Development Studies and PYAM Seminar: Uma Kothari 26.09.2018

Wednesday 26 September from 10-12 pm at Metsätalo, room 27

Encountering Europe Otherwise: On the road with postcolonial travellers

Uma Kothari

Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester

Vice-Chancellors Fellow, School of Geography, University of Melbourne

With adventure, exploration and travel primarily conceived of as a Euro-American privilege, travellers in the past were identified as those who embarked on voyages motivated by imperial, educational and recreational imperatives. Empire tourism, a specific form of travel that emerged to enable western tourists to experience the landscapes and people written about by earlier travellers, subsequently fueled the production of colonial imaginaries about other people and places. These travel stories, along with academic accounts, have entrenched highly Eurocentric theories about tourism and travel. Drawing on an extended road trip from England to India undertaken by two non-European, Indian travellers in the 1950s this paper challenges this privileging of western tourists and dominant narratives of travel. It highlights the entangled relationships and connections that generated the encounters, experiences and understandings that emerged during their journey. The swirl of larger events and processes that conditioned their travel routes testify to a different era of globalisation in which distinctive connections were being sought and wrought while others were diminishing. As such, their trip, which took place in a specific geo-political and decolonising context, illuminates shifting colonial imaginaries and the forging of new postcolonial networks and their story foregrounds the neglect of non-western forms of mobility.

Uma Kothari is Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies in the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. She is the co-founder of the Manchester Migration Lab and is currently Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She is the principal investigator on an ESRC funded project on Environmental Violence and Everyday Lives and her current work includes research on Visual Solidarity and Everyday Humanitarianism and A Cultural History of the Mission to Seafarers. She has published numerous articles and her books include Participation: the new tyranny?,  Development Theory and Practice: critical perspectives, and A Radical History of Development Studies. She is co-editor of the Frontiers of Development book series published by Oxford University Press and is the Vice President of the European Association of Development. She is on the advisory board of In Place of War, a support system for community artistic, creative and cultural organisations in places of conflict and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She was conferred the Royal Geographical Society’s Busk Medal for her contributions to research on global development.

Contact: Paola Minoia (

Book launch: Power, Indigenous Leaderships and Governance in Latin America – Tue 18.09


Tuesday 18 September at 15:00-16:30

Think Lounge, Think Corner 2nd floor, Yliopistonkatu 4

Discussion event on the recently published books “Vivir Bien as an Alternative to Neoliberal Globalization” (Routledge, 2018) and “Indigenous Perceptions and Changing Forms of Leadership in Amazonia” (Colorado University Press, 2017). The books are presented by Eija Ranta (Development Studies) and Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen (Indigenous Studies), with Lucas Artur Manchineri from Brazilian Amazonia (Manchineri community). We invite you to discuss, how Indigenous governance is realized and what types of leaderships have emerged in Latin America.

Refreshments and wine will be offered.


Keskustelu vallasta, alkuperäiskansojen johtajuuksista ja hallintatavoista Latinalaisessa Amerikassa

Ti 18.9. klo 15–16:30
Think Lounge, Tiedekulma 2 krs., Yliopistonkatu 4

Kirjojen “Vivir Bien as an Alternative to Neoliberal Globalization” (Routledge, 2018) ja “Indigenous Perceptions and Changing Forms of Leadership in Amazonia” (Colorado University Press, 2017) keskustelutilaisuus. Kirjoista kertovat Eija Ranta (kehitysmaatutkimus) sekä Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen (alkuperäiskansatutkimus). Mukana keskustelussa myös Lucas Artur Manchineri Brasilian Amazonialta. Tule keskustelemaan miten alkuperäiskansojen hallintatavat toteutuvat tai näkyvät Latinalaisessa Amerikassa ja millaisia uusia johtajuuksia siellä on noussut.


The Politics of Sustainability: Re-thinking resources, values and justice. Development Days Conference – 15.02 and 16.02.2018

Development Days conference of the Finnish Society for Development Research

Place: Tieteiden talo, Helsinki

Time: 15-16th February

Registration is open for the annual Development Days conference of the Finnish Society for Development Research! The conference, themed The Politics of Sustainability: Re-thinking resources, values and justice, is held in Helsinki on 15-16th February. Our keynote speakers are Jesse Ribot, Sian Sullivan and Jun Borras – you can find their profiles as well as the conference programme on our website, check it out!

Please fill out the online registration form and follow the payment instructions to register for the conference. Registration is open until 12th February.

In case you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact conference assistant Ella Rouhe at

Bandana Gyawali doctoral defense 23.8.2018

Bandana Gyawali will defend the doctoral dissertation entitled “Ambiguous Bikas – History of the Concept of Development in Nepal 1900-2006.” in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, on 23 August 2018 at 11:00. The public examination will take place at the following address: PIII, Porthania (Yliopistonkatu 3).

Professor Mark Liechty, University of Illinois at Chicago, will serve as the opponent, and Professor Barry Gills as the custos.

The dissertation is also available in electronic form through the E-thesis service.


Wel­come to the 4th Annual Conference of the World-Eco­logy Research Net­work in Helsinki, Fin­land, 15-18 Au­gust

Ex­tract­iv­isms, So­cial Move­ments and On­to­lo­gical Form­a­tions

Far from limited to resource and energy question, recent extractivisms have linked up with manifold forms of land grabbing and cash-crop agriculture to create new agrarian questions of survival and justice in an era of runaway climate change. Crucially, many Indigenous Peoples, peasants, workers, and other groups have confronted the extractivist projects. Many of them have not only opposed place-specific projects but questioned the Nature/Society dualisms that have framed and legitimated the racialized, gendered, and colonial domination that has been fundamental to capitalism’s environmental histories. We are witnessing a new wave of challenges to capitalism as an ontological formation – a new ontological politics that confronts capitalism as a world-ecology of power, re/production, and nature.

Conference top­ics in­clude:

Indigenous movements and extractivist projects – Social reproduction and extractivism – The financialization of commodities – Land grabbing – Representations of extractivism, class, and capital – Extractivism in the Global North – Environmental histories of resource and energy extraction – Imperialism and the Search for Cheap Natures – Labor movements and the labor process in extractive sectors – The feminist political economy and political ecology of extraction – Extractivism and climate change – Race, racism, and racial formation in extractivist projects and processes – Commodity frontiers – Global extractive industries and their politics – And other World-ecology related topics!

Conflicts and resource politics in Myanmar, 15 August 2018

What: Discussion on the complex resource politics and its implications for the peace process in Myanmar. When: 15 August 2018, 10 am to 1:30 pm
Where: Think Corner (Tiedekulma), University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 4
Confirm your participation:

Myanmar is experiencing a complicated process of transition towards a civilian government, multi-party democratic elections, and peace negotiations. At the same time, the recent opening of the country has resulted in an accelerating rush for the rich natural resources, including a boom in extractive industrial and agribusiness projects. Most of these resources are located in the ethnic states and many of the grievances of the various ethnic communities are entangled with the questions of access to and control over resources. In this event researchers, NGO representatives and social movement activists discuss the ways that land and other resource rights should be addressed as a part of conflict resolution towards sustainable peace in Myanmar.

The recent political changes in Myanmar has also meant a rush of different international development organisations to the country. Recently Finland too has decided to focus its support in Southeast Asia to Myanmar. The event includes a panel discussion on the Finland’s future role in Myanmar with perspectives from civil society, ministry officials and private sector. Continue reading “Conflicts and resource politics in Myanmar, 15 August 2018”

Arctic Indigenous and Local Knowledge & Sustainability

Friday, 8th of June from 9am – 15 pm at the Think Corner.

Many sessions will touch on sustainability & development issues in the Arctic, and this is also a great opportunity to get more familiar with the work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). There will be three keynote speeches from prominent figures: Anne Nuorgam (Vice-Chair of the United Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues), Eduardo Brondizio (Co-Chair of the IPBES Global Assessment) and Fikret Berkes (one of the most distinguished ethnoecologists). There will also be two Panel Discussions with Indigenous Peoples representatives.

You can find the full program in the following link:

Warmly welcome to the Seminar!

Development Studies Lecture – 28.05.2018

Mariela Castro Espín: Sex education in the processes of social transformation of the Cuban revolution (“La educación de la sexualidad en los procesos de transformación social de la Revolución Cubana”)

Mariela Castro is the leader of Cuba’s sexual education institute (CENESEX) and a worldwide known activist for promoting LGBTIQ rights, transgender issues and HIV/AIDS prevention. She is a member of the Cuban parliament and the daughter of Cuba’s ex-president Raúl Castro and revolutionary feminist leader Vilma Espín. Castro is visiting Finland, because she will be promoted as the doctor honoris causas by Åbo Akademi.

The lecture will be commented by President Tarja Halonen.

Language: Spanish, translation to Finnish. PowerPoint in English.
Date & Time: Monday 28.5. at 16.15-17.45
Place: Unioninkatu 35, Auditorio 116, 1. krs.

Continue reading “Development Studies Lecture – 28.05.2018”

Helsus Brown Bag seminar – 20.04.2018

The new dynamics of de­for­est­a­tion in Brazil

Associate Professor Markus Kröger’s presentation is about the current dynamics of deforestation, forest degradation, and sustainability of forest and forestry policies in different parts of Brazil. The focus is at presenting the findings from fresh field research in 2017-2018 on the different causes of rising deforestation in different regions. The example of the iconic Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve in Acre illustrates the power of cattle-ranching as the key driver of deforestation, even inside conservation areas. The politics of the rapidly expanding “sustainable logging cooperatives” – which have serious impacts on forest degradation, and do not typically deliver their promises – in the multiple-use conservation areas of the Santarém region in Pará are discussed to illustrate how the powerful illegal loggers still operate and take over many developmental schemes. Finally, the role of Finnish and Brazilian forestry industry in continuing deforestation and expansion of eucalyptus plantations through practices that include illegal land grabbing and violence in Bahia are discussed based on field research in the area since 2004. The politics that aim to create sustainable forest policies, and offer alternatives, are also discussed.

Markus Kröger is an Associate Professor and Docent in Development Studies at the University of Helsinki, the focus area of the tenure track position being the study of the political economy of development and natural resource extraction. Most of his research has focused on investment politics around large-scale projects in the forestry and metal industries, including the study of state-corporate-civil society relations, particularly in South America and India. He is the author of Contentious Agency and Natural Resource Politics (2013), and has published several papers on the sustainability of forest and forestry policies in different countries.

Welcome on Friday 20 April at 11:30-12:30 at HELSUS Hub at Porthania (2nd floor), Yliopistonkatu 3.