By Henning Melber
Social organisations tend to be based on asymmetric power relations – almost always, almost everywhere. Inequality characterises interaction both inside and in between societies. Class-based hierarchies, peppered by gender imbalances, sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and many other forms of discrimination are the order of the day, both nationally as well as internationally. Continue reading “On Coloniality/Decoloniality in Knowledge Production and Societies”
By Margit van Wessel
There is a lot of interest in advocacy in the development sector. It is commonly accepted that projects in themselves are poorly geared to tackling structural causes of problems like poverty and injustice, and advocacy is taken by many as a necessary for addressing these structural causes.
However, despite all the interest in localization, and the acceptance that many important changes need to take place at country level rather than only in the Global North or international levels, there is little attention to how advocacy works in different national and sub-national contexts – the contexts in which many ‘partner organizations’ work. Continue reading “Advocacy in Fragile Contexts”
By Giuseppe Feola, Bram Büscher, Andrew Fischer and Martijn Koster
COVID-19 has shaken the world. Early emergency responses across the world led to drastic changes in local and global development trajectories within a very short period of time, from food insecurity, schooling and gender inequality, to debt and employment crises in much of the Global South, among other changes. A year on and despite the rollout of vaccines in many countries, it remains to be seen whether the pandemic will dissipate; not least because of the starkly unequal distribution of vaccines within and across countries, which is ethically reprehensible and epidemiologically unsound. Given this deep rupture to pre-COVID-19 business-as-usual and the severe adjustments that continue to be made, it is clear that we will not get ‘back to normal’ any time soon, if ever. Nor indeed should we. But how not to go back to normal? Continue reading “How Not To Go ‘Back To Normal’ After COVID-19: Planning For Post-Neoliberal Development”
By Anthony P. D’Costa
Lately the Indian state under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP or Indian People’s Party) has attracted a lot of attention. Aside from its divisive, populist Hindu-chauvinist politics, the government under Modi has unleashed an array of programs and projects, ostensibly designed to lead to a “new” united and prosperous India. Alas, the Citizenship Amendment Act, the poorly thought-out demonetization program, and the draconian nationwide lockdown during the corona virus pandemic did not unite India or make it prosperous. Continue reading “State and Development: What Has Changed in India?”
by Julia Schöneberg, Arda Bilgen, and Aftab Nasir
Coming from three different educational, geographical, and class backgrounds, the three of us met for the first time in a research institute in Germany. Together with a group of international colleagues, we were eager to be trained in Development Studies and pursue a PhD degree. In reminiscing about this journey many years later, we shared the struggles and challenges we experienced during our so-called ‘fieldwork’ stays in very different geographies and realised that there was a blatant gap not only in the way we approached our research, but also in the way we were trained: a lack of confrontation with the centrality of power and positionality in ‘development’ research (or any kind of research for that matter) – and a disregard of the colonial legacy in the way knowledge is created and considered legitimate.
Continue reading “Why Positionalities Matter and What They Have to do with Knowledge Production”