Hidden Hands of the City: How the Pandemic Unveiled the Systematic Neglect of Indian Migrant Workers

By Nitya Rao, Ayesha Pattnaik, Arundhita Bhanjdeo and Nivedita Narain

India’s national lockdown announced on March 24th, 2020 came into force 12 hours later. Within a few days, the big story emerging from across Indian cities was of inter-state migrant workers, stranded in cities without work, money or food. With no public transport, many started walking hundreds of kilometres to their homes. Those who stayed, exhausted their savings and were further sucked into debt. The lockdown drew attention to the invisibility of migrant workers in the policy space, and the systematic neglect of their basic rights: at origin, in transit and at destination. Continue reading “Hidden Hands of the City: How the Pandemic Unveiled the Systematic Neglect of Indian Migrant Workers”

How Can Development Cooperation Be More Sensitive To Power Relations?

By Tim Kornprobst and Anna Schwachula

Ever since development cooperation began in the 1950s, it has fallen under suspicion of upholding colonial conditions. Proponents of post-development theories therefore stress that the concept of development cooperation is problematic in the way it divides the world into “developed” countries on the one hand and “less developed” countries on the other, as this is considered to represent a Western, capitalist paradigm. In the eyes of critics, this bifurcation serves to perpetuate a colonial power structure in which experts from the global North recommend solutions to societies of the global South they consider to be “backwards”. Continue reading “How Can Development Cooperation Be More Sensitive To Power Relations?”

How Moving (Academic) Conferences Online Could Help Address Social Injustices

By Dennis Penu | EADI/ISS Blog Series

Curtailing the movement of people around the world in a bid to control and eventually stop the spread of Covid-19 has forced many, including academics, to gather online. A recent online conference of the European Consortium for Political Research I attended shows that such conferences can not only be a roaring success, but can also help address social injustices, in particular economic and social barriers to participation. Yet these practices should become the ‘new norm’ to ensure that these barriers are broken down once and for all. Continue reading “How Moving (Academic) Conferences Online Could Help Address Social Injustices”

The 2030 turn in German Development Policy – An Opportunity to Fundamentally Challenge Global Inequalities?

By Tanja Verena Matheis and Adrian Schlegel

Amidst the ongoing pandemic, the reorientation of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development with regard to international development policy and cooperation has gone almost unnoticed in the media. In the context of their “reform concept 2030”, the policy-makers identify five “megatrends” – demographic change, the shortage of natural resources, climate change, digitalization and interdependencies, and migration, based on which they suggest courses of action. The reform has attracted criticism, especially because of the cancellation of partnerships with countries with material precarity. Is the proposed strategy anywhere near allowing to address persistent socio-economic inequalities that the system of development cooperation claims to alleviate? Continue reading “The 2030 turn in German Development Policy – An Opportunity to Fundamentally Challenge Global Inequalities?”

Trade Reproduces International Inequalities

By Christian Dorninger, Anke Schaffartzik, and Hanspeter Wieland

Through international trade, richer countries do not merely generate a monetary trade surplus, but also appropriate international resources and labour from poorer countries. While this allows high consumption standards, economic growth, and the simultaneous protection of domestic natural resources in some countries, more land for mining and agriculture for exports is being extracted from the local economies in others. As a result, this makes a socially-ecologically sustainable development impossible. Our research team was now able to prove that ecologically unequal exchange was a persistent feature of the global economy from 1990 to 2015. Using environmentally-extended multi-regional input-output modelling, we investigated these structural inequalities in international trade. Continue reading “Trade Reproduces International Inequalities”