By Lucia Pradella
It is widely believed that Marx did not systematically consider the role of colonialism within the process of capital accumulation. According to David Harvey, Marx concentrated on a self-closed national economy in his main work. Although he did mention colonialism in Part 8 of Capital Volume 1 on the so-called primitive accumulation, this would only belong to a pre-history of capital, not to its everyday development. Based on a similar assumption, some postcolonial scholars criticise Marx for being Eurocentric, even a complicit supporter of Western imperialism, who ignored the agency of non-Western people.
Continue reading “Marx and Colonialism”
By Basile Boulay
We find ourselves at a strange crossroads. Never have we been more aware of the devastating impact of consumer goods on the environment and never have we been so dependent upon them. Technological innovations are embedded in the daily lives of even the most critical among us, and both usage of and demand for devices grows exponentially, leaving us to contemplate the ravages of climate change on our brightly lit screens. Understanding our relationship with modern technologies as well as conceptualising a coherent framework for a collective liveable future requires us to engage with difficult questions while avoiding counterproductive moralising pitfalls. In this blogpost, I suggest that a critical political economy outlook coupled with an effort to reconceptualise the ‘good life’ could be a useful starting point.
Continue reading “Our bright digital lives: some critical thoughts”
By Intan Suwandi
Lockdowns and shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to what is being referred to as the “first global supply chain crisis.” The supply chain disruption has made havoc since the beginning of the pandemic, with more than 90 percent of the 1000 Fortune multinational corporations having a tier-one or tier-two supplier affected by the virus in February 2020. By mid-April 2020, 81 percent of global manufacturing firms were experiencing supply shortages. Also in the same year, hundreds of US companies reported that their suppliers only operated at an average of 50 percent capacity, which resulted in longer final product lead times and a negative impact between 5.6 to 15 percent on their revenues. Although recent reports indicate that the situation has become less severe, many analysts still think that the “supply chain nightmare” is far from over, and it is predicted that supply chain disruptions will continue until late 2022.
Continue reading “What do the global supply chain disruptions tell us about the world economy?”
By Daniele Malerba
The current energy crisis stemming from the war in Ukraine has shown that long-term climate mitigation needs to be coupled with the reduction of poverty and inequality; it is obvious that climate change is a global problem, and one that needs to be addressed in combination with social justice. In a recent article in an EJDR special issue, we make the case that the relationship and effects of social protection and social cohesion are critical in this sense. Social cohesion is defined as “the vertical and the horizontal relations among members of society and the state as characterized by a set of attitudes and norms that includes trust, an inclusive identity, and cooperation for the common good”
Continue reading “Social protection and social cohesion are key for climate action”
By Arve Hansen
The world is in dire need of more sustainable and healthy food systems. The development field has much to say on the topic but has historically had a clear focus on either food supply or food deprivation. The potential benefits and positive spill-over effects of eating healthier and more sustainably have, however, led to increasing and wider attention to the demand side of food. Recent research suggests that the sustainability potential of dietary change is considerably larger than that of improving production. If we could just change what people eat, and at the same time avoid some of the ongoing nutrition transitions in low- and middle-income countries, it would have a massive ripple effect in entire food systems.
Continue reading “Food transformations and (un)sustainable diets: Taking consumption seriously in development research”