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The Struggle for Development

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 17:00 to 19:00

Russell Square: College Buildings, Room DLT
Development Studies Seminar Series
Professor Mark Duffield (University of Bristol), Dr Laura Hammond (SOAS, University of London), Professor Benjamin Selwyn (University of Sussex)

Most development thought is based upon the assumption that the uplifting of the world’s poor is to be carried out by elite actors (states, corporations, NGOs) rather than the poor themselves. This way of thinking, paradoxically, helps justify new ways of oppressing and exploiting the poor. In this talk, Professor Benjamin Selwyn from the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, launches his book The Struggle for Development (Polity, 2017). He introduces the concept of labour-led development to illuminate, theoretically and empirically, ways in which the poor can be masters of their own development. 

About the speakers:

Mark Duffield is Emeritus Professor at the Global Insecurities Centre, University of Bristol and Honorary Professor, School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham. He has taught at the Universities of Khartoum, Aston, Birmingham, Leeds, Lancaster and Bristol. Outside of academia, he was Oxfam’s Country Representative in Sudan during the latter half of 1980s. Mark has extensive experience of conflict and humanitarian disasters in Africa, the Balkans and Afghanistan. His books include Global Governance and the New Wars: the Merging of Development and Security (2001, reissued 2014 in Zed Books prestigious Critique, Influence, Change series) and Development, Security and Unending War: Governing the World of People (2007, reissued 2013). His current book project for Polity Press has the working title Connected World: Capitalism, Disasters and Precarity.  

Laura Hammond is Reader in Development Studies at SOAS University of London. She has been working in the Horn of Africa since 1993. Her research encompasses the themes of migration and displacement, food and livelihood security, and conflict and humanitarian response. She is currently Leader of the London International Development Centre Migration Leadership Team which is developing a strategy on migration research for the ESRC and AHRC. She is also Team Leader for the Research and Evidence Facility for the EU Trust Fund for Africa (Horn of Africa Window), as part of a consortium between SOAS, the International Migration Institute at the University of Oxford, and Sahan Research based in Nairobi. She is the author of This Place Will Become Home: Refugee Repatriation to Ethiopia (2004) and numerous journal articles and book chapters on Ethiopia and Somalia. She has worked as a consultant for a wide range of UN and donor agencies as well as non-governmental organisations.

Benjamin Selwyn is Professor of International Development at the University of Sussex, UK. He was the Director of the Centre for Global Political Economy between 2014 and 2017. His publications include Workers, State and Development in Brazil (2012), The Global Development Crisis (2014), Class Dynamics of Development (co-edited, 2017) and The Struggle for Development (2017). Amongst his research interests are ways in which Global Value Chains generate novel forms of poverty and inequality, labouring class movements and development and critiques of capitalist development.

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