Browsing by Subject "5203 Global Development Studies"

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  • Minoia, Paola (2020)
    In this paper, the focus is on land dispossession instigated by large corporations, and the way they produce spaces of colonial persistence through particular structures and sovereignty systems that differ from the state-based administrative settings in which they are located. The study looks at phenomena that can be observed on large agricultural estates, particularly in the Teita sisal plantation in Taita-Taveta county in Kenya. This is one of the largest sisal estates in the world, established during colonial times. It is a corporation that uses migrant workers to avoid potential conflicts with the neighbouring communities which still consider those fields to be their own ancestral land. Different working tasks are racialized, and functioning bodies are exploited as resources that have to be maximised. Inside the camp, life and work are regulated with meticulous biopolitical order in restricted conditions. Patrolled borders and gates maintain distance from the local communities who claim the estate is expanding, dispossessing them of land, roads and the river, and repositioning them as squatters on what they see as their ancestral land. In relation to this private company, the national state values its taxation contributions and does not question the exceptional conditions of exploitation of human and environmental resources occurring within that space. The estate was accessed in 2013 and interviews took place then and later. This case study reveals situations of oppression on both sides of the estate borders, including struggles that remain fragmented and hidden. There is a need for new solidarity linkages between groups confronting land and other resource dispossession on a wider scale, to support their political empowerment and rights to human and environmental justice.
  • Obeng-Odoom, Franklin (2020)
    The global health emergency reflects systemic global inequalities central to which is social stratification in Africa. While existing analyses frame Africa as needy of global ‘help’, this editorial argues that whether in terms of the economics of inequality, pandemics, or recovery, Africa can teach the rest of the world key lessons.
  • Quist, Liina-Maija; Nygren, Anja (2019)
    Marine extraction accounts for one third of the world's hydrocarbon production. Several analyses suggest that seismic surveys employed in oil exploration harm marine life; however, their long-term impacts have not been extensively studied. We examine debates between fishers, the oil industry, and governmental authorities over the effects of oil explorations in Tabasco, Mexico. The study employs ideas from historical ontology in tracing the contested production of truth-claims about exploration in the context of scientific uncertainty. It shows how actors, through their different engagements with the sea, and with different degrees of power, frame claims about the relations between exploration and fish. We argue that fishers, through their efforts to "think like fish" produce situated knowledges about the effects of oil exploration. They explain a disappearance of fish by their understanding that seismic surveys disturb fish migration, impair the hearing of fish and cause fish death. Oil company and governmental representatives frame the impacts of oil exploration as insignificant by separating environmental and social dimensions, by isolating individual exploration events, and by arguing that possible effects are transitional. Due to scientific indeterminacy, oil exploration is malleable in the hands of powerful political representations that understate its possible impacts on marine socio-environments.
  • Kröger, Markus (2020)
    The recent upsurge of deforestation inside conservation areas requires empirical investigation of the causes and consequences of this alarming process. Local relations between the agents of cattle capitalism, neodevelopmentalism and contemporary deforestation, from politicians and ranchers to the traditional extractive populations of multiple-use conservation areas, are assessed. Whether, when, and how state, market, and cultural institutions support the hegemony of cattle capitalism – and subvert the logic of traditional lived environments – are analyzed. Theoretically, the article shows how moral economic transformations, from rubber tapping to cowboy lifestyles, alongside neodevelopmentalist policies, enable regionally dominant political economies to expand through deforestation.
  • Koponen, Juhani (2020)
    This article provides an alternative reading of the history of development by tracing how the concept of development has accumulated its present power. It starts from the premise that whatever development is, it is also a concept which is deeply ingrained in our 'Western' habitus and can inform and guide our actions. Contrary to suggestions that it was 'invented' once - at whatever date - and then spread elsewhere, I argue that it emerged gradually by being born and reborn several times in different contexts. Thus, its history is not of direct genealogical continuities from a single origin but rather of parallels generated by similar structural circumstances. Although development is commonly criticised for its ambiguity, I argue that much of its power actually stems from its linguistic polyvalence: its different meanings make it useful for many different purposes. Yet the concept is held together by a more coherent structural frame which combines three main senses: ideal, processual and intentional. Building on research on colonial history, I locate a birth of development in European colonialism, where it worked as an unacknowledged condition of colonial exploitation. It also has other antecedents that remain insufficiently understood. Having been introduced in the South as a notion for colonial exploitation of local resources, after World War II its function changed again. At the dissolution of the colonial empires, it was taken into its present use as soft power by Western powers and anti-colonial nationalists alike and was transformed into the foundational concept of developmentalism. But its power has limits. Ultimately, while concepts can and do affect people's behaviour, they work within the dynamics of material and mental interests.
  • Lamberg, Essi (2021)
    Architecture and planning projects dominated Finnish-Tanzanian development cooperation in the 1970s. While few previous connections between Finland and sub-Saharan Africa existed, the adoption of international aid operations in Finnish foreign policy provided a pathway for architects and planners to partake in the nation-building endeavours of socialist Tanzania. Through archival analysis, this paper provides a comprehensive perspective into how a Finnish development cooperation agency and development employees (architects included) worked for the benefit of the implementation of Tanzanian socialist policy and aimed to advance regional development as well as to serve the purposes of ujamaa and the authoritarian one-party governance system. The Uhuru Corridor Regional Physical Plan (1975–1978) that followed became the first attempt at large-scale regional planning in Tanzania and attempted to establish regional planning as a solid part of state management. The paper suggests that within the framework of national planning, the difference between a development cooperation project and a planning project is obscure, and it demonstrates that basing research on the conceptual likenesses between planning and development can provide fruitful approaches to planning history.
  • Mendoza Vidaurre, René; Nygren, Anja (Ministry for Foreing Affairs of Finland, 2011)
  • Heikkilä, Mikaela; Katsui, Hisayo; Mustaniemi-Laakso, Maija (2020)
    Universal human rights of all are complemented with particular, targeted protection of some, especially those that traditionally have been left behind. By juxtaposing the ideas of universality and particularity, the article studies vulnerability as a particularising tool within human rights with a comparative approach to the influential vulnerability theory by Martha Fineman. By outlining the similarities and the differences between the two approaches of vulnerability theory and human rights project, the article sheds light on how the particular protection needs of persons with disabilities play out in the universalistic logic of vulnerability. The article argues that both universal and particular obligations of responsive states – and responsive humans – are needed as a way of materialising substantive equality for persons with disabilities as vulnerable legal subjects. Such obligations cannot be codified in full detail, but the intrinsic essence of rights requires each right to be interpreted in context and with regard to the particular individual vulnerabilities and resilience of each person. In operationalising the obligations arising from such rights, the human rights project and the vulnerability theory complement and reinforce each other in terms of specifying the rationale and the detailed benchmarks for state action.
  • Jauhola, Marjaana; Mishra, Niti; Joseph, Jacquleen; Gadhavi, Shyam (Helsinki University Press, 2021)
    This chapter examines approaches to disaster response critically. It compares ‘owner-driven’ and ‘community-ownership’ approaches to recovery policy taken by two different cities in the Indian state of Gujarat following the devastating 2001 Gujarat earthquake. Each model recognizes a different compositional context of agents, temporalities, and effects, thus producing different outcomes in the lives of individuals and communities.
  • Koponen, Matti Juhani (2014)
    Development is a powerful but hopelessly slippery and evasive concept, yet scholars keep on defining and redefining it. Lately, it has been suggested that it is not possible to grapple with all the meanings of development and it is better to be understood as a temporary (assemblage'. This article takes issue with this suggestion. It argues that development is a historically evolved concept which has acquired many meanings in the course of its own development. Ambiguity and polyvalence are its integral features: without them it could not work as a concept. Yet it has meanings - even a core meaning. Concepts are words and the meanings of words are in the ways they are used. In practice, development is understood simultaneously as (1) a goal; (2) a process leading to that goal; and (3) an intervention triggering such a process. This composite meaning has been there since colonialism and seems to carry on despite all the announcements of its death. With it development continues to retain much of its evocative power. As long as this is the case we need development studies to sort out its intricacies. © 2014, Finnish Anthropological Society. All rights reserved.
  • Onodera, Henri; Lefort, Bruno; Maiche, Karim; Laine, Sofia (2020)
    Faced with the general period of political demobilisation since 2011, there is a need to look beyond the manifest forms of political participation and to better understand the dynamics of engagement among today’s Arab Mediterranean youth. In this article, we inquire into the life experiences of young people and, especially, explore the agentic dimensions of their apparent disengagement. What societal processes shape their negative attitudes toward engaging in public political life? What prospects are there for further politicisation of youth in the post-2011 era? In order to address these questions, we adopt a processual view of engagement, indicating that young people’s agencies are geared towards the goals of livelihood, employment, and attaining personal advancement and markers of social adulthood. These in turn represent spheres of life that may aggregate instances of felt injustices and thresholds of politicisation processes.
  • Andersson, Matias; Minoia, Paola (2017)
    Sanitation has been a core development-related keyword since the Millennium Development Goals were launched, but its improvement in sub-Saharan Africa has been considered generally slow. So far, sanitation needs have been mainly addressed technically and economically while lacking proper intersection with related conditions, such as health education, cultural and environmental contexts, gender and ownership. These elements seem now to be considered by the new Sustainable Goals launched in 2015. More emphasis is given to the importance of providing differentiated, instead of homogenized, guidance to any process of change and material intervention, including sanitation projects. These cannot be reduced in terms of external environmental-engineered cycle connecting households but have to be valued for the way they involve people’s bodies, ecosystems and livelihoods. This paper presents the results of a research conducted in Kenya, and particularly in Taita Hills, an area mainly served by pit latrines and hit by environmental degradation. The research was meant to understand local perceptions and attitudes toward implementation of different types of ecological sanitation solutions that make possible the establishment of a closed loop of nutrients connecting food production and sanitation. The findings indicate the importance of local cultures and personal preferences in defining sanitation choices, particularly in rural areas, starting by the consideration of local livelihoods and preexisting systems serving the human waste disposal cycles. Keywords: sanitation, ecological sanitation, sustainable development goals, cultural sustainability, Kenya
  • Nygren, Anja (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), 2012)
  • Obeng-Odoom, Franklin (2021)
    Richard Giles, a leading Australian Georgist political economist, suggests that criticisms of mainstream economics can be reduced to three: neglect of the Physiocrats, rejection of Georgist political economy, and the attempted revival of Georgist land economics with faulty variants of those principles. Yet, in defending Georgism, Giles fails to show it can resolve the legacies of chattel slavery, colonialism, and neocolonialism. Despite that limitation, Giles shows that the renewal of land economics is essential to achieving economic justice. Along the way, Giles provides original insights about the limitations of modern monetary theory, the Malthusian economics of global migration, and the rise of global nationalism.
  • Obeng-Odoom, Franklin (2019)
  • Alava, Henni Leena (Swedish Mission Council, 2016)
    What should development organisations take into account when considering whether to provide funding to a long-established church in the Global South, or to an organisation affiliated with such a church? Drawing on research in Northern Uganda, this article suggests that the key to addressing this question is in recognition of churches’ unique historical, social and religious embeddedness in local societies. From the point of view of donor organisations, this embeddedness is paradoxical: the same things that enable churches to ‘deliver development’ in an unusually effective and meaningful way, make churches appear as challenging grassroots partners for development. This is because the spiritual, historical and political embeddedness of churches makes the effects of their activities greater than of organisations lacking such embeddedness – whether those effects be ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. The notion of embeddedness draws attention to the need for donors to cease to think of churches in negative terms, as foreign impositions. The history of missionary churches is inseparably embroiled in the history of colonisation. However, the religious faiths and practices initially brought by missionaries to many parts of Africa are now an integral part of the life of many local adherents. Church members experience churches as their own – often much more so than they do the UN, NGOs, or secular discourses of human rights and development.