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Global Development Institute podcast

Global Development Institute podcast

Author: Global Development Institute

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Welcome to the Global Development Institute podcast. Each episode we will bring you the latest thinking, insights and debate in development studies.


The Global Development Institute is based at The University of Manchester, and builds on 60 years of development studies expertise. With more than 45 academics, 100 PhD students and 500 Master’s students, we are Europe’s largest research and teaching institute addressing poverty and inequality.
40 Episodes
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Lecture: How the west got China wrong - Yuen Yuen Ang
Dr Yuen Yuen Ang, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan delivers the Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture. For decades, Western policymakers and observers assumed that as China’s economy prospers, it will eventually and inescapably democratize. Today, however, the West is alarmed that not only does China appear more authoritarian than before, the new leadership is perceived to harbor ambitions to compete with Western powers for world dominance. This turn of events has triggered fear around the world. Today, the so-called “China model” is seen as a fundamental threat to liberal-democratic values.How did the West get China wrong? Yuen Yuen Ang argues that many observers have misunderstood the political foundation underlying China’s rise. Her research reveals that since market opening, China has in fact pursued significant political reforms, just not in the manner that Western observers expected. Instead of introducing multiparty elections, the reformist leadership realized some of the key benefits of democratization through bureaucratic reforms, thereby creating a unique political hybrid: autocracy with democratic characteristics. In other words, it is not autocracy but rather the injection of democratic, adaptive qualities into a single-party regime that drives China’s economic dynamism. But, Ang cautions, bureaucratic reforms cannot substitute for political reforms forever. Going forward, China must release and channel the immense creative potential of civil society, which would necessitate greater freedom of expression, more public participation, and less state intervention.
GDI Lecture: The Southernisation of Development? -  Emma Mawdsley
The Global Development Institute Lecture Series is pleased to present Dr Emma Mawdsley, Reader in Human Geography and Fellow of Newnham College to discuss "The Southernisation of Development? Who has 'socialised' who in the new millennium?"A more polycentric global development landscape has emerged over the past decade or so, rupturing the formerly dominant North-South axis of power and knowledge. This can be traced through more diversified development norms, institutions, imaginaries and actors. This paper looks at one trend within this turbulent field: namely, the ways in which ‘Northern’ donors appear to be increasingly adopting some of the narratives and practices associated with ‘Southern’ development partners. This direction of travel stands in sharp contrast to expectations in the early new millennium that the (so-called) ‘traditional’ donors would ‘socialise’ the ‘rising powers’ to become ‘responsible donors’. After outlining important caveats about using such cardinal terms, the paper explores three aspects of this ‘North’ to ‘South’ movement. These are (a) the stronger and more explicit claim to ‘win-win’ development ethics and outcomes; (b) the (re)turn from ‘poverty reduction’ to ‘economic growth’ growth as the central analytic of development; and related to both, the explicit and deepening blurring and blending of development finances and agendas with trade and investment.
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