By Caroline Hambloch, Helena Pérez Niño and Mark Vicol / New Rhythms of Development blog series
Contemporary debates in agrarian studies have been predominantly focused on land and property issues, at times to the detriment of questions about production and exchange. The large and expanding footprint of contract farming is one example of a relatively neglected – yet significant – dimension of contemporary agricultural systems in the Global South. Farming contracts are one of many forms of coordinating production and exchange that seek to avoid the uncertainty for producers and buyers of finding each other more spontaneously in open markets. Contract farming involves a non-transferable agreement between farmers and buyers that specifies the terms of production and marketing, typically relating to the price, quantity, quality and delivery of the product.
Continue reading “Contract farming is everywhere, but how does it affect agrarian relations in the Global South?”
By Wil Hout / New Rhythms of Development blog series
Students of international relations are typically familiarised with the work of Alfred Thayer Mahan and Halford Mackinder, who both stressed the relevance of geographical dominance for great power status. Mahan focused on the role of sea power, while Mackinder’s notion of the ‘heartland’ (which referred to Eastern Europe) stressed control of land masses as a central factor for great power status. Mahan and Mackinder’s work is usually discussed to illustrate the popularity of geopolitical thinking at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century.
Continue reading “The Global South and the return of geopolitics”
Decolonizing research and re-imagining alternative partnerships in Development Studies
By Yafa El Masri, Melis Cin, Kitty Furtado, Paola Minoia and Rahime Süleymanoğlu-Kürüm / New Rhythms of Development blog series
Epistemic erasures continue to exist in a wide range of institutional designs at the local, national, regional, European and international level. Bringing up a debate on this topic not only opens the possibility to raise awareness on the concept, but also motivates research to shed light on alternative partnerships of resistance to these erasures. As Sharon Stein and others have pointed out, partnerships that arise collaboratively between actors from academia, civil society and politics can contribute to recognizing, repairing and re-imagining new decolonial futures.
Continue reading “Understanding epistemic erasures of local & indigenous communities:”
By Margit van Wessel / New Rhythms of Development blog series
It’s not a popular idea, but I want to express it nonetheless: many development organizations engage in representation, here conceptualized as ‘acting on behalf of others’. They articulate rights for groups, advance problem definitions important to particular groups, and advocate solutions for specific groups’ problems. However, it seems very few scholars or organizations want to acknowledge or even think about this. Why would that be, and is it right not to think of civil society roles in terms of representation in the first place? And is the more popular ‘solidarity’ a better option? Let’s compare and highlight some points for further reflection.
Continue reading “Unsolicited representation of others happens in international development, so let’s talk about it!”
By Alba Castellsagué and Sally Matthews / New Rhythms of Development blog series
Critiques of development have historically problematised the dominant models of economic growth and the controversial ideas of modernity and progress. Since the sixties, many have attempted to advance more sustainable understandings of development, with proposals emerging from a wide range of approaches: human capabilities, ecological sustainability, gender justice, and decoloniality, among many others.
Continue reading “Radical Alternatives or Ambivalent Engagements? Development Understandings from the Global South”