Accepted paper:

Knowledge imperialism in global social sciences: the case of development studies


Marton Demeter (Karoli Gaspar University of the Reformed Church)

Paper short abstract:

In my contribution to this panel I will argue that knowledge imperialism, maintained by, mostly, education, is a vivid feature of development studies too, and it could be demonstrated on both the level of international academy and on the level of national institutional networks.

Paper long abstract:

In my many years long research project I extensively analyzed the patterns of Global North hegemony pertaining the field of global academy in general, and in social sciences in particular. While in the global level we encounter an explicit core-periphery structure (in terms of leading publications, departmental compositions, education and career trajectories etc), in the national (or periphery-within-core) level we are facing with serious social class based stratification. What follows is that, in social sciences in general, and in development studies in particular, a Western elitist hegemony rules over the field while the voices of the authentic (peripheral) Global South academics are very hard to be heard. I will argue that the world-system of global academy is far for being as meritocratic as it thinks of itself, what is more, the international (and on the other level, the national) elite systematically use education for masking the fact that top positions (including positions at significant HEIs) are reserved to the global elite almost exclusively. In my argumentation I will use my own 4 dimensional model that is capable to handle both the issues of global knowledge hierarchies proposed originally by the Wallersteinian world-system theory and Bourdieu's concept of elite education that describes the ways people from different social classes collecting scientific capital in a socially stratified field that academy is. Besides theory presentation I will present extensive data on global hegemonies regarding publication trends, gatekeeper positions, career trajectories and educational paths in development studies.

panel F1
"We want skills! You'll get critical thinking!" - Opening up international development education [paper]