We are witnessing increasing disparities of income and wealth, of access to resources, of limitations to free movement. Dissecting the various dimensions (social, political, economic and environmental factors, as well as the expropriation of indigenous knowledges through the abuse of intellectual and other property rights) of global inequalities reveals how disparities continue to be shaped by power relations, post-colonial legacies and their entanglements with Western idea(l)s of so-called modernity, progress and the obsession with Anthropocene growth.
Dipesh Chakrabarty (2000) in his seminal work has argued for provincializing Europe. He contends that categories and “strategies we have learned from European thought [...] are both indispensable and inadequate” (Chakrabarty 2000: 19) in representing non- European ideas of (political) modernity. The demand to provincialize Europe does not mean to abolish European ideas and traditions of thought altogether, but to acknowledge that these are only one among many. Chakrabarty calls for a space in which a new pluralism of thought can be created and acknowledged, overcoming “asymmetric ignorance” (ibid.: 28).
As the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) we are conscious that debates around “development” remain too often confined to Western realms. We are therefore self-critically reflecting on the assumed or claimed universality of Western frameworks.
For this reason, the current focus of our Webinar series is to engage with and benefit from discourses guided by non-Western worldviews – and to provincialize Europe in the global production of knowledges.
The EADI Webinar Series has been running successfully since 2017. It gives participants the opportunity to engage with critical thinkers and innovative new research findings.
Henning Melber| 20 May, 2pm | Knowledge Production, Ownership and the Power of Definition: Perspectives on and from Sub-Saharan Africa
The session is part of our series of book talks on the EADI volume "Building Development Studies for the New Millennium".
In this session Henning Melber, author of the chapter on "Knowledge Production, Ownership and the Power of Definition: Perspectives on and from Sub-Saharan Africa", shares the key points of his discussion.
Melber engages with challenges that scholars and researchers face in striving for genuine research collaboration and knowledge production in a North–South interaction. He maps asymmetries in scholarly interaction generally and examines African realities specifically.
Henning Melber was Director of The Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit in Windhoek (1992–2000), Research Director of The Nordic Africa Institute (2000– 2006) and Executive Director of The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, both in Uppsala/Sweden. He is a Senior Advisor to both institutions and an Extraordinary Professor at the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria and the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein as well as a Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for Commonwealth Studies/Centre for Advanced Study at the University of London. Since August 2017 he is President of the EADI.
Rogelio Madrueño Aguilar (University of Göttingen)
Development Studies in Spanish: Critical, Constructive and Peripheral
Melissa Leach and John Gaventa (Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex)
Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni (University of South Africa)
Isa Baud (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Elisabetta Basile (University of Rome La Sapienza), Susanne von Itter (EADI Executive Secretary)
Laura Camfield (University of East Anglia, United Kingdom), Lukas Schlogl (University of Vienna, Austria), Andrew Sumner (King's College London)
Juan Fernando Larco Guevara (University of Freiburg, Germany)
Prof Vanessa Andreotti (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Dr Sayan Dey (Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan)
Dr Tiina Kontinen (University of Jyväskylä) / Dr Marianne Millstein (Oslo Metropolitan University) / Prof Kees Biekart (International Institute of Social Studies)
Prof Peter Knorringa (International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Dr Ana E. Carballo (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Prof Aram Ziai (University of Kassel, Germany)
Dr Rosalba Icaza Garza (Institute of Social Studies, ISS, The Netherlands)
Dr Epifania Amoo-Adare (Accra, Ghana)