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Elsje Fourie (University of Maastricht)
Emma Mawdsley (University of Cambridge)
Wiebe Nauta (University of Maastricht)
The 'rise of the South' over the last 10-15 years has led to tectonic shifts in global development ideas, practices and actors. As growing providers of development assistance, states like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, as well as a variety of non-state development organisations and movements, are becoming increasingly active and influential in bilateral, regional and international cooperation. Usually this has been framed as a successful projection of material, ideational and ontological power that has enabled Southern (and Arab) development partners to challenge long-standing 'North-South' development hegemonies.
While research is accelerating around many aspects of the rapidly growing and complex phenomenon of South-South Development Cooperation (SSDC), there has been limited space for reflection on the epistemological and methodological challenges posed by research in and with these Southern partners. Yet our own experiences, and discussions with differently positioned researchers in different sites, reveal new and emerging questions of identity, power and positionality for researchers and their partners and respondents; as well as unfamiliar and challenging conceptual frameworks for 'development'. Existing critical reflection on 'mainstream' international development ideas, practices and research from feminist, postcolonial and critical race theory has powerfully challenged the hierarchies and assumptions associated with the historically dominant North-South axis, while also providing paradigm-shifting innovations in methodologies and ethics in research praxis. To what extent are such critical reflections relevant to explore these new actors, hierarchies and identities emerging and deepening in and around SSDC?
This conference is the first of its kind in its specific focus on the epistemological and related methodological challenges associated with researching South-South development cooperation. The conference will invite researchers on SSDC - from graduates and early career scholars to leading figures in the field - to reflect critically on the changing politics of knowledge and knowledge production that these actors and trends present. We are particularly keen to include Southern-based researchers, funding permitting. The conference will be multidisciplinary in character, with researchers invited from Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Development Studies, Feminist Studies, International Relations, Media Studies and Political Studies
Supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH); Newnham College, Cambridge; The Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Maastricht; The Department of Philosophy, Maastricht; The Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development (GTD) Research Programme, Maastricht; the Limburg University Fund (SWOL).
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