D-Econ Workshop at the Exploring Economics Online Summer Academy 2020

summer-academy-for-pluralist-economics-2020-workshopsD-Econ will be hosing a workshop at Exploring Economics’ Summer Academy August 10-16th 2020. The summer academy’s title is “Mainstream Economics Sold Out? Exploring Ways into Sustainable Futures.” This is how the purpose of the Academy is described:

On the one hand, we want to debate whether mainstream economics has indeed sold out or whether there is an increasing acknowledgement of unorthodox, non-neoclassical thinking. On the other hand, we want to explore the transformative potential of the coronavirus crisis not only with regard to the global economic system but also to the discipline of economics. What kind of economic thinking is needed to lay down pathways towards sustainability and international solidarity, instead of ecological destruction and xenophobic nationalism? We are convinced that this can only be done from a pluralist perspective. Indeed, there is not a single path towards one shared future but multiple ways to a plurality of possible futures. However, such a perspective challenges us to overcome Eurocentric thinking and to take into account the diverse voices of the so-called global south.

The registration period for the Online Summer Academy is open until the 24th of June.

Read about all the workshops here. Information about D-Econ’s workshop is below.

Workshop 1: Critical Development Economics/ Decolonizing Economics

by Diversifying and Decolonising Economics (D-Econ)

Dr. Farwa Sial (University of Manchester)

Dr. Surbhi Kesar (Azim Premji University)

Dr. Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven (University of York)

Dr. Hanna Szymborska (Birmingham City University)

The workshop on Critical Development Economics will engage with four core issues. First, we will explore how the project of economic development, despite it being celebrated as an ‘apolitical’ project of ‘modernity’ was rooted in colonial power structures. We will then explore how the discipline of Development Economics has evolved historically and will engage critically with the current mainstream of the discipline. Second, we will engage with certain critiques of the discipline that question and problematise the project of economic development from a noneurocentric perspective. Third, we will unpack the dichotomy between the public and private spheres in development policy-making and how this has varied across time and region. Through this lens, we will problematize the ‘one-size fits all model’ of capitalist development. Finally, we will explore the political economy of the contemporary development agenda, with a specific focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and unpack how it reproduces the structural inequalities that the project of development was ‘expected’ to dissolve.

Input Session 1: Dr. Surbhi Kesar

The first session of the workshop introduces students to the historical evolution of the discipline of Development Economics. It engages with how the project of economic development for the post-colonial developing economies was essentially embedded within the neo-colonial/imperial power structures and how, consequently, the discipline evolved into a colonised / western-centric discipline. The session will also provide a brief overview of certain non-mainstream strands that engage critically with the colonised nature of the discipline and attempt to break away from these colonial roots.

Input Session 2: Dr. Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven

This session unpacks how thinking on development economics discipline has evolved, shifting from being a colonial project, a modernization project, an emancipatory project, to a technical project. This will involve delving into critical strands of development economics, such as dependency theory and thinking on post-development, but also to examine critiques of the contemporary “gold standard” of development economics, namely randomized control trials.

Input Session 3: Dr. Farwa Sial

The dichotomy between the public and private sphere is at the heart of capitalism and any attempt at building contemporary economic models emanates from a basic understanding of the distinction between these spheres. However, this distinction has not been historically consistent under the broad umbrella of Western capitalism and also varies across countries. Building on previous
sessions, this session will highlight the historical evolution of the public-private dichotomy and argue against a ‘one size fit all’ approach to economic modelling.

Input Session 4: Dr. Hanna Szymborska

In this last session, participants will examine the current state of the international development policy agenda by scrutinising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Participants will learn about the political economy of the SDGs, the strengths and the shortcomings of the post-2015 development agenda, and to what extent the SDGs and the international institutions that are involved in achieving the SDG targets challenge or reproduce the status quo in the global economy.

Collaborative Session

Roundtable on how to develop a non-eurocentric / decolonized development economics syllabus. Participants will take part in this interactive discussion to formulate practical insights which they will incorporate in the subsequent collaborative sessions over the week.

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