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“The Road Not Taken”: From the Three Worlds of Development to the Global Social Question

General Programming

dateOctober 7, 2013 timeMonday, 6:15pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
United Nations Security Council mural by Per Krohg

What can the historical and intellectual geography of post-War development thinking teach us about the realities of global inequality today? Are there alternatives to the standard approaches of left and right in formulating a post-2015 development agenda: one fit for a world of emerging powers and persistent poverty? The talk will explore the relationship between ways of thinking about global poverty, as they have emerged historically, and the manner in which such contemporary issues as tax dodging, failed states, security discourses and the responsibilities of the international community are conceived and acted upon today. How are current forms of global structural injustice historically constituted? Do we need to move beyond the duopoly of development and globalization as rubrics for global change to respond to this? And, if so, how might we learn to ask anew certain of the political questions that Gunnar Myrdal, writing in 1984, reluctantly consigned to the wayside of the “road not taken” in global economic development.

  • Simon Reid-Henry Reader in Geography Queen Mary, University of London