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Coloniality, epistemic injustice and the discipline of development studies: deepening the call for social justice in development studies 
Eyob Balcha Gebremariam (University of Bristol)
Puleng Segalo (University of South Africa)
Divine Fuh (HUMA-Humanities in Africa Institute)
Isabella Aboderin (University of Bristol)
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Paper panel
Embedding justice in development
S116, first floor Senate Building
Thursday 27 June, -, -, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel seeks to interrogate how the analytical interplay between the concepts of coloniality and epistemic injustice can radically transform the call for centring social justice in the research, teaching and practices of development studies.

Long Abstract:

As elaborated by various scholars (Quijano 2000; Maldonado-Torres 2007, 2016; Ndlovu-Gatsheni 2013, 2018), the notion of coloniality has three analytical manifestations, i.e., coloniality knowledge, being and power. The intertwined relationship between these three nodes of coloniality normalises hierarchies between knowledges, promotes institutional racism and dehumanisation and maintains power asymmetries among socio-cultural groups. On the other hand, the theory of epistemic injustice by Miranda Fricker (2007) gives us analytical tools to explain how the credibility of marginalised individuals (and communities) as sources of knowledge is discredited and how their interpretative and sense-making practices are categorised as less intelligible and less-important. Often, the knowledge of non-Western or formerly colonised societies is provincialised as “indigenous knowledge”, hence valid only to a particular context, whereas Eurocentric knowledge is automatically qualified as universal.

Both coloniality and epistemic injustice reinforce each other to keep theorisation, teaching and knowledge production in development studies in the whirlpool of permanent power asymmetries. Hence, we invite papers that respond to one or more of the following questions: to what extent do the concepts of coloniality and epistemic injustice allow us to centre social justice in development studies? What are the barriers and possibilities of going beyond the dominant social justice paradigms? What are the practical successes, for example, in “de-centring the white gaze”, decolonising “development research collaborations”, and promoting epistemic conviviality in development studies? In development research collaboration, how can we critically integrate the notions of coloniality and epistemic (in)justice in the existing equitable partnership frameworks?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 27 June, 2024, -
Session 2 Thursday 27 June, 2024, -
Session 3 Thursday 27 June, 2024, -