Rethinking Global Development
The University’s Centre for Global Development was launched at a highly successful event on Thursday 4 November.
A full house at the Yorkshire Bank lecture theatre in the Business School was treated to a stimulating discussion from four guest speakers on the theme of ‘rethinking global development’.Introduced by Dr Ricky Kalliecharan, the Centre’s deputy director, each speaker gave a short and incisive presentation: Duncan Green, Oxfam GB’s head of research, on rethinking global development – crisis as opportunity; Prof. Jenny Pearce from the University of Bradford on rethinking the meaning of participatory development; Prof. Armando Barrientos from the University of Manchester on rethinking poverty reduction and the role of cash transfers; and Prof. Ruth Pearson on rethinking feminism and gender justice in the global economy.
The evening was introduced by the Centre’s director, Prof. Gordon Crawford from the School of Politics and International Studies. He explained that this was really a re-launch, given that the new Centre had emerged from the old Centre for Development Studies that had existed at the university since 1984, and paid tribute to former directors who had sustained the centre over more than a quarter century. The re-naming as the Centre for Global Development reflects the reality of the contemporary global world characterised by globalisation and growing interconnectedness, with poverty and inequality being common issues in all regions of both the Global South and North. The Centre has been re-constituted with a new management board that reflects its nature as a cross-disciplinary centre, with representatives from 13 different Schools and Departments in 6 of the University’s 9 Faculties, plus representation from the Africa College.
A key raison d’etre of the Centre is to bring together the research and teaching activities that go on in different parts of the University in the area of global development, as was evident from the various exhibitions at the event. A new website has been created which, though still work-in-progress, also reflects the cross-university character of the Centre, and audio recordings of the speakers’ presentations at the launch event can be accessed from there. Future events will include a postgraduate research event in early 2011, bringing together PhD students across the University involved in global development research. Through such interaction it is intended that synergies in inter-disciplinary research and teaching activities can be enhanced both within the University and with partners outside the University. An example of the Centre’s activities is its lead role, with the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, in a new and dynamic WUN network on Transformative Justice that aims at generating a research paradigm shift in the area of responses to mass violence and human rights abuses. An international conference will be held at Leeds University on this subject on 12-13 May 2011.