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In the latest episode of the GDI podcast Professor Stefan Dercon talks to Dr Sophie van Huellen. They discuss Stefan's new book, "Gambling on Development: why some countries win and others lose", his recent departure from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and his advice to academics wanting to work with civil servants and policy makers. Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy at Oxford University. Between 2011 and 2017, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), and from 20200- 2022, he was the Development Policy Advisor to successive Foreign Secretaries at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Sophie van Huellen is a Lecturer in Development Economics at the Global Development Institute. Transcript and more information is available here: Intro music Anna Banana by Eaters
GDI’s Resources, Environment, and Development research group have recently organised a series of talks on ‘Red Talks: on the Politics of Resources, Environment and Development’ The first event welcomed Dr Maria Christina Fragkou, an environmental scientist currently working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Chile to discuss ‘Urban metabolism, water scarcity and seawater desalination in Chile under a neoliberal paradigm’ In her talk, Maria shared her research on the current water crisis in Chile, and the hydro-social implications of desalination (widely promoted as a solution to the crisis) from an urban socio-economic metabolism perspective. The increasing water shortages along Chile, and the consequent pressure on the country’s continental water sources, has resulted in the consolidation of seawater desalination as the Chilean State’s main strategy for supplying drinking water to coastal populations in arid areas. Despite the growing expansion of this technology, the social implications of desalinated water distribution for human consumption in Chilean cities have not yet been studied. A transcript of the talk can be found here: Intro music Anna Banana by Eaters
While the Covid-19 pandemic has caused enormous devastation and disruption in health, social and economic terms, the remarkably quick development of Covid-19 vaccines is an enormous achievement. Yet despite frequent statements that “it's not over anywhere, until it’s over everywhere”, the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines has been grossly inequitable – defying what the world needs epidemiologically and economically, as well as ethically. The panel of leading academic and activist experts reflect on one of the biggest immediate problems facing the world – looking back at how global Covid-19 vaccine inequality has emerged and exploring what needs to happen now and in the future to address the ongoing issue, and help prevent similar future problems. It will explore aspects including the roles and limitations of technology transfer, patent protection, vaccine nationalism, COVAX as a multilateral initiative. Speakers: Karrar Karrar is a Senior Advisor – Pharmaceutical Policy, Save the Children Lara Dovifat is Campaign Manager, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Prof. Ken Shadlen is a Professor of Development Studies, LSE) Chair: Rory Horner Senior Lecturer, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester Read a transcript of the podcast: Intro music Anna Banana by Eaters
Yeling Tan discusses her book, Disaggregating China, Inc: State Strategies in the Liberal Economic Order. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 represented an historic opportunity to peacefully integrate a rising economic power into the international order based on market-liberal rules. Yet rising economic tensions between the US and China indicate that this integration process has run into trouble. To what extent has the liberal internationalist promise of the WTO been fulfilled? To answer this question, this podcast breaks open the black box of the massive Chinese state and unpacks the economic strategies that central economic agencies as well as subnational authorities adopted in response to WTO rules demanding far-reaching modifications to China’s domestic institutions. Tan explains why, rather than imposing constraints, WTO entry provoked divergent policy responses from different actors within the Chinese state, in ways neither expected nor desired by the architects of the WTO. Yeling Tan is Assistant Professor of Political Science at The University of Oregon Read a transcript of the podcast: Intro music Anna Banana by Eaters
This podcast focuses on development politics at the United Nations, particularly the period of the so-called New International Economic Order (NIEO) in the 1970s. The NIEO was an effort by Third World countries to pursue a reform agenda that combined global redistribution from North to South with state-led developmentalism at the national level. By revisiting this fascinating and tumultuous period in the global political economy, Bair aims to re-centre the role of Southern states in debates about globalization, human rights and inequality. Jennifer Bair is Professor of Sociology and Department Chair at The University of Virginia Read a transcript of the podcast: Intro music Anna Banana by Eaters.
To mark the launch of The Routledge Handbook of Global Development, we have recorded 3 podcasts with the core editorial team. In the final episode, core-editor Kearrin Sims sat down with Albert Salamanca and Pichamon Yeophantong, section editors for the book’s section ‘Sustainabilty and Environment’. Kearrin Sims is a lecturer in Development Studies at James Cook University, Australia. Albert Salamanca is a senior research fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Asia Centre, Thailand. Pichamon Yeophantong is a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. Find out more about the book: Read a transcript of the podcast: Intro music Anna Banana by Eaters.
In this second podcast to mark the launch of The Routledge Handbook of Global Development, Professor Jonathan Rigg sits down with Dr Nicola Banks, the section editor of 'Game Changers of global development?', to find out what makes a 'game changer' and how development pedagogy can learn from them. Jonathan Rigg is Professor of Development Geography in the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol. Nicola Banks is Senior Lecturer in Global Urbanism and Urban Development at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. Find out more about the book: Read a transcript of the podcast: Intro music Anna Banana by Eaters.
To mark the launch of The Routledge Handbook of Global Development, we have recorded 3 podcasts with the core editorial team. In this first episode, core-editor Kearrin Sims sat down with co-editors Susan Engel, Paul Hodge and Naohiro Nakamura, to discuss their motivations behind the book, what makes this volume so special, and how it deals with 'global' development. Kearrin Sims is a lecturer in Development Studies at James Cook University, Australia. Susan Engel is an associate professor in Politics and International Studies at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Paul Hodge is a senior lecturer in Geography and Environmental Studies at The University of Newcastle, Australia. Naohiro Nakamura is a senior lecturer in Geography at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji. Find out more about the book: Read a transcript of the podcast: Intro music Anna Banana by Eaters.
In the latest episode of the GDI podcast Professor Shuaib Lwasa talks to Dr Seth Schindler. They discuss the recent COP in Glasgow, urban development, African cities and the Urban Action Lab. Dr. Shuaib Lwasa is Professor of Urban Sustainability at Makerere University, Uganda. He has worked extensively on interdisciplinary research projects focused on African cities but also in South Asia. He established and directed an Urban Action Research Lab in 2010 which has championed graduate research and training and incubating novel ideas of urban transformation and sustainability in partnership with low-income communities and vulnerable groups working in three research sites in Uganda. Seth Schindler is Senior Lecturer in Urban Development and Transformation in the Global Development Institute. His research is focused on large-scale urban and regional transformation initiatives that integrate cities into transnational urban systems. Seth is also co-research director of the African Cities Research Consortium, a six-year programme funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, which seeks to generate new insights and approaches to tackle complex problems in Africa’s rapidly changing cities. A transcript of this podcast is available here:
Alexander Pick is Head of New Development Policies and Institutions at the OECD Development Centre. Social unrest is on the rise once more. A surge in discontent in the wake of the global financial crisis was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic but is resuming in many places and in many different forms as the pandemic begins to recede. The causes, manifestations and consequences of this discontent is the subject of Perspectives on Global Development 2021: From protest to progress? – a new flagship report by the OECD Development Centre. In this lecture, Alexander Pick, the lead author of the report, will discuss its key findings about the complexities of discontent, what the phenomenon tells us about the world around us, and what needs to be done to address it, at a local, national and international level. Read a transcript of this podcast:
In this podcast, Kristen Hopewell, Canada Research Chair in Global Policy, presents research from her new book analyzing the impact of the growing US-China conflict on the multilateral trading system. Hopewell argues that China’s ascent has significantly weakened American control over the governing institutions of the trading system and its power to write the rules of global trade. The US and China are engaged in a pitched battle to set the rules of global economic competition, and the confrontation between these two dominant powers has paralyzed global trade rule-making. The China Paradox – the fact that China is both a developing country and an economic powerhouse – has created significant challenges for global trade governance. While China demands exemptions from global trade disciplines as a developing country, the US refuses to extend special treatment to its rival. The implications of this conflict extend far beyond trade, impeding pro-development and pro-environment reforms of the global trading system. You can find a transcript of this podcast here:
In this new mini-series three GDI academics talk to The University of Manchester’s Dr Nic Gowland about how their research is helping to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals for global health, equality and sustainability. More than 80% of South Asia’s farmers are cultivating under two hectares, usually in scattered plots. Most lack access to irrigation, credit, technical information, and the means to tackle climate change. A growing proportion of farms are managed by women, but without owning the land they cultivate, as men move to non-farm jobs. For more than a decade, Bina Agarwal, Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the Global Development Institute, has examined whether cultivating in groups by voluntarily pooling land, labour, funds and skills and sharing costs and benefits, would enable small farmers to create larger, more profitable enterprises in South Asia, and beyond. You can read a transcript of this podcast here:
In this new mini-series three GDI academics talk to The University of Manchester’s Dr Nic Gowland about how their research is helping to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals for global health, equality and sustainability. Research shows that nearly 70% of Indonesians aged 40 and over, with moderate to high cardiovascular risk, don’t receive cardiovascular care. To address this need, Dr Gindo Tampubolon, joined a new research-policy collaboration. This collaboration included the Universities of Manchester and Brawijaya, the George Institute for Global Health and the Indonesia and the District Government of Malang. The team trained local health workers (kaders)on cardiovascular disease, risk factors and the technical use of an app called SMARThealth. The app analysed samples in real time, producing a simple traffic light system (green-amber-red) to indicate cardiovascular risk, simplifying the World Health Organization’s complex five-tiered grading systems. Over two years, doctors and kaders served approximately 48,000 people across eight villages, with 12,000 individuals over the age of 40 screened for heart disease. Results showed a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular deaths by identifying people at risk and then having health professionals prescribe lifestyle and/or drug interventions. Transcript available here:
In this new mini-series three GDI academics talk to The University of Manchester’s Dr Nic Gowland about how their research is helping to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals for global health, equality and sustainability. Prof Stephanie Barrientos has been researching the role of workers for over a decade. Her particular focus is on gender in the production of consumer goods sourced by retailers and brands through GVCs. Her work has changed the way a number of large companies deal with issues faced by women workers in the Global South, resulting in improved conditions and rights, enhancing prospects for millions of women worldwide. Transcript available here:
In the latest Global Development Institute podcast, Professor David Hulme interviews Dr David Little, an environmental consultant who has worked internationally on oil spills for a major part of his life. They discuss his work and their recent journal article on oil spills and climate change. You can find a transcript of this podcast on our website: Read David and David's recent paper:
Nick Jepson talks to Ilias Alami and Adam Dixon about their recent talk at the Global Development Institute. The talk blurb is below: The talk contributes to the development of state capitalism as a reflexively critical project focusing on the morphology of present-day capitalism, and particularly on the changing role of the state. We bring analytical clarity to state capitalism studies by offering a rigorous definition of its object of investigation, and by demonstrating how the category state capitalism can be productively construed as a means of problematising the current aggregate expansion of the state’s role as promoter, supervisor, and owner of capital across the world economy. Noting some of the geographical shortcomings of the field, we outline an alternative research agenda – uneven and combined state capitalist development – which aims at spatialising the study of state capitalism and revitalising systemic explanations of the phenomenon. We then offer a geographic reconstruction of the current advent of state capitalism. We identify the determinate historical-geographical capitalist transformations which underpin contemporary state capitalism. Such processes include: the accelerating unfolding of the new international division of labour; technological modernization and industrial upgrading culminating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution; an unprecedented concentration and centralisation of capital; and a secular shift in the centre of gravity of the global economy from the North Atlantic to the Pacific rim. The political mediation of these processes results in new geographies of intervention, which develop in combinatorial and cumulative forms, producing further state capitalist modalities. This is a particularly potent dynamic in contemporary state capitalism, and its tendency to develop in a spiral that both shapes and is shaped by world capitalist development. Transcript available here:
Inequality is the crisis of our time. The growing gap between a few at the top and the rest of society damages us all. No longer able to deny the crisis, every government in the world is now pledged to fix it – and yet it keeps on getting worse. This talk focuses on his new book, and Ben Phillips has shown why, in looking for answers, we need to move the spotlight away from the famous faces; how every time inequality has been successfully tackled it has been because of people pushing from below. Most books on inequality are about what other people ought to do about it – this book is about why winning the fight needs you. Sometimes students can feel like they are “preparing” for helping bring change when appointed to a role later. But can they in fact play a transformative role now? Phillips says yes - and explains how. This is not just a bold new historical and sociological study about the politics of inequality - it is a practical action guide for people working for a more equal world. Ben Phillips is co-founder of the Fight Inequality Alliance, civil society activist, and writer. He is the author of the book How to Fight Inequality: (and Why That Fight Needs You) published by Wiley press. Transcript available here:
How did Western imperialism shape the developing world? In Imperialism and the Developing World, Atul Kohli tackles this question by analyzing British and American influence on Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America from the age of the British East India Company to the most recent U.S. war in Iraq. He argues that both Britain and the U.S. expanded to enhance their national economic prosperity, and shows how Anglo-American expansionism hurt economic development in poor parts of the world. Atul Kohli is the David K.E. Bruce Professor of International Affairs at Princeton University. His principal research interests are in the area of political economy of developing countries. He is the author of Imperialism and the Developing World: How Britain and the U.S. Shaped the Global Periphery; Poverty amid Plenty in the New India; State-Directed Development: Political Power and Industrialization in the Global Periphery; Democracy and Discontent: India's Growing Crisis of Governability and The State and Poverty in India. He has also edited or co-edited ten volumes and published some sixty articles. Through much of his scholarship, he has emphasized the role of sovereign and effective states in the promotion of inclusive development.
Using case studies from research conducted in Nepal, Bangladesh and Uganda, this webinar will reveal how powerful women are critical actors in securing policy change and consolidating policy gains. The webinar explores the different strategies women’s movement actors and women inside the state use behind the scenes to bypass the political gatekeepers and overcome resistance in policy spaces. In all of the case study countries, there is a push-back against women’s rights and the civic space is shrinking. How does the rise of conservative forces also offer insights into how women leaders may continue to matter? Dr Sohela Nazneen is a Research Fellow at IDS and a Principal Investigator for ESID on women’s empowerment. She has 17 years of experience in working on gender and development issues.
Catch up with our webinar which introduced the African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC) and outlined how the ACRC and its international partners is planning to tackle complex, political and systemic problems in some of Africa’s fastest-growing urban areas. ACRC has been awarded a contract of £32 million from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) over the next 6 years. Building on the political settlements analysis established by the Effective States and Inclusive Development research centre, ARCR will adopt a city as systems approach to addressing complex urban problems. Through engaged action research, we aim to catalyse progress for disadvantaged communities in a number of focus cities and beyond. Speakers Professor Diana Mitlin, The University of Manchester Professor Sam Hickey, The University of Manchester Dr Martin Atela Partnership for African Social and Governance Research, Nairobi Chaired by Dr Admos Chimhowu
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Great podcast!

Apr 10th
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