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.

How poverty went global. Development Studies Seminar Tue 5 February.

Visiting scholar Charles Gore

“How Poverty Went Global: Development, Basic Needs, Human Rights and Social Justice in the 1970s”
Tuesday 5th February
10.15-11.45Unioninkatu 35, 3rd floor, room 344ABSTRACT: This presentation, based on on-going work, seeks to reconstruct how the idea of poverty became a global concept in the 1970s. This occurred as modernization theory was challenged and various alternative visions of world order were put forward in a context of deepening global interdependence. The frame shift in the conceptualization of poverty, which was articulated through the notion of basic human needs, preceded – and became intertwined with – the take-off of international human rights practice in 1977. This was a fork in the road which has led to the world we live in today. Reconstructing the history of how poverty went global then enables the imagination and design of alternative just world futures now.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.

Development Days 27.2-1.3.2019 – Call for abstracts

Development Days 2019: Repositioning global development: changing actors, geographies and ontologies

27.2-1.3.2019, House of Science and Letters (Tieteidentalo), Helsinki, Finland Organizer: Finnish Society for Development Research

Among some of the most pressing global problems today are: i) the widening social inequalities within and between countries; ii) environmental pollution, ecological crises and conflicts over land and other resources; iii) migration, and the rise of extremism and populism; and iv) technological change contributing to increased risks to personal security and safety. While these issues are of complex origins, they are linked to globalization and the dominant global development model, in which corporate and individualistic interests stand above social and environmental ones, and logics, values and interests of Western countries stand above those of other countries. The magnitude of the crises linked to these global problems have led some academics, and some politicians to rethink their political and economic strategies and agendas. At the same time, recent years have witnessed simultaneous trends of weakening of established global economic and political leadership on the one hand, and the emergence of new economic powers on the other. This has led to the ascent of new actors in the global development arena, most notably China, India and Brazil. They and many others are rapidly emerging from what the conventional economic model had labelled as ‘disadvantaged’ parts of the world, and are increasingly playing a key role in development processes worldwide.

The crossroads at which humanity stands today requires a shift in development logics and
paradigm. In this conference, we will discuss alternative development strategies and the role of emerging actors in development across multiple scales. Contributions from various
disciplines, including human geography, environmental politics, development studies,
sociology and institutional economics are called upon to discuss themes and questions, such as: 1. To what extent do global power shifts entail possibilities for more democratic—or conversely, more authoritarian—global governance? 2. What are the potentials of development and cooperation programmes in which problems and solutions emerge from geographical, societal, and gender-based margins? 3. Can we expect more socially and environmentally just, equality-laden and economically viable futures in the context of shifting geographies of Development?

The conference will serve as a platform to share research findings and experiences, as well as to develop new ideas and strategies for shifting development narratives and agendas, for re-connecting actors from different scales, and critically examining and redefining the meanings and logics of development. We welcome development scholars from a plurality of disciplines and critical theories, as well as practitioners from a broad range of professional backgrounds to explore ways to engage in progressive debates of building bridges between actors, scales, movements and societies at multiple levels and beyond global-local binaries.

Call for abstracts for Development Days 2019 Conference is now open!

We invite you to join us in Helsinki, for Development Days 2019 Conference Repositioning global development: changing actors, geographies and ontologies, to take place on 27.2-1.3.2019. Join and contribute to a critical academic and practitioner exchange on new trends, promises, pitfalls and alternatives in development-related research.

You can submit your abstracts directly to one of the proposed working groups, by contacting their chairs. The abstracts of 300-350 words should be submitted by 31 December 2018, directly to chairs of the working group/s of your choice. In case of doubts concerning the selection of working group/s, please submit your abstract to the chair of the organising committee, Sabaheta Ramcilovik-Suominen (sabaheta.ramcilovik- suominen(at)uef.fi) and she will try to assign it to the fitting working group or event.

The working groups address a range of themes including decoloniality, transformations in social movements, social organisations, research and education, to name a few. In addition to working groups, the conference includes Master and Doctoral workshops, as well as a civil society event; offering a variety of opportunities for you to engage and present your research, to learn about other research in the field, and to strengthen your network.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

We are very pleased to announce our keynote speakers for the Development Days 2019 conference: Giles MohanAshish Kothari and Rosalba Icaza Garza.

Conference Schedule:

  • 31.10. 2018: Deadline for session proposals
  • 15.11. 2018: Call for paper/presentation abstracts
  • 31.12.2018: Deadline for paper/presentation abstract submissions
  • 15.01.2019. Notifications of accepted papers /presentation abstracts (by WG Chairs)
  • 1.1.-20.2.2019: Registration for the conference open
  • 27.2. 2019: Pre-Conference Workshops for Master’s and PhD students
  • 28.2-1.3.2019. Development Days Conference.

 

Guest lecture on 11.12.2018

Marcos Pedlowski gives a guest lecture on 11.12.2018:

Tue 11.12.2018: The Brazilian Amazon and the prospects of explosive deforestation after the 2018 presidential elections

The Brazilian Amazon is considered as one of the largest containers of global biodiversity. However, since the early 1960s the region is facing an increased process of perturbation through a combination of outright deforestation for agriculture expansion and different forms of degradation by loggers and miners. After a decade of relatively low rates of deforestation, the Brazilian Amazon is facing an increase in rates of deforestation and forest degradation, mostly because of the expansion of soybeans and sugarcane plantations, cattle raising, mining, logging, and the construction of large hydroelectric plants. The recent election of Mr. Jair Bolsonaro, a vocal opponent of conservation efforts and to the Paris Climate Agreement, will probably increase the pressure on the Brazilian Amazon and the indigenous people living there. Mr. Bolsonaro has already announced that he will dramatically downsize the Ministry of the Environment and place the environmental protection agencies at the Ministry of Agriculture. This move, if confirmed, will increase the prospects of an exponential increase in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. This outcome would certainly contribute to weaken the efforts to diminish the pace of climate change.

Time and place: 14:00 – 16:00, Metsätalo, lecture hall 2 (B212), Unioninkatu 40

Dr. Marcos Pedlowski holds a BS in Geography from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (1986), and MSC in Geography from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (1990) and a PhD degree in Environmental Design And Planning from Virginia Tech (1997). Since 1998 he has been an associate professor at the Centro de Ciências do Homem in the Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense in Brazil. Dr. Pedlowski’s interests involve a wide array of topics linked to geographical studies and his research projects focus on the following subjects: land reform, land cover and land use changes; policies of environmental conservation, and urban studies. More information: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=YXdaAuYAAAAJ&hl=pt-BR and https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marcos_Pedlowski. Dr. Pedlowski is a visiting research in Development Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki in December 2018.