Global Development Institute Blog

Global Development Institute Blog

We’re the Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester: where critical thinking meets social justice.

Why did Rawls reject welfare state capitalism?

Why did Rawls reject welfare state capitalism?

Armando Barrientos, Emeritus Professor, Global Development Institute

In response to the impact of Covid-19 on poverty and inequality in the region, the Economic Commission for Latin America ECLAC has called for Latin American countries to build welfare states. Is this the right call?

This blog, and two that will follow, considers whether this is the right objective for Latin American countries. We begin with a critical perspective on welfare states. read more…

Corruption and innovation II: green innovations around the world

Corruption and innovation II: green innovations around the world

Gindo Tampubolon, Lecturer in Poverty, Global Development Institute

The Conference of Parties (COP) 26 and its Glasgow Pact to phase-down coal remind the world once again of the need to come up with innovative technology to adapt and to mitigate the effects of our changing climate. This amplifies the original call from the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), Our Common Future, to invent new technologies as well as to innovate global institutions such as this Conference of Parties series.

Much like the Pact, which concluded with a snag (replacing phasing-out with phasing-down coal), green technology to tackle climate challenges can also be restrained in its gestation. Based on the experience of 206 European regions, I wrote in a 2018 blog that corruption hinders green technology innovations as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The evidence suggests that less corruption allows more green technology innovations in Europe. read more…

COP26: A Tale of Two Conferences

COP26: A Tale of Two Conferences

Aoife Devaney, MSc International Development: Environment Climate Change and Development, Global Development Institute

November in Glasgow typically marks a retreat to the indoors from the often harsh and unforgiving Scottish weather conditions. However, this November was different, as the streets flooded with raincoat clad climate activists in anticipation of COP26. The aptly named “Green Place” was deemed an appropriate location for COP26, the 26th annual United Nations climate conference. In the wake of this years’ urgent IPCC climate report, labelled by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres as a “code red for humanity”, underscoring the unprecedented action required by global leaders to keep us at the 1.5°C of warming which is deemed our safest “livable” alternative. 

With COP26 deemed humanity’s “best last chance” to avert catastrophe, and the hopes of millions across the world resting on the decisions made therein, some classmates and I headed to Glasgow, among many thousands of other activists, to voice our concerns about climate inaction, and in particular, climate justice. Yet, despite hopes for a COP which could “build back better” from the last year of economic turmoil for everyone, hopes wore thin from the outset, with activists labelling the event “one of the most inequitable, White, and segregated COPs to ever occur”. read more…

John Toye (7 October 1942 – 12 November 2021) – An Appreciation

David Hulme, Professor of Development Studies, Global Development Institute

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Professor John Toye, an internationally leading scholar of economic history and international development. John held many important academic positions over his lifetime that shaped the study of international development in the late 20th century and around the Millennium: Director of the Centre for Development Studies/CDS of University of Swansea (1982-87), Director of the Institute for Development Studies/IDS at University of Sussex (1987-97), Head of the Centre for the Study of African Economies/CSAE at University of Oxford (2000-03) and others. He also worked as a professional economist at the UK Treasury early in his career and at UNCTAD’s Globalisation and Development Directorate from 1998 to 2000. read more…

Avoiding capitalism? The ‘risk turn’ in social protection is a wrong turning

Avoiding capitalism? The ‘risk turn’ in social protection is a wrong turning

Armando Barrientos, Emeritus Professor, Global Development Institute

Policy responses to Covid-19 have encouraged discussion of the future scope of social assistance, and social protection. Social assistance infrastructure – registries, payment systems, poverty maps – facilitated the rapid deployment of large-scale emergency support during the pandemic. This raised expectations that their consolidation would result in an expansion of social protection.

A more cautious assessment of the future of social protection might be in order. Emergency support has been largely time-limited and is gradually being withdrawn. Fiscal deficits and public debt resulting from the pandemic have eliminated any fiscal space. read more…

Footprints of a Scholar

Footprints of a Scholar

By Irene Okhade and Bridgit Kabah

On 19th May 2021, the Global Development Institute and the wider University of Manchester community received with sadness, news of the demise of their alumnus, respected researcher and academic colleague, Dr Franklin Yayra Adorsu Djentuh.

Franklin obtained his Doctorate at GDI three years ago and had re-joined the institute as Senior Tutor with our Management, Governance and Development cluster more recently. To honour his passing, we organised a symposium on 21 October 2021 to reflect on his life, legacies, research and community impact. Indeed, a symposium of this nature was an indication that Franklin has a legacy worth sharing with a wider audience. read more…

Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss and the Future of Development

Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss and the Future of Development

Johan A Oldekop, Charis Enns and Rose Pritchard, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester

John Kerry, the US climate envoy, has high hopes for the outcomes of COP26. Indeed, politicians across political divides have stressed the ‘make or break’ nature of these talks. Over the past year, the media has consistently covered the build-up to the climate conference in Glasgow. BBC Radio 4, the broadcaster’s flagship news and spoken-word channel is, for example, currently hosting a podcast entitled ‘39 ways to save the planet’ to accompany a recent eponymous book.

While climate change and COP26 have grabbed the headlines, the “other” COP – COP15 – has largely flown under the media radar. The United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity’s 15th Conference of the Parties, whose first virtual session has just ended (the second session will be held in person in Kunming between 25th of April – May 8th) is grappling with the world’s other existential environmental threat: biodiversity loss. In the same way that COP26 will aim to revise international and national climate change mitigation targets, the aim of COP15 is the development of a new international and national biodiversity conservation agenda to supersede the Aichi Biodiversity targets. read more…

Photo competition about transnational migration and Covid-19 in Latin America

Photo competition about transnational migration and Covid-19 in Latin America

Dr Tanja Bastia, The University of Manchester, Dr Erika Busse Cárdenas, Macalaster College, Dr María Calderón Muñoz, independent scholar

Erika, María and Tanja have known each other for over twenty years – we met in 1998 as students at the MA in Gender and Development (MA12) at IDS, Sussex. Last autumn (2020) we started meeting quite regularly on Zoom, first just catching up about the way the pandemic was affecting our lives and the countries we are most familiar with, and over time, to discuss decolonial readings. By spring, we were ready to put our heads together and do something different. We saw the call for proposals from the SEED Social Responsibility Catalyst Fund and thought about seeking funds for a photo competition and exhibition. Erika previously worked as a professional photographer and we all worked on different aspects of mobility, one way or another. With this project, we wanted to contribute to dispelling stereotypes and myths surrounding migration by inviting photographs by migrants with diverse backgrounds. read more…

Former student reforming education law in Mexico

Former student reforming education law in Mexico

Our former student Elisa Soto is putting her Master’s dissertation into practice in her home country, Mexico, to address gender inequalities in education.

During her studies at the University, Elisa decided to undertake a dissertation analysing India’s Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) policy intervention, her evaluation concluded that MHM can improve girls’ educational outcomes if viewed within a social justice framework. read more…

Advancing horizontal solidarity or long-term profit? The messy politics behind the German business sector response to refugee integration

Advancing horizontal solidarity or long-term profit? The messy politics behind the German business sector response to refugee integration

Tanja Müller, Professor of Political Sociology, Global Development Institute

Tanja R. Müller and Lisa Ann Richey have organised two panels at the upcoming International Humanitarian Studies Organisation Conference in Paris (3-5 November) on the theme: Taking ideology out of humanitarianism? The everyday, corporate interests and the politics of global solidarity where Tanja will also present findings of her project on business centre engagement and refugee integration.

We have seen over the past decades how sectors that are not traditionally involved in development or humanitarian action have become key actors. These include for example celebrities of various kinds – think Band Aid and Live Aid – a theme about which I have also written in the past. read more…

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