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12 November 2018
The 6th ESID Annual Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture was a fascinating one on how the West got China wrong. Award-winning expert on China, Professor Yuen Yuen Ang, argues that China has developed as a political hybrid – an autocracy with democratic characteristics. It’s time to go beyond the dichotomy of autocracy versus democracy. Read her summary here and listen to the lecture in full here:
7 November 2018
Head of the Relational Poverty Network and Professor of Geography at The University of Washington, Seattle, Prof Lawson speaks about the urgent need to re-imagine and re-politicise poverty. Listen to her inspiring lecture here.
31 October 2018
For decades, Western observers expected that as China’s economy liberalises and prospers, it would eventually and inescapably become a democracy. Yet, by 2018, such hopes were all but dashed, particularly when Chinese President Xi Jinping ended constitutional term limits on his presidency. This move set off alarm bells. The Economist dedicated a whole issue to “How the West Got China Wrong.” But the magazine doesn’t actually explain “how”. What it expresses is panic and befuddlement, garnished with impassioned pleas to contain China’s rise. Its real title should be “Yikes, the West Got China Wrong!”
So how did the West really get China wrong? Was it wrong to expect that increased prosperity will bring about democratisation, as modernisation theorists like Ronald Inglehart have long argued? Does China demonstrate that it is possible to achieve economic liberalisation and growth without political reforms, therefore rendering its development model a fundamental threat to liberal democratic values? Continue Reading →
18 October 2018
The Effective States and Inclusive Development workshop: “Rethinking social justice and the public realm: what can relational approaches offer?” is at the University of Manchester on Thu-Fri 1st-2nd November 2018. The public plenary lecture will be given by Victoria Lawson (University of Washington, Seattle) on the subject of “Reimagining Poverty Action by Repoliticizing Poverty”. Thursday 1st November, 16.30-18.00, room G7 in Humanities Bridgeford Street building– all welcome.
‘Global inequalities’ is one of the University of Manchester’s research beacons. How can academic research into inequalities improve our understanding; how can it help to inform policy and activism; and how can it be critical and morally engaged, while also being rigorous and high quality? That last question has particularly been on my mind recently in light of a rising tide of sceptical critiques of academic work on social justice. Continue Reading →
On Thu 1st and Fri 2nd November ESID will host a workshop on Rethinking social justice and the public realm: what can relational approaches offer? This will bring together an international group of scholars who are all interested in engaging with the emerging relational turn in theorising and researching problems of social injustice, inequality, and poverty. It also includes a plenary lecture open to the public, from Prof. Victoria Lawson (University of Washington, Seattle).
The themes of the workshop are as follows:
The ‘relational turn’ has become increasingly influential within efforts to theorise social justice and the types of progressive public action required to challenge injustice. This has included moves to re-understand justice, the state, egalitarianism, and poverty, and to promote alternative approaches within public policy debates in both the global north and south.
Part of a broader shift within the social sciences, relational approaches have the potential to be highly significant, moving beyond resourcist or institutionalist accounts to investigate the social relations that may underpin particular resource distributions or institutional configurations, and which amount to forms of social injustice in themselves. Influential contributions of this type have been made concerning, for instance, social justice and egalitarianism (Young 1990; Fraser 1995, 2009; Anderson 1999; Schemmel 2012; Wolff 2015), the state (Jessop 2007; Cottam 2011; Cooke and Muir 2012), and poverty and underdevelopment (Hickey and du Toit 2007; Mosse 2010; Elwood, Lawson, and Sheppard 2017). This and other work suggests the possibility of an exciting shared agenda bridging a number of related fields. Continue Reading →