage’ finance, are but a few of many variations of the governance logic, which uses debt to ‘green’ the economic system, while at the same time fuelling the financial and economic structures that lead to ecological destruction and a breakdown of social cohesion in the first place. If debt is so key, it must first of all be understood in its legal or financial construction and, more importantly, in the material and ideological implications that its use produces and consolidates.
Continue reading “Debt and green transition: An Introduction”
By Stephen Brown / New Rhythms of Development blog series
Sexual and gender minorities are under attack in several African countries. For instance, over the past couple of years, extreme anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has been introduced in Ghana and Uganda, where homosexuality was already illegal. Kenya and Tanzania could well be next. International actors are struggling with how to respond to the various bills, whose draconian new penalties include life imprisonment and even capital punishment.
Continue reading “International Development Cooperation and LGBTQ+ Rights in Africa”
By Caroline Hambloch, Helena Pérez Niño and Mark Vicol / New Rhythms of Development blog series
Contemporary debates in agrarian studies have been predominantly focused on land and property issues, at times to the detriment of questions about production and exchange. The large and expanding footprint of contract farming is one example of a relatively neglected – yet significant – dimension of contemporary agricultural systems in the Global South. Farming contracts are one of many forms of coordinating production and exchange that seek to avoid the uncertainty for producers and buyers of finding each other more spontaneously in open markets. Contract farming involves a non-transferable agreement between farmers and buyers that specifies the terms of production and marketing, typically relating to the price, quantity, quality and delivery of the product.
Continue reading “Contract farming is everywhere, but how does it affect agrarian relations in the Global South?”
By Alfredo Saad-Filho
Development Studies must always be critical, or it becomes just an apology for the status quo, for exploitation, for the reproduction of inequality within and between nations, and for the destruction of the conditions of life on Earth.
We live in times of converging crises, across the economy, democracy, health, the environment and more, with sprawling implications for ways of living around the globe. These crises and their mutual relationships offer the opportunity for new understandings of the problems of development and possible ways forward, which will inevitably be contested. These debates can be examined historically, focusing on the implications for our discipline.
Continue reading “Development Studies cannot become an apology for the status quo”
By Wil Hout / New Rhythms of Development blog series
Students of international relations are typically familiarised with the work of Alfred Thayer Mahan and Halford Mackinder, who both stressed the relevance of geographical dominance for great power status. Mahan focused on the role of sea power, while Mackinder’s notion of the ‘heartland’ (which referred to Eastern Europe) stressed control of land masses as a central factor for great power status. Mahan and Mackinder’s work is usually discussed to illustrate the popularity of geopolitical thinking at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century.
Continue reading “The Global South and the return of geopolitics”