How ethical can research relationships be in Development Studies?

By Isis Barei-Guyot

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted research practice, and where research was possible to continue nevertheless, researchers had to ask themselves how it could do so ethically. The context of the pandemic meant that many of such ethical considerations were new to researchers, and we witnessed a moment of overcoming and adapting that produced changes on a scale and at a pace that would have been previously inconceivable. However, these extraordinary efforts to keep research moving during the pandemic highlighted the inequalities that had become normalised within research practice, and particularly within research relationships.

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Radical Alternatives or Ambivalent Engagements? Development Understandings from the Global South

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.

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Marx and Colonialism

By Lucia Pradella

It is widely believed that Marx did not systematically consider the role of colonialism within the process of capital accumulation. According to David Harvey, Marx concentrated on a self-closed national economy in his main work. Although he did mention colonialism in Part 8 of Capital Volume 1 on the so-called primitive accumulation, this would only belong to a pre-history of capital, not to its everyday development. Based on a similar assumption, some postcolonial scholars criticise Marx for being Eurocentric, even a complicit supporter of Western imperialism, who ignored the agency of non-Western people.

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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”

Some steps for decolonising international research-for-development partnerships

By Katarzyna Cieslik, Shreya Sinha, Cees Leeuwis, Tania Eulalia Martínez-Cruz, Nivedita Narain and Bhaskar Vira | EADI/ISS Blog Series

While partnerships between researchers and practitioners from the Global North and Global South can be and often are intellectually and socially impactful, they remain highly unequal. Coloniality pervades these partnerships, influencing who leads research projects implemented in the Global South and whose interests are represented. Here, the conveners and panellists of a roundtable discussion on partnerships in academia that formed part of the recent EADI ISS Conference 2021 propose some steps for decolonising international research partnerships. Continue reading “Some steps for decolonising international research-for-development partnerships”