Event: Brown Bag Lunch Seminar with Charles Gore

Brown Bag Seminar on Reading and Writing UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report
Tuesday 11th June
Unioninkatu 35, 3rd floor, room 344

ABSTRACT: Global reports written in international organizations, such as UNCTAD, UNIDO, UNDESA and ILO, offer a useful and often neglected source of information, research and policy analysis on developing countries and the international system.

Based on my experience as lead author and director of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report from 2000 to 2012, this seminar will provide an inside look at how these reports are written and also how to read them.

Some of the key findings in the sequence of LDC Reports from 2000 to 2010 will be used as examples. These covered issues such as: capital flows to LDCs; poverty trends in LDCs; PRSPs; the relationship between trade and poverty; the HIPC initiative; STI and knowledge for development; aid effectiveness and the problem of ownership; development governance; progress towards MDGs; and the effectiveness of international support measures for least developed countries.

BIOGRAPHY: Charles Gore is a Visiting Scholar in Development Studies in the University of Helsinki from January to June 2019. He is an Honorary Professor in Economics at the University of Glasgow, a Research Associate in Global Studies at the University of Sussex, a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK). Between 1999 and 2008, he was team leader and principal author of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report, and from 2008 until 2012 he was Special Coordinator for Cross-Sectoral Issues, directing research on Africa and on least developed countries in UNCTAD.

Originally trained in economic geography, he has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D., based on two years fieldwork in Ghana, from Pennsylvania State University. He was a Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Wales from 1976 to 1991, and during that time he wrote Regions in Question (Methuen 1984, re-issued 2011 in Routledge Revivals), and worked as a consultant for UNCTAD on why landlockedness is a development problem and what to do about it. In the 1990s he worked more closely with UN agencies in Geneva, writing chapters for UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report (1994, 1997, 1998), and managing two multi-country research projects – one (in UNCTAD) on lessons of East Asian development for Africa, and another (in the International Institute for Labour Studies, ILO) on the global applicability of the concept of social exclusion.

His academic publications examine the nature of the explanations, normative judgements and discursive narratives which underpin international development practice. Topics addressed include: how geographic space is linked to development in explanations of regional development; methodological nationalism and the misunderstanding of East Asian development; the nature of the Washington Consensus; Amartya Sen’s concepts of entitlement and capability; and the romantic violence of the MDGs. He is currently working on a history of how the idea of poverty went global in the 1970s, which is part of a broader examination of the concept of global goals.

Event: Brown Bag Lunch Seminar with Tristan Partridge and Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros

Double Brown Bag Seminars on indigenous communities and conservation in Ecuador and Colombia on Wed 22 May at 11:00 until 13:00, Unioninkatu room 344
Tristan Partridge (UAB-ICTA): Indigenous community conservation in highland Ecuador: mobilizing the commons and ‘Buen Vivir’
Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros (Bologna and Santo Tomas): Dialogues between knowledge systems (indigenous territoriality / western territoriality) in rainforest beyond capitalism.

Tristan Partridge

In highland Ecuador, efforts to protect landscapes and sustain livelihoods have been strengthened by renewed political organizing. This includes action at the local level (recovering shared resources and managing the commons) and nationally (engaging with constitutional rights to ‘Buen Vivir’ or ‘Harmonious Living’). Based on ethnographic fieldwork with the indigenous community of San Isidro, this paper explores how commons resources have been repurposed to meet contemporary community needs and to facilitate cooperation with neighbouring communities. These actions further facilitated successful protest movements against the local expansion of agro-industrial plantations and in defense of Buen Vivir – with repercussions for how we think about links between the commons, conservation, and political mobilization.

Tristan Partridge is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ICTA Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) working on environmental justice and indigenous political action. He received a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh and has conducted fieldwork in Ecuador, the UK, India, and the US. Through projects on land and water rights, energy, and community organizing, his research examines the use and extraction of natural resources and the uneven distribution of related socio-ecological impacts. He is an affiliated Research Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

url: https://ictaweb.uab.cat/personal_detail.php?id=4074
twitter: @TristanPartridg

Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros


This presentation focuses on the knowledge of indigenous territoriality in rainforest and its importance for the provision of global goods such as biodiversity, public health and food security. In developing countries national forestry policies and private investment still pursue the maximisation of timber and mineral resources productivity, rather than investing in carbon neutral goods or in cultural ecological heritage. This presentation shows how shifting cultivation in agroforestry represents an empirical use of connectedness, showing how it can lead toward a collaborative perspective of values on human-nature relationship to solve contemporary problems related to forestry management. These practices are common enough to be called principles, evidence of these systems is common in Asia, Africa and South America. The circulation of knowledge across multiple levels of governance require new methodologies and new modes of governing resources.  

Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros is a research fellow in innovation on governance and climate change at the School of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy & Universidad Santo Tomas, Colombia. Her work focuses on global environmental politics, local governance and REDD+, the role of innovation and institutional change in developing countries in the current post-2015 negotiating process, with a regional specialism in Latin America. She holds a PhD from the Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz, Germany (2005) in Philosophy and Political Science, and a BA from National University of Colombia(2000) in Political Science. She joined University of Bologna in 2014 with 8 years’ experience of academic and policy research in South America and Europe. She is fluent in Italian, German and Spanish, and publish her work in these languages. Her research interest lies in understanding how local and global environmental governance can bridge to solve trans-national environmental problems, and how strategic resources in developing countries can be used to explore alternative mechanisms of regulation including intergenerational rights and new environmental policy instruments. Much of her recent work also explores how socio-technological innovation and institutional transformations produce and reproduce power relations, boundaries / synergies in the global South with implications for “new earth system governance”. She is interested in the empirical dimensions of these dynamics, especially inter scalar innovation processes.


Development Studies Professors Anja Nygren and Barry Gills Ranked Among Top Professors in Finland

In a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Turku, University of Helsinki Development Studies Professors Anja Nygren and Barry Gills were both ranked in the top 10 Social Sciences professors in Finland. The research investigated the international level of scientific publications in different broad disciplines by professors from Finnish universities. You can read the article (in Finnish) here.

Congratulations Anja and Barry!

Upcoming Event: The Arts for Justice: Indigenous Coalition Building and Artistic Activism

The Arts for Justice, 

Indigenous Coalition Building and Artistic Activism

April 15that 9:15–17:00

University of Helsinki, lecture room 5 (Fabianinkatu 33) 

Seminar organized by Indigenous Studies and Environmental Humanities/ University of Helsinki and University of Arts Helsinki

This seminar discusses the contemporary engagements with artistic forms of evidencing, communicating, and resisting, such as visual arts, performance, theatre, writing, film, video, eco-media and social media that address environmental and social justice and Indigenous rights. How are various constituencies showcasing Indigenous ways of knowing and being, as well as calling for actions and approaches that challenge dominant practices, such as extractivism, pipelines, land grabbing, and other threats to Indigenous values and homelands? How might artistic activism contribute to building coalitions across nations and differences? What techniques are used to reach audiences and what possible changes can result? What can be evidenced by the arts? The participants are both artists and researchers, sharing their works and ideas, and then we encourage the participants to take part in the conversation in which we will learn from each other.

Preliminary schedule:

9:15 Opening words by the organisers 

9:30–10:30 Keynote by Marja Helander (Sámi visual and video artist)

10:30–10:45 Coffee

10:45–12:15  Panel discussion 1 (facilitator Lea Kantonen): 

Sasha Huber (artist and University of Arts Helsinki), Eeva-Kristiina Harlin (University of Oulu), Pirjo K. Virtanen (University of Helsinki), Cheryl J. Fish (City University of New York) 

12:15–13:30 Lunch

13:30–14:15 Keynote by May-Brit Öhman (University of Uppsala):   

14:15–14:30 Coffee

14:30–16:00 Panel discussion 2 (facilitator Cheryl J. Fish):

Stina Roos (Sámi artist), Klisala Harrison (University of Helsinki), Lea Kantonen (University of Arts Helsinki), Hanna Guttorm (University of Helsinki)

16:00–16:45 Student works’ presentation 

16:45–17:00  End circle 

17:00  Wine reception & Poster Exhibition by the students in the course Biocultural approaches to the environment and conservation (IND-512)

Please Register by April 5https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/97035/lomake.html

Organisers: Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Hanna Guttorm–University of Helsinki; Lea Kantonen–University of Arts Helsinki; Cheryl J. Fish-City University of New York

Project: Eco-cultural Pluralism in Ecuadorian Amazonia

For the past year, Development Studies Senior Lecturer Paola Minoia has been part of the team working on the  Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia project. The project builds upon Sustainable Development Goal 4 (ensuring quality education for all), by promoting inclusion of indigenous ways of teaching and recognition of eco-cultural pluralism in education in Ecuadorian Amazonia. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland and is running from March 2018 until February 2022. Check out their blog regularly to read about the project, the experiences of the researchers, and see photos from their work!

Anti-Slavery International: Documentary: Invisible chains – bonded labour in India’s brick kilns

Anti-Slavery International has released a new documentary about bonded labor in brick kilns in India (video below). This brief documentary on bonded labor and modern slavery gives a succinct and human insight into this global problem.

You can read the press release and find a link to the Anti-Slavery International’s full report here.

Recent Development Studies PhD graduate  Elena Samonova focused her research on bonded labour in Nepal and India. She is in the process of publishing two articles: “Social protection as tool of prevention of bonded labour” and “Bonded labour from a human rights perspective”. For further information and in-depth looks on modern slavery, see the work of Professor Kevin Bales.

Professor Barry Gills to receive International Studies Association’s prestigious James N. Rosenau Award

The International Studies Association (ISA) just disclosed that the winner of the 2019 James N. Rosenau Award for the most important contributions to globalization studies will be given to University of Helsinki Development Studies Professor Barry Gills. Commenting on receiving the honor, Professor Gills said, “The award is a recognition of the work of hundreds of others who have joined me in this work over the past three decades. The award truly belongs to all of them.”

From the ISA website: James N. Rosenau’s innovative work, honors the scholar who has made the most important contributions to globalization studies. A past president of the International Studies Association and a pioneer in globalization research, Jim Rosenau offered great insights into the intersection of domestic and foreign affairs, boundary spanning actors in world politics, and parametric transformations in our field. This award recognizes his role as a pillar of the international studies community and leader in globalization research.

The award will be presented at their 60th Annual Convention, held March 27 – 30 in Toronto, Canada.

Press Release: Fight­ing for biod­iversity loss in Mad­a­gas­car re­quires greater col­lab­or­a­tion between re­search­ers and man­agers

Development Studies Lecturer Aili Pyhälä has been working as part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the University of Helsinki to help fight biodiversity loss in Madagascar National Parks by working with park managers and studying their perceptions of how to best handle protected areas. Dr Pyhälä is also a lead author of the resulting article based on their findings. Check out the press release below for more information, and the link to the open access article!

Fight­ing for biod­iversity loss in Mad­a­gas­car re­quires greater col­lab­or­a­tion between re­search­ers and man­agers

Pyhälä, A., Eklund, J., McBride, M. F., Rakotoarijaona, M. A., and Cabeza M. 2018. Managers’ perceptions of protected area outcomes in Madagascar highlight the need for species monitoring and knowledge transfer. Conservation Science and Practice. In press. doi: 10.1002/csp2.6.