Localizing the ‘Global’: Global Development and Social Justice in Practice
Dates: 11-13 October 2017
This year the conference coincided with ISS’ 65th birthday celebrations
Over the years, discourses and research on development and social justice have tended to focus on broad ideals of development, whereas societies’ lived experiences in relation to development interventions has not been sufficiently engaged with. This sometimes conceals competing and conflicting local contexts of development interventions and the underlying conditions for which they are accepted, rejected or ignored.
Moreover, dominant global discourses on ‘global development’ and ‘social justice’ arising from certain schools of thought are recognized as increasingly problematic when placed alongside questions such as who benefits from ‘global development’, who decides how social justice is reached for whom and on what grounds, and related questions on the ‘best’ paths to reach social justice.
This year’s event is therefore an attempt raise discussions on the vital issue of ‘praxis’, particularly referring to the experiences and responsibilities of PhD researchers and practitioners in engaging with their research, when engaging with literature, discourses, and with fieldwork.
Conference theme and questions
Some of the pertinent questions to be raised through this dialogue would be:
• What has been the scope for scholar activism and the responsibilities of PhD researchers and practitioners in contexts where social justice considerations are paramount?
• How do we as researchers situate developmental discourses within the everyday lives of people from varying backgrounds?
• How should researchers approach local knowledges and embodied experiences when conducting research?
• How does the interaction of doctoral researchers’ expectations and assumptions with ground realities influence research outcomes?
• How can doctoral researchers contribute to alternative narratives or discourses to dominant discourses on global development and social justice through their research?
The discussions during this conference will not be limited to specific local contexts and ethnographic approaches only, but will span governance scales and borders both among researchers and the researched.
Some of the sub-themes for this year’s conference (but not limited to) are:
- Participatory methodologies,
- Epistemological diversity,
- Field work ethics,
- The implications of hegemonic discourses of development and/or social justice on:
- humanitarian aid,
- conflict, security and social justice,
- agrarian Development,
- poverty reduction,
- environment and sustainable development