Faith as Inspiration for Politics and Development

By Henning Melber 

Designs and practices of developmental cooperation continue to maintain an almost exclusive focus on aspects of physical and economic well-being. While these are important necessary dimensions, such reduced perspective neglects the important spiritual source of individual mindsets in human beings. After all, resilience as one of the most important motivating sources of energy for survival, is strongly inspired by spiritual dimensions of belief systems. Facing misery with a determination to not give up and accept the daily challenges requires hope. Religion, or rather faith, is a substantial ingredient to survival. It therefore should not be ignored as a key element in efforts to bring about better living conditions for people in need. Continue reading “Faith as Inspiration for Politics and Development”

Solidarity, Peace, and Social Justice – will these values prevail in times of fundamental threats to democracy?

By Jürgen Wiemann

Widening gaps

Solidarity, Peace and social Justice – the title for the 2020 EADI/ISS General Conference – are foundations and goals for a good society, a functioning democracy and for a global system that guarantees peace and facilitates international cooperation. Yet, our world seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Peace is no longer guaranteed when the global order established after the Second World War is not only attacked from outside but – even more disturbing – undermined from within; solidarity is waning with rising levels of immigration to Europe and the US, provoking resentment by those who already feel left behind; finally, social justice has become a utopian goal in a world of constantly rising inequalities. Continue reading “Solidarity, Peace, and Social Justice – will these values prevail in times of fundamental threats to democracy?”

Moving out of identity silos and into intersectionality: the example of gender identity

By Smriti Sharma

Women are undoubtedly doing better today than they were even 40-50 years ago. The gender gap has shrunk in many areas, including educational attainment, health, and employment and wages. Despite these advances, we cannot become complacent as there is still much work to be done. Continue reading “Moving out of identity silos and into intersectionality: the example of gender identity”

Inequality: Driving Forces and Policy Solutions

By Carlos Gradin and Miguel Niño-Zarazúa

The many faces of inequality

Measuring inequality isn’t as simple as it may seem. We know that since the 1970s global inequality has been falling in relative terms, but absolute inequality has been increasing over the same period. There are also substantial differences in trends across the different regions of the world. In North America, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa inequality has been increasing steadily in both relative and absolute terms, while in Latin America, East Asia, and the Pacific, absolute inequality increased while relative inequality fell. Continue reading “Inequality: Driving Forces and Policy Solutions”

Challenges to EU Development Policy: Paradigm Lost or Stretched?

by Sarah Delputte and Jan Orbie

European Union (EU) development policy seems plagued by many challenges from within and outside. We argue that underlying these challenges lay more fundamental problems with the Eurocentric, modernist and colonial paradigm of EU development policy. We witness some cracks in the pillars of the current paradigm, namely in the form of policy failures, epistemic changes, and power shifts. However, this seems unlikely to entail radical paradigm change. Instead of moving in the direction of post-development, we merely observe experimental approaches stretching the prevailing paradigm. Continue reading “Challenges to EU Development Policy: Paradigm Lost or Stretched?”