SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

The Struggle for Development

Professor Mark Duffield (University of Bristol), Dr Zoe Marriage (SOAS, University of London), Professor Benjamin Selwyn (University of Sussex)

Date: 20 February 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 20 February 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: DLT

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

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. 

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.  

Zoë Marriage 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 (2006, Hurst & Co). 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, which you can follow via her Capoeira and Security Blog. As the programme convenor for the MSc Violence, Conflict and Development, Zoë also writes the Violence, Conflict & Development @SOAS Blog, a convenor's-eye view of the MSc Violence, Conflict and Development (VCD) programme. 

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.

Organiser: Dr Feyzi Ismail

Contact email: