SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Development in Crisis: States, Conflicts, Refugees. Celebrating 25 Years of Development Studies at SOAS

Professor Gilbert Achcar, Professor Chris Cramer, Dr Laura Hammond, Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Professor James Putzel, Chaired by Dr Zoƫ Marriage

Date: 14 March 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 14 March 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Alumni Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Seminar

Since Development Studies was first taught at SOAS 25 years ago, the SOAS Department of Development Studies has provided critical perspectives on a wide range of issues that have gone on to shape development theory and practice. This panel brings together specialists in different areas of Development Studies to discuss what we have learnt about development amidst crisis and instability in the last quarter of a century, and to celebrate the contribution of the SOAS Department of Development Studies to key debates in the field. Panellists will provide critical perspectives on the state, war and migration, and how each impacts and reshapes development in different parts of the world, reflecting on how thinkers and practitioners have problematised the emerging landscape of ‘development’. They will also focus on the role that SOAS scholarship has played in advancing the intellectual currents in these areas, and look to the future of the discipline.

Gilbert Achcar is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. He taught and/or researched in various universities and research centres in Beirut, Berlin and Paris. Gilbert's research interests and publication topics include: the political economy and sociology of globalisation, the global power structure and grand strategy, empire theory and the unfolding of US hegemony globally and in the ‘Broader Middle East’, politics and development economics of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, the sociology of religion in general, of Islam and Islamic fundamentalism in particular, social change and social theory. His most recent publications include Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising (Stanford, 2016) and The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (University of California Press, 2013). Gilbert's books have been published in Arabic, Chinese (Mainland and Taiwan), English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Urdu.

Christopher Cramer is Professor of the Political Economy of Development in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. His book Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing: Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries (Hurst and Co., 2006) was a joint winner of the 2009 Edgar Graham Memorial Book Prize. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance and has participated in the Africa Task Force set up by Joseph Stiglitz. His research interests include the economics of Africa; political economy of development; political economy of war and peace in southern Africa; post-conflict reconstruction; the economics of cashew production, processing and trade; poverty and rural labour markets; privatisation.

Laura Hammond is Reader in Development Studies in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. Laura has degrees in Anthropology from the University Wisconsin-Madison and did her undergraduate degree at Sarah Lawrence College. She has taught at Clark University, the University of Reading, and was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex. Her research interests include food security, conflict, forced migration and diasporas. She has worked in the Horn of Africa for the past fifteen years, and has done consultancy for a wide range of development and humanitarian organisations, including UNDP, USAID, Oxfam, Medécins Sans Frontières, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Food Programme. She is the author of This Place Will Become Home: Refugee Repatriation to Ethiopia (Cornell University Press, 2004) and several book chapters and journal articles.

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh is Reader in Human Geography at UCL. Elena's research focuses on the intersections between gender, generation and religion in experiences of and responses to conflict-induced displacement and statelessness, with a particular regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa. She is the Co-Director of UCL's Migration Research Unit, and is the coordinator of the Refuge in a Moving World research network across UCL (@RefugeMvingWrld). Her recent publications include The Ideal Refugees: Gender, Islam and the Sahrawi Politics of Survival (Syracuse University Press, 2014) and South-South Educational Migration, Humanitarianism and Development: Views from the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East, (Routledge, 2015).

James Putzel is Professor of Development Studies at LSE and was the director of LSE’s research programme on Crisis States, which was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK government. From 1996 to 1999, Professor Putzel was a member of the British Academy's Southeast Asia Committee, a Managing Editor of the Journal of Development Studies from September 1999 until January 2001 and remains a member of the editorial board. He is most well-known for his book, A Captive Land: The Politics of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines (Monthly Review Press, 1992), and in 1999, he won the Dudley Seers annual prize for his article, 'The Business of Aid: Transparency and Accountability in European Union Development Assistance" (Journal of Development Studies). His current research is focusing on politics and governance in crisis states including work on understanding 'failed states', political Islam in southeast Asia and the politics of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Zoë Marriage is Reader in Development Studies in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. She has degrees from Oxford University (BA) and the London School of Economics (MSc and PhD). She has researched extensively in countries affected by conflict in Africa and is the author of Not Breaking the Rules, Not playing the game. International Assistance to Countries at War (Hurst and Co., 2006). More recently Zoë has focused on the relationship between security and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo, publishing on demobilisation and the imposition and pursuit of security in her book Formal Peace and Informal War (Routledge, 2013). She is currently working on a political economy of capoeira, the Brazilian dance-fight-game.


Organiser: Dr Feyzi Ismail and Professor Alfredo Saad Filho

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