Development Studies and the Manufacturing of Consent

By Tara van Dijk

Why should we “think SDGs” in Development Studies?  This model of development (getting countries, corporations and other institutions to champion a list of non-binding goals and arbitrary targets) should be an object of analysis and critique. Yet this and similar messages adorn Development Studies departments’ websites, events, and curriculum.  And what do these messages preclude and promote?   They promote consent for this brand of development by precluding dissent and abstention.  Here I delve into why and how Development Studies, in effect and since its inception, manufactures consent for mainstream development thinking and projects. Continue reading “Development Studies and the Manufacturing of Consent”

Above or below the poverty line

Three key questions for understanding shifts in global poverty

By Andy Sumner and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez

In 2010 and the following years, there was attention to the fact that much of global poverty had shifted to middle-income countries (for example here, here, and here). The world’s poor hadn’t moved of course, but the countries that are home to large numbers of poor people had got better off on average and poverty hadn’t fallen as much as one might expect with economic growth in those countries moving from low-income to middle-income. There were also some big questions over the country categories themselves. One could say the world’s poor live not in the world’s poorest countries but in fast growing countries and countries with burgeoning domestic resources to address poverty albeit ‘locked’ by domestic political economy (who doesn’t want cheap petrol?) Continue reading “Above or below the poverty line”

(Un)learning EU development policy through post-colonial lenses

By Jan Orbie

When reading the fresh manuscript of the special issue of Global Affairs on ‘Development and International Partnerships in the EU’s external relations’, with the request to write the conclusions, I was confronted with mixed feelings. The contributions written and edited by distinguished colleagues obviously show how much the field of EU development studies has advanced conceptually and empirically. Continue reading “(Un)learning EU development policy through post-colonial lenses”

Africa’s relations with the EU: a reset is possible if Europe changes its attitude

By Niall Duggan, Luis Mah and Toni Haastrup

Summits between the African Union and European Union are essential to setting the big picture agenda of contemporary Africa-EU relations. They also carry weight because of their potential to ensure that African perspectives are also prioritised within the relationship.

Over the past six decades, trade and development has constituted the main basis for interaction between African countries, the continent’s institutions, and the EU. The EU remains an important actor in Africa despite the growing interests of other actors such as China, Turkey and the US among others.

Continue reading “Africa’s relations with the EU: a reset is possible if Europe changes its attitude”

The “White Saviour” Deal for Nature

By Gert Van Hecken and Vijay Kolinjivadi

There is no denying that the world’s biodiversity is under serious threat. A recent proposal that has gained significant traction to address this decline is to designate 30 per cent of the earth’s surface as protected areas by 2030 (commonly referred to as the Global Deal for Nature, or the 30×30 Plan). This proposal will be discussed at the world’s top-most biodiversity summit expected in 2022 in Kunming, China. The 30 per cent reservation for “nature” is itself viewed as part of a roadmap towards the idea that “Nature Needs Half” – a campaign calling for half of the world to be dedicated to nature, rather than human activities. Continue reading “The “White Saviour” Deal for Nature”