Questioning development: What lies ahead?

By Christiane Kliemann | EADI/ISS Blog Series

Development Studies requires “an epistemological and ontological change” write Elisabetta Basile and Isa Baud in the introduction to the recent EADI volume “Building Development Studies for a New Millennium”. The planned sequel of the book will take this analysis one step further and explore viable ways to build on both the critique of development as such, as well as the growing demand to decolonize knowledge production. The plenary session on “Questioning Development – Towards Solidarity, Decoloniality, Conviviality” at the recent #Solidarity2021 conference hosted a discussion by four contributors to the book which is currently in preparation for publication in 2023. The discussion is summarized here. Continue reading “Questioning development: What lies ahead?”

On Coloniality/Decoloniality in Knowledge Production and Societies

By Henning Melber

Social organisations tend to be based on asymmetric power relations – almost always, almost everywhere. Inequality characterises interaction both inside and in between societies. Class-based hierarchies, peppered by gender imbalances, sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and many other forms of discrimination are the order of the day, both nationally as well as internationally. Continue reading “On Coloniality/Decoloniality in Knowledge Production and Societies”

Why Positionalities Matter and What They Have to do with Knowledge Production

by Julia Schöneberg, Arda Bilgen, and Aftab Nasir

Coming from three different educational, geographical, and class backgrounds, the three of us met for the first time in a research institute in Germany. Together with a group of international colleagues, we were eager to be trained in Development Studies and pursue a PhD degree. In reminiscing about this journey many years later, we shared the struggles and challenges we experienced during our so-called ‘fieldwork’ stays in very different geographies and realised that there was a blatant gap not only in the way we approached our research, but also in the way we were trained: a lack of confrontation with the centrality of power and positionality in ‘development’ research (or any kind of research for that matter) – and a disregard of the colonial legacy in the way knowledge is created and considered legitimate.

Continue reading “Why Positionalities Matter and What They Have to do with Knowledge Production”

Area Studies Must Be Decolonised

The discipline’s existence reflects an enduring Western belief in the inferiority of knowledge production specific to different cultures

By David Simon

If you thought that area studies sounded like an odd name for an odd discipline, you’d be right. Its genesis reflects an enduring tension within academia between supposedly systematic (“disciplinary”) and geographically specific knowledge production – deriving from particular histories of how universities evolved in Euro-America and its former imperial and colonial realms. Continue reading “Area Studies Must Be Decolonised”

Towards a Non-Extractive and Care-Driven Academia

by Vijay Kolinjivadi, Gert Van Hecken, Jennifer Casolo, Shazma Abdulla and Rut Elliot Blomqvist

The white gaze permeates many aspects of even the most critical disciplines. In this piece, we offer some thoughts on how we might reclaim what the university could be  – a place that equips people with the knowledge they need to unlearn/unmake/dismantle the knowledge framings and worldviews that lend themselves to white supremacy and other forms of oppression more broadly.  Continue reading “Towards a Non-Extractive and Care-Driven Academia”