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Revisiting the Basics: (Re-)Conceptualising the Core Principles that Guide Development Studies and Practice 
Vibhor Mathur (University of Bath)
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Rethinking development
Palmer 1.04
Wednesday 28 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

The world's multiple economic, social and political crises highlight fundamental fault lines in our basic ontological and conceptual understanding of the core principles and frameworks underlying development studies and practice. Can these be (re-)grounded in the voices of those in the global south?

Long Abstract:

The rise of participation and bottom up approaches to developmental practice and research achieved great strides in including previously unheard voices in development studies. However, modern day crises - environmental, social and economic - seem to highlight cleavages in our fundamental ontological visions of the core principles that guide our political and economic decisions. Actions towards 'green growth' come into clash with visions of degrowth, buen vivir or more indigenous views on the non-dualisms of humans and nature. Actions to combat indecent work that aim to, for instance, abolish sex work or child labour, structurally ignore the visions of 'freedom', 'dignity' and 'wellbeing', relying still on theoretical and philosophical conceptualisations in the West. The domination of a corporatised version of Maslow's theory of needs has stifled a more holistic and grounded exploration of needs, and how they can be met beyond just material satisfiers. The new wave of rethinking 'development' needs revisiting and re-grounding some of these fundamental principles. Radical and empirical research in different parts of the world that is grounded in the voices, relationships and experiences of the people in whom development studies and practice is interested is crucial in reorienting ourselves to deal with the crises of the Anthropocene. Can we understand the world better, better?

Accepted contributions:

Session 1 Wednesday 28 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Wednesday 28 June, 2023, -