In collaboration with EADI and King’s College, London, Developing Economics has launched Season of the Hierarchies of Development podcast.The podcast offers long format interviews focusing on enduring global inequalities. Conversations focus on contemporary research projects by critical scholars and help us understand how and why structural hierarchies persist. Join hosts Ingrid Kvangraven (KCL/DE) and Basile Boulay (EADI) for this series of discussions on pressing issues in the social sciences.
The podcast was developed with editing support from Jonas Bauhof. Listen to old episodes and subscribe to get updates on new episodes here (you can choose your preferred platform).
In the first episode is on monetary hierarchies we speak to Karina Patricio Ferreira Lima (University of Leeds, UK) about hierarchies in money and finance, core-periphery dynamics of inflation, the role of the International Monetary Fund in assessing debt sustainability, and much more. Listen on Spotify with the link below.
Although many commentators hoped 2022 would be a ‘return to normal’, this year has been anything but that. On Developing Economics, contributors have been grappling with many fundamental issues, ranging from social reproduction, labour exploitation and unrest, the many failuers of contemporary development policies, decolonisation, the food regime, new debt crises and industrialisation. Among the most widely read posts are those that challenge hegemonic thinking about the crises unfolding this year on both the left and right. For example, Farwa Sial’s interview with Max Ajl, Bikrum Gil and Tinashe Nyamnuda challenges the uncritical use of sanctions by the West in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Güney Işıkara’s critique of polycrisis challenges what he deems to be superficial and ultimately inadequate efforts on the left to understand the contemporary crisis of capitalism. Amidst all the hype about returning to normal, contributors on DE also recognize both that pre-pandemic times were also deeply unequal, exploitative, and extractive, which calls for a deeper appreciation of critical scholarship that can help us understand the forces that produce this inequality even in allegedly normal times, and that the crisis responses have been highly unequal across the world.
This year we also launched a new podcast where you can listen to critical scholarship on development and economics in a conversational format. Season 1 is now out and you can listen to episodes on environmental issues, mining, labour, and global value chains.
This is just a tiny, tiny sample of our around40 posts on the blog this year, so please have a browse through the rest of the blogs too. You can also follow our active blog series on State Capitalism(s) and Pressure in the City, and delve into all COVID-19 related analysis here, and book reviews here. In 2023, Developing Economics will continue to provide much-needed critical perspectives on development and economics. Want to join the conversation?: Become a contributor.
In collaboration with EADI and King’s College, London, Developing Economics has launched a new podcast on Hierarchies of Development.The podcast offers long format interviews focusing on enduring global inequalities. Conversations focus on contemporary research projects by critical scholars and help us understand how and why structural hierarchies persist. Join hosts Ingrid Kvangraven (KCL/DE) and Basile Boulay (EADI) for this series of discussions on pressing issues in the social sciences.
It’s a wrap – the tumultous year of 2021 is almost behind us. As usual, it was a year full of critical anlyses on the blog that can help us make sense of the multiple crises unfolding before our eyes. This year, the most read posts were to a large extent those that explicitly challenge orthodox thinking about economics and development and provide alternative ways of framing the complex problems we face as a society. This may well reflect some important churning that is currently taking place in development economics. The top posts expose the limits to mainstream economics and global development discourses, debunk dominant views of the Washington Consensus and Chile as a ‘Free Market Mirace’, and excavate helpful insights from Marx, Sam Moyo, and scholars of imperialism. They also provide concrete ways of understanding contemporary issues such as intellectual monopoly capitalism and the gig economy.
This is just a tiny, tiny sample of the overeighty posts on the blog this year. You can also follow our active blog series on State Capitalism(s) and Pressure in the City, and delve into all COVID-19 related analysis here, and book reviews here (see also our book symposum on Max Ajl’s new book A People’s Green New Deal here).
In 2022, Developing Economics will continue to provide much-needed critical perspectives on development and economics. Want to join the conversation?: Become a contributor.
Max Ajl’s A People’s Green New Deal intervenes in current debates regarding green planning, green future, green stimuli, and eco-socialism. It surveys a wide range of existing literature on the ecological and social crisis, ranging from ruling-class “great transitions,” to eco-modernist elixirs of the right and the left which bank on technological solutions to today’s social and ecological problems. It then considers and critiques an array of liberal, left-liberal, and social democratic proposals, some of them going under the eco-socialist moniker, and shows how they rest on continued exploitation and primitive accumulation of the periphery.
A People’s Green New Deal contributions lie in, first, using frameworks of dependency theory, accumulation on a world scale, and ecologically uneven exchange to illuminate the costs and consequences of distinct approaches to the climate crisis, left and right. Second, the book’s emphasis on agriculture, land use, and agro-ecology makes it unique amongst books on the Green New Deal and parallel debates. Its emphasis on decolonization, national sovereignty, anti-imperialism, and climate debt repayments from the North to the South is a third contribution. A fourth is how it deals with technology.
This review forum assesses the contribution of A People’s Green New Deal. Sakshi situates APGND in terms of a counter-epistemology to Eurocentric and empire-blind resolutions, if not really solutions, to the social and ecological crises to which mainstream Green New Deals are addressed. Sheetal Chhabria assesses APGND’s contribution to thinking on a planetary scale about appropriate planning for a just transition, while criticizing the book’s uncritical embrace of certain Indian nationalist tropes. Güney Işıkara raises questions regarding political agency and organization, the role of national-level planning in any form of national-level green transition, and how to approach anti-imperialism on a world scale.
The Economics profession has long been too white, too male, too Western-centric, and too hostile to non-mainstream approaches. Today, a new tool – the D-Econ Database – is being launched to address this.
“All the women were busy.” “There are no people of color working on this topic.” “It’s the male-dominated field that’s the problem, not this particular panel.” We needed big names and all the big names just happen to be white men based in the Global North.”
We’ve all heard these excuses many times over. Women, minorities, and scholars from the Global South are severely underrepresented in the field of Economics – and that makes putting together panels that do not simply reproduce the dominant identities in the field a challenge. The high concentration of a few dominant identities in the Economics field has rightly led to outrage against all-white and all-male panels .
It is becoming increasingly accepted that this underrepresentation is not simply an issue of fewer women, minorities, and scholars from the Global South choosing not to be a part of the field. On the contrary, research shows that there are systemic biases that make it more difficult for economists who are not white, not male, and not based in the Global North, to be heard. An additional layer of discrimination has to do with approach. Indeed, Economics is “unique among the social sciences in having a single monolithic mainstream, which is either unaware of or actively hostile to alternative approaches” (King, 2013: 17).
In April 2021, Ivan Duque’s administration presented a tax reform bill labeled “Law of Sustainable Solidarity” to Congress. The bill contemplated an increment of the VAT on basic goods in conjunction with an increase in the marginal tax rates on the income of the so-called Colombian middle class. The vast majority of whom earns monthly less than 4,000,000 Colombian pesos (around 1,065 U.S. dollars). Although the bill put on the table contained some crucial elements for discussion, such as implementing a “basic monthly income” of 21 U.S. dollars (by far less than the current minimum wage). It contained little or nothing to effectively tackle Colombia’s high social and income inequality (with an official GINI of 0.526 for 2019).
The tax reform bill was presented in the mid of a severe economic and social crisis that had worsened due to the pandemic and against which the Colombian government has done hitherto little beyond the orthodox recipes. This triggered a general strike and nationwide social mobilizations that have already lasted over more than two weeks without any clarity as to their resolution as yet. The current social protest can be considered a continuation of a general strike that erupted at the end of 2019 and got into a rest due to the pandemic.
Yet, many elements behind the social movement go beyond dissatisfaction with the tax reform bill. Since 2016 after the peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC, which used to be the oldest and biggest guerrilla in Colombia, the government hasn’t implemented most of the elements contemplated in the peace agreement. Also, although Colombia has had macroeconomic stability for more than 20 years, an indicator such as the official unemployment rate has consistently been above 10%. The level of poverty before the COVID-19 shock was near 32%.
Thus, the following question arises, what does it mean to have macroeconomic stability to the population? A call to think outside the box on what the government can or can’t do must be considered under other lenses. In view of the worsening of the social, political, and economic crisis in Colombia and the need to develop economic policy alternatives to the government’s orthodox position, a group of citizens and academicians wrote the open letter below to respond to those who argue the TINA mantra and believe that there’s a consensus in economics to support tax reforms amidst the COVID-19 epidemic.
We know, we know, most people would rather forget everything about 2020. However, before you go into 2021, we want to remind you of some of the important analyses that emerged this year, including insights that had not been adequately appreciated before. These include insights about the links between ecology and capitalism, the fragility of economies that rely heavily on precarious labor, the role of the state in shaping health systems, and how structural racism is embedded in the economy. We were honoured to be able to host important contributions to these debates on the blog this year, along with other posts on economics, politics and development.
This is just a tiny, tiny sample of the eighty posts on the blog this year. You can also follow our active blog series on State Capitalism(s) and Pressure in the City, and delve into all COVID-19 related analysis here, and book reviews here. In 2021, Developing Economics will continue to provide much-needed critical perspectives on development and economics. Want to join the conversation? Become a contributor!