Challenging Global Development while Defending Modernity and Enlightenment Thought

By Tanja Müller

The latest book in the EADI Global Development Series has recently come out with the apt title Challenging Global Development: Towards Decoloniality and Justice. It is a timely and important book, not least because it provides good summary of the history of ‘development’ and Development Studies, up to contemporary debates. It interrogates most of the relevant themes and contestations in relation to the concept of development and Development Studies as an (academic) subject. The book provides pertinent critiques of a diverse range of themes, such as inclusions and exclusions; transformative processes of knowledge production; questioning the growth-agenda; structural roots of global inequalities; and narratives based on dichotomies. A focus on decoloniality and justice is welcome, as is the recognition that colonialism is ultimately a power structure.

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Rethinking Development Studies

By Kees Biekart, Laura Camfield, Uma Kothari, Henning Melber

Our world is in shambles. And what is widely understood as Development has been a contributing factor. While ‘fixers’ are quick to offer new recipes for Development, re-building or re-constructing societies destroyed, they often offer more of the same. This provokes the question, as to whether life on earth might have been much better off without Development.

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Water, accumulation, and the space in-between

By Basile Boulay

Droughts, floods, shrinking water tables and growing competition to access what is becoming the new gold bring water governance at the centre of the global discourse. While evidently crucial, the governance question cannot be disentangled from the broader issue of the neoliberal agenda seeking the commodification of life, including water. Can sound resource management be achieved when states openly support private accumulation at the expense of nature and people? Madelaine Moore’s new book on Water struggles as resistance to neoliberal capitalism comes in handy to help us make sense of these questions by bringing insights from Australia and Ireland.

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Desperately seeking Shah Rukh – India’s lonely young women

By Basile Boulay

Have you ever heard about Shah Rukh Khan? If you are based in the Indian subcontinent or the Gulf countries, to name just a few, the question may have been the silliest you have heard so far this year. Obviously, you know him. But many of us may still raise our eyebrows at the question. No, never heard of him. To cut a long story short, Shah Rukh Khan is one of the most, if not the most, successful living legend of Bollywood cinema, with a career spanning three decades. In a country where cinema has always performed a very distinctive social role in shaping expectations and values while providing a unique escape from dire realities to many, Shah Rukh’s figure is unique in India.  Continue reading “Desperately seeking Shah Rukh – India’s lonely young women”

The difficult relationship between democracy and development in Indonesia: A book review

By Gerry Rodgers

Jean-Luc Maurer’s book “Indonésie : l’envol mouvementé du Garuda. Développement, dictature et démocratie” is a comprehensive political history of Indonesia, encompassing geography, demography, society and economy, from pre-colonial times to the present day.

The book aims to fill a gap in the writings about Indonesia in French. But that should not deter an English-speaking audience from dipping into it, because there is much to be learned here, not only about Indonesia, but also about the lessons of Indonesia’s experience for democracy and development elsewhere. Continue reading “The difficult relationship between democracy and development in Indonesia: A book review”