SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Development Studies seminar series

The Development Studies Seminars take place weekly during terms 1 & 2 with speakers representing the full range of development-related disciplines including economics, political science, anthropology, sociology and history.

Entrance is free and seminars are open to the public.

Development Studies Seminar Series 2017-2018

Development Studies Seminar Series 2016-2017

Show Current events in this series

Previous Events in this series

SPECIAL PANEL EVENT: The Second Arab Spring: Seasons of Revolution

Dr Janan Aljabiri (Aman Organization for Women, Iraq) | Dr Rima Majed (American University of Beirut, Lebanon) | Professor Gilbert Achcar (SOAS University of London)
21 January 2020, Russell Square: College Buildings, Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Agrarian Transition and Development in an Age of Globalised Inequality: Some Questions from Africa

Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA)

African countries face a different set of challenges in their attempts to develop than have more recently developed countries. In this talk, we will explore the predicament African countries face in a globalised and unequal world, and the potential paths to rural change, using Kenya as a case study.

12 March 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Towards Zero Violence: Putting Gender into a Theory of Violence and Society

Sylvia Walby (City, University of London)

Is violence increasing or decreasing? The UN Sustainable Development Goals aspire to end violence against women and reduce violence in general. According to Pinker, drawing on Elias, violence is decreasing...

5 March 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Climate Change and the ‘New Green Revolution’ in India

Marcus Taylor (Queen’s University, Canada)

Rural India is repeatedly argued to be in the midst of a social crisis as manifested in indicators of household indebtedness, farmer suicides, poor nutrition and food insecurity.  Such issues are amplified in the context of stark environmental challenges, including groundwater depletion, land degradation and climate change-induced droughts and floods.

26 February 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Exiles in the 21st Century: The New ‘Population Law’ of Absolute Capitalism

Professor Etienne Balibar (University of Paris-Nanterre and Kingston University)

Clearly the 21st century will be marked by the increasingly large number of exiles i.e. uprooted and displaced people who find themselves ‘erring’ within or between states and continents, suffering extreme hardship or facing elimination, and creating imminent ‘pressure’ on states and societies.

19 February 2019, Brunei Gallery, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Fictitious Capital in the 21st Century

Dr Cédric Durand (University of Paris 13 and EHESS, France)

Ten years after the great financial crisis we are still living under financial hegemony. The social and political wounds of the crash are far from being repaired. However, at institutional and structural levels most of the features of financial power are still in place and, arguably, even reinforced. How can we explain this resilience of financialisation? What are the socioeconomic implications?

5 February 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Singularity: A Manifesto for Incomparable Geographies

Dr Tariq Jazeel (University College London)

This paper is a methodological response to the challenge of decolonising geographical knowledge.

22 January 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Deconstructing Development Discourse: Buzzwords and Fuzzwords Revisited

Professor Andrea Cornwall, Dr Tania Kaiser & Dr Meera Sabaratnam | SOAS University of London

Why should language matter to those who are doing development? Surely there are more urgent things to do than sit around mulling over semantics? But language does matter.

15 January 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Power, Politics, and Profit: The History of Food Aid in Conflict and Protracted Crisis

PANEL: Dr Susanne Jaspars (SOAS University of London), Professor Laura Hammond (SOAS University of London), Professor David Keen (LSE)

Food aid, and its withdrawal, has been used for a range of objectives: to support or undermine states or political movements, to save lives and support livelihoods, and to encourage self-reliance and – presently – resilience. In situations of conflict, states and leaders have diverted food aid to gain resources and authority or restricted it as part of counter-insurgency tactics. In the longer term, it becomes part of a country’s political economy.

4 December 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Wild East: India’s Criminal Economy and Politics

Professor Barbara Harriss-White (University of Oxford)

In the 21st century, many parts of the South Asian subcontinent are being conquered not by settler-migrants (as was the case in the Wild West) but by unruly and illegal forms of capital.

27 November 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Morals of the Market: Human Rights and the Rise of Neoliberalism

Dr Jessica Whyte (University of Western Sydney)

In 1927, the leading Austrian School neoliberal thinker Ludwig von Mises published a scathing attack on European colonial imperialism, which he described as antithetical to all the principles of liberalism.

20 November 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Black Revolution: The Global Politics of Black Radicalism

Dr Kehinde Andrews (Birmingham City University)

Black radicalism is one of the most misunderstood political philosophies that exist. Conflated with extremism, narrow versions of nationalism and misogynistic organisations, it has largely been dismissed or overlooked as the ‘evil twin on the civil rights movement’.

13 November 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Nightmarch: Among India’s Revolutionary Guerrillas

SYMPOSIUM: Dr Alpa Shah (LSE, University of London), Kheya Bag (New Left Review)

Alpa Shah and Kheya Bag discuss some of the insights in Shah's new book, Nightmarch: Among India's Revolutionary Guerillas.

30 October 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Beyond Neoliberalism or Capitalism? The Latin American Experience

Professor Henry Veltmeyer (Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, México)

Latin America is currently caught up in a vortex of forces of social change generated in the process of capitalist development. This seminar will explore the diverse forms taken by the resistance to the advance of capital in the region over the course of the neoliberal era. It is argued that Latin America is a virtual laboratory of diverse experiments in the search for an alternative pathway and different models of post-development.

23 October 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Neoliberalism, Populism, Fascism: The Implosion of Democracy in Brazil

PANEL: Professor Alfredo Saad-Filho, Professor Anthony Pereira, Dr Marieke Reithof, Dr Pedro Loureiro , Dr Francisco Dominguez

Brazil is in turmoil. The country is going through its deepest economic crisis in recorded history, and an unprecedented political crisis, which has led to the removal of President Dilma Rousseff and the imprisonment of former President Lula.

9 October 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

South-South Development Cooperation 3.0? Changes in the Decade Ahead

Dr Emma Mawdsley (University of Cambridge)

The last decade or so has been a period of remarkable success for the actors, ideas and practices of South-South Cooperation. First, the number of Southern development partners has grown, and collectively they have significantly increased their development finances and programmes. Second, they have consolidated and defended the claim to doing development differently. Third, they have achieved recognition as essential partners within the international development community.

13 March 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Struggle for Development

Professor Mark Duffield (University of Bristol), Dr Zoe Marriage (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.

20 February 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Crisis of Social Reproduction and the End of Work

Dr Nick Srnicek (King's College London)

There has been much discussion in recent years about the “crisis of work”, with academics and journalists alike pointing to potentially concerning trends in the labour market.

6 February 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

World Market, Patterns of Accumulation, and State Forms: The Political Economy of the Latin American Left

Dr Jeff Webber (Queen Mary, University of London)

This paper provides a synoptic assessment of the political economy of the Left turn in Latin America in the twenty-first century. First, it charts the broad trajectory of Latin America’s political economy in relation to trends in the world market and the international division of labour between 1980 and 2017.

30 January 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Cities in Contexts of Power and Counterpower: A Global Perspective

Professor Emeritus Göran Therborn (University of Cambridge)

Missing in the currently predominant literature on cities  is a perspective of cities in contexts of power and politics, of cities as part of systems of power.

23 January 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Revolution Then and Now

Dr Stathis Kouvelakis (King’s College London), Kate Evans (cartoonist, artist, and activist), John Rees (writer and activist)

The revolutionary tradition has a long history, and revolutionaries have inspired subsequent generations in fighting for a world free of exploitation, oppression and class distinctions.

16 January 2018, Brunei Gallery, BGLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Ground Down By Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st Century India

There is a special conference being organised on 9 December called Ground Down By Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st Century India, which is now part of the Development Studies Seminar Series. The event is free but ticketed, and can be booked through the link below. Please circulate widely to interested colleagues and students. The event will be held in the Brunei Gallery where the exhibition 'Behind the Indian Boom' is taking place.

9 December 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 10:00 AM - 7:30 PM

Neoliberal Dogmatism: The IMF and the Arab Spring,

Gilbert Achcar and Hassan Sherry

The Catastrophic Consequences of Neoliberal Dogmatism in the MENA Region

The neoliberal doctrine's postulates are completely inconsistent with the realities of the MENA region. They have produced catastrophic results, which laid the ground for the regional upheaval known as the 'Arab Spring'. And yet, the IMF keeps advocating more of the same.

5 December 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Book Launch - Taken for a Ride: Grounding Neoliberalism, Precarious Labour, and Public Transport in an African Metropolis

Matteo Rizzo

How does public transport work in an African city under neoliberalism? Who has the power to influence its changing shape over time? What does it mean to be a precarious and informal worker in the private minibuses that provide such transport in Dar es Salaam? These are the main questions that inform this in-depth case study of Dar es Salaam’s public transport system over more than forty years.

28 November 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Policies for Investment and Equality-led Sustainable Development in the Age of Globalisation and Financialisation

Özlem Onaran

This talk presents the empirical evidence about the race to the bottom in labour’s share in income in developing countries and the linkages between financialisation, income distribution, growth, investment and productivity. The presentation concludes with alternative progressive policies based on a coordinated policy mix of wage increases and public investment, and addresses the political aspects and barriers to an equality-led development.

21 November 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Islamophobia in the Name of Women's Rights

Sara Farris

In her presentation Sara Farris will discuss some of the themes laid out in her new book, In the Name of Women's Rights. The Rise of Femonationalism (Duke, 2017). Farris' book explores the ways in which feminist ideas are often exploited by anti-Islam and xenophobic campaigns.

14 November 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

South Africa's Corporatised Liberation: An ANC and a Country in Crisis

Dale McKinley

South Africa’s democracy is in trouble and so too is the African National Congress, the country’s governing party since the defeat of apartheid in 1994. Despite the more general advances that have been made under the ANC’s rule, power has not only remained in the hands of a small minority but has increasingly been exercised in service to capital.

31 October 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

History from Below after the Transnational Turn: The Case of a Forgotten 18th-century Revolutionary

Marcus Rediker

This lecture will survey the theory, methods, and scholarship of “history from below” after the recent move in many disciplines toward a global frame of analysis. The talk reconstructs the largely forgotten life history of Benjamin Lay (1682-1759), a Quaker dwarf who worked around the Atlantic as a shepherd, a sailor, a glover, and a commoner and became one of the first to demand the total and unconditional emancipation of enslaved Africans worldwide.

24 October 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Inequality and Insurrection

Danny Dorling

Insurrection is an uprising. Analysts and commentators on inequality have long warned that if inequality is allowed to rise too high there will be insurrection. Thomas Piketty suggested this is why elites should concern themselves with inequality. Politicians often confuse sounding as if they care about inequality with actually caring. This talk provides some illustrations of how things fall apart as inequality rises, when it is high and when it is tolerated.

17 October 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

How to Deal with Truth and Post-truth in Climate Change Politics

Tim Forsyth

Much current concern about climate change politics focuses on the divide between climate science and climate denialism. This talk will argue that this dichotomy can often reduce the complexity by which we understand climate risks, and for understanding why people are, or are not, vulnerable to climate change.

10 October 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

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 Zoë Marriage

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.

14 March 2017, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Alumni Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Capitalism and the Sea: Sovereignty, Territory and Accumulation in the Global Ocean

Dr Liam Campling, Alejandro Colás

We introduce the term ‘terraqueous territoriality’ to analyse a particular relationship between capitalism as a social formation, and the sea as a natural force. Focusing on three spaces – exclusive economic zones (EEZs), the system of ‘flags of convenience’, and multilateral counter-piracy initiatives.

7 March 2017, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Alumni Lecture Theatre , 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Russian Revolution and Global Development: Lessons from the First Hundred Years

Tariq Ali, Professor August H. Nimtz, Professor Tamás Krausz

The Russian Revolution was the greatest anti-capitalist uprising in history, and from its origins, sparked controversy, chaos, imagination and hope. It began with the dismantling of the Tsarist autocracy in February 1917 and its replacement with a provisional government; by October, the provisional government was also overthrown.

28 February 2017, Brunei Gallery, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Economic Inequality and Gender Inequality

Professor Diane Elson

Economic inequality is now of major concern to both mainstream and heterodox economists.  Gender inequality has always been of major concern to feminist economists, but is often ignored by both mainstream and heterodox economists. This talk will explore the intersections between these two aspects of inequality and discuss what difference it makes if gender is brought  into analysis of economic inequality.

21 February 2017, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Alumni Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Violent Past, Hot Present, Extreme Future: Episodes of Fossil Imperialism and Climate Change in Egypt, India and Nigeria

Andreas Malm

Global warming is lapping the shores of countries in the global South with a whole fleet of existential threats. But this is not the first time fossil fuel combustion has visited them. This talk will focus on three places where the British Empire used steamboats to subjugate distant populations and appropriate their resources: Egypt, India and Nigeria, all targets of nineteenth-century imperial expansion powered by coal.

31 January 2017, Brunei Gallery, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Retail Shift: Transforming Work and Gender in Global Production

Professor Stephanie Barrientos

The expansion of global retail has significant implications for analysis of work and gender. Within the retail sector supermarkets, agrifood and manufacturing brands play a central role transforming production, processing, distribution and consumption across developed and developing countries.

24 January 2017, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Alumni Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Demolishing Neoliberal Development Myths

Professor Jayati Ghosh, Professor Erik S. Reinert, Professor Rainer Kattel,

The editors of the Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development attempt to cover a huge canvas, in both time and geography, in order to illustrate processes of economic development from many different angles, with authors of the different chapters hailing from all continents.

17 January 2017, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Alumni Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Anti-Value in Marx

Professor David Harvey

At the end of the very first section of Capital, after offering an initial definition of the labor theory of value, Marx observes that "nothing can be of value without being an object of utility.

17 November 2016, Brunei Gallery, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises

Anwar Shaikh

Competition and conflict are intrinsic features of modern societies. Inequality is persistent, and booms andbusts are recurrent outcomes throughout capitalist history. State intervention modifies these patterns butdoes not abolish them.

11 October 2016, Brunei Gallery, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis

Professor Adam Morton (Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney, Australia) and Professor Andreas Bieler (School of Politics and International Relations, Nottingham University, UK)
8 March 2016, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Development of Underdevelopment in the UK

Professor Colin Leys (Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University, Canada and Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
1 March 2016, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Transformative Politics and the Solidarity Economy

Professor Michelle Williams and Dr Vishwas Satgar (School of Social Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)
2 February 2016, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Rules for the World Market

Professor Paul Cammack (Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong, China)
27 October 2015, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Rural Cooperatives and Fair Trade

Prof Chris Cramer (SOAS)

All welcome, no booking required.

17 February 2015, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Title TBC

TBC
18 March 2014, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Revolutions and Development

Vicken Chetarian (Development Studies, SOAS)
29 October 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Recovering Internationalism: Creating The New Global Solidarity

Peter Waterman (Network Institute for Global Democracy (Helsinki); Programa De Estudios Sobre Democracia y Transformacion Global (Lima) & Critical Action: Centre in Movement (New Delhi))
4 December 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Struggles in Bolivia

Jeffrey Webber (Queen Mary, UoL)
1 November 2011, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Just Give Money to the Poor

Joseph Hanlon (Open University)
1 February 2011, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM