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Rethink! Explaining radical shifts in development aspirations, ideas, policies and practices 
James Copestake (University of Bath)
Emmanuel Kumi (University of Ghana)
Mihika Chatterjee (University of Bath)
Aurelie Charles (University of Bath)
Send message to Convenors
Monica Guillen-Royo (CICERO)
Sooksiri Chamsuk (University of Bath)
Max Nino-Zarazua (University of Bath)
Rethinking development
Palmer 1.04
Friday 30 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

The panel aims (1) to identify empirical examples of radical shifts in development thinking and the activities of development practitioners/organisations, and (2) to examine what caused them. We are especially interested in examples of shifts towards approaches with a lower material throughput.

Long Abstract:

Crisis, critical juncture, paradigm shift, pivot, reversal, revolution, transformation - development discourse is full of references to radical shifts. First, the panel aims to identify and document empirical examples of such shifts in development ideas and actions: in professional practice, organizational strategies, social movements or the mandates of international agencies, for example. Second, it will explore causal explanations for the selected changes, and how these are constructed. Shifts may be attributed to intentional disruption, unanticipated shocks (e.g. linked to climate change) or to changes internal to the selected agency (e.g. crises of performance or leadership). Or they may be attributed to a combination of factors. In a complex, uncertain and rapidly changing world being agile and innovative is widely viewed positively. However, the purpose of this panel is not to evaluate the identified shifts, but to improve understanding of the causal processes and power dynamics lying behind them, including causal interactions between changing aspirations, ideas, actions, and perceived outcomes. In the context of climate change, deep inequalities and other global challenges we are particularly interested in shifts that involve managed retreat from ambitions with higher material throughput.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 30 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Friday 30 June, 2023, -