How Francophone Scholarship Deepened our Understanding of Democracy and Social Change

By Christine Lutringer

What do Alfred Sauvy, Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan and Frantz Fanon have in common?

Their works were all written in French and have made considerable contributions to our understanding of democracy and social change, whatever is the context. I explored this theme in a chapter of the upcoming book Building Development Studies for the New Millennium (Palgrave Macmillan), which analyses how Francophone academic literature played an important role in building development studies. Continue reading “How Francophone Scholarship Deepened our Understanding of Democracy and Social Change”

Development Studies in Spanish: Critical, Constructive and Peripheral

By Rogelio Madrueño Aguilar and Pablo José Martínez Oses

While Development Studies in Spanish (DSS) has remained to some extent side-lined from the mainstream development discourse, one should not minimise its importance and tradition in development thinking and practice. It can be argued that DSS, from conception to implementation, is substantially peripheral and heterodox. More importantly, DSS can be perceived as a response framework to Western ideas of progress and development from a wide range of disciplines and traditions of thought. In particular, we would like to emphasize four key ideas here: Continue reading “Development Studies in Spanish: Critical, Constructive and Peripheral”

Knowledge, Asymmetric Power Relations and Us

By Henning Melber

Rather than summarising my chapter on “Knowledge Production, Ownership and the Power of Definition: Perspectives on and from Sub-Saharan Africa” in Building Development Studies for the New Millennium, I’d like to offer some additional thoughts I am dealing with since I wrote the piece. These thoughts are motivated by the view that that such asymmetries are not a matter confined to North-South relations and/or promoted by a specific group of “dominators” alone. Continue reading “Knowledge, Asymmetric Power Relations and Us”

Can we understand the prospects of development without understanding its environmental dimension?

By Imme Scholz

Development Studies aim to understand the root causes of poverty and its reproduction and how social inequalities emerge and are stabilized. This is a broad endeavour with a number of academic disciplines contributing, with quite a few success stories if we look at the economic and the social dimensions. However, while maintaining the focus on human wellbeing, we ought to change the mainstream understanding of this task and need to include the natural evnironment and its threats in the research on development. Continue reading “Can we understand the prospects of development without understanding its environmental dimension?”

Engaged Excellence in Development Studies

By Melissa Leach

Development Studies dilemmas

In our current times, Development Studies is needed more than ever.  As global challenges – from inequality, conflict and migration, to climate change and pandemics – intensify, the established hallmarks of Development Studies have much to offer and need to be nurtured and spread. These include interdisciplinarity, problem-focus, the addressing of connections between global and national processes and the realities of people’s lives and livelihoods, critical examination of institutions and power relations (including those of the aid industry), and the seeking of progressive change. Yet in our current political times, Development Studies is also facing new demands and dilemmas. Continue reading “Engaged Excellence in Development Studies”