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Accepted Paper:

Why positionalities matter: Reflections on power, hierarchy, and knowledges in “development” research  

Authors:

Arda Bilgen (Clark University)
Aftab Nasir (Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) Lahore)
Julia Schöneberg (University of Kassel)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, we argue that how, why, and by whom “development” research is conducted must remain under constant scrutiny. Grounding our arguments on post- and decolonial critiques and our own experiences, we propose a reflexive and sociopolitically conscious approach of knowledge co-construction.

Paper long abstract:

Despite more than two decades of critical scholarly engagement, “development” is far from shedding its hierarchical, patriarchal, and colonial underpinnings. In academic research and teaching, power relations are continuously perpetuated – both implicitly and explicitly. Grounding our arguments on post- and decolonial critiques and our own experiences, we contend that how, why, and by whom “development” research is carried out must remain under constant scrutiny. We propose a reflexive and sociopolitically conscious approach of “knowledge co-construction”. Thus, we seek to decouple the myths of objective production of knowledge around “development” and provide (especially) students and early career researchers with a critical gaze.

Panel P53b
Rethinking Power in Development Practice: understanding 'local agency' II