Accessibility statement

Studying Development Workshop

Thursday 26 May 2022, 10.00AM to 2:00 PM

Speaker(s): Dr Liam Clegg

Location: D/N/056

Book your place

This one day symposium has been organised by the Civil Society, Development and Democracy (CDD) Pathway and is open to all ESRC and non-ESRC funded PhD and MA Social Research students within the WRDTP’s seven partner universities. Whilst this workshop is aimed at CDD Pathway students, PGRs from all seven interdisciplinary Pathways are welcome to attend.

'Development' remains an extremely prominent focus of analysis across the social sciences, and beyond. However, the concept can remain fuzzy, with competing definitions and frameworks restricting space for scholars to speak to and learn from each other. Through this Workshop, we will create a snapshot of the 'state of the art' of studying development across White Rose institutions, and support dialogue on the approaches used, insights generated, and challenges faced by students engaging in this complex and contested field.

Workshop presenters will be given 10 minutes to give an overview of their project and will receive feedback from a discussant and additional audience questions. 

Please use this Eventbrite link to book a place, 

Deadline for registration is 16.00 on 19th May.

Event Schedule

10.00 – 10.05: Welcome from Liam Clegg, Deputy Director of White Rose Civil Society, Development, and Democracy Pathway.

10.05 - 10.30: Opening reflection on Workshop themes from Dr Saba Joshi, Lecturer in Gender and Development at the University of York.

10.30 - 12.00: Panel #1 ‘Development and the politics of production and consumption’ (Chair and discussant, Liam Clegg)

12.00 - 12.30: Lunch

12.30 - 14.00: Panel #2 ‘The State and the Politics of Development’ (Chair and discussant, Liam Clegg)

Panel #1 - Development and the politics of production and consumption

Paper #1 - Cities, transport, and women: a look into the Mexican context Abstract:

When it comes to experiencing the city and navigating public spaces, women have a differentiated experience because of their gender, assigned roles, and an associated fear of crime that heavily relates to fears of sexual assault and harassment. One of the most symbolic examples of violence against women and girls is sexual harassment and assault in public spaces and transportation. The violence that Mexican women face reflects itself in everyday places and shapes their mobility patterns and decisions, the intersections of these barriers limit their access to opportunities, resources and ultimately their quality of life. How can we approach a gender-conscious city?

Diana Infante-Vargas, University of York

Paper #2 - Food sovereignty and consumption: intraclass power relation in labour-led development

Neoliberalism has ushered a globalised and industrialised supply chain that seeks to accumulate capital for transnational corporations (TNCs) at the expense of the labouring class. The volume-based and export-oriented food production controlled by TNCs in the Global South has undermined food for self-provisioning and environmental sustainability, making smallholder farmers in ‘developing’ countries extremely vulnerable to hunger and dispossession. Food sovereignty (FS) is proposed as an alternative framework that returns the control of the means of production back to farmers so they themselves can determine what and how to produce. Concerns have been raised, however, on how working-class consumers can influence food production and distribution to meet their nutritional needs, noting that consumption is not thoroughly explicated in the FS literature. This also underscores a potential problem in labour-led development, particularly when workers have differing interests despite their united stance against capitalism. Whilst labour-led development posits that communal needs can be satisfied through worker-community cooperation, how self-interest can be practicably set aside amidst possible strong value conflict requires examination. The research seeks to address this problem as it investigates how FS can secure food for all in a regime of producer-led provisioning.

Mel Fatric Rhai Yan, University of Leeds

Paper #3 - Growing China's state-owned transportation companies: a variance of capitalism approach

Abstract: This paper focuses on the debates over Chinese capitalism in the variance of capitalism (VOC) framework. For a long time, one of the key actors in Chinese economy are state-owned enterprises (SOEs), with transportation SOEs playing a particularly important role. The paper explores whether transportation SOEs belong to the Coordinated or Liberal Market Economy VoC model, and reflects on whether their features push us to refine China’s identification as a hybrid VOC. The study also hopes to fill in areas of the field that have previously been under-researched in the VOC literature, such as the voice of China and the microscopic view of transport.

Yuhan Xiao, University of York

Paper #4 - Are the levels of multidimensional poverty and economic growth relevant for the development of the Mexican states? An exploratory analysis for the period 2008-2018.

Mexico is a large, diverse, and unequal country. Poverty and low economic growth are structural and socioeconomic problems that has left millions of Mexicans without the benefits of development. On average, during the period 2008-2018 it was registered that 44.60% of the total population in Mexico was living in multidimensional poverty. In the same period, the Mexican economy grew only by 0.59%. Mexico shows poverty rates that are above those experienced by countries with similar levels of development (Esquivel, 2015), and has not achieved high rates of economic growth and well-being as expected (Calva, 2004). The economic and social inequalities observed in Mexico has differently impacted the development of the Mexican states showing an uneven pattern: some states are rich and show a good economic performance, while others are poor and are lagging behind. This presentation aims at carrying out an exploratory analysis on the levels of multidimensional poverty, growth, and human development for the Mexican states for showing both, its evolution, and the existence of a contrasting pattern in these territories.

Vanessa Jimenez Sanchez, University of Leeds

Panel #2 - The State and the Politics of Development

Paper #1 – Electoral Reforms and Electoral Participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria (2011-2023)

My ongoing PhD research focuses on ‘Electoral Reforms and Electoral Participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria (2011-2023)’, and explores on the existing realities in Nigeria and many other African countries where PWDs often face difficulties to participate in the electoral process despite the reforms proposed and implemented towards promoting their electoral inclusion. Prominent among these reforms are Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), Nigeria’s Disability Act, Nigeria’s Electoral Act, and many other electoral guidelines provided by Nigeria’s election management body. While all these reforms are expected to promote and enhance the active participation of PWDs in the electoral process, information about how it is implemented vis-à-vis disabled people’s exclusion in the political process is grossly under-researched in Nigeria’s democratic studies. Against this background, this research draws on mixed methods to interrogate key electoral actors including PWDs, polling officials, and advocacy groups, on how reforms into the ecology of elections encourage the participation of PWDs in Nigeria’s political process. Findings from this study will complement global efforts toward the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG10) which aims at reducing inequalities by enhancing access and inclusion of all in the democratic governance of Nigeria.

Afeez Kolawole Shittu, University of Leeds

Paper #2 - The Spread of Financial Globalisation for Climate-Aligned Development.

A Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Under its new mandate to maximise finance for development, the World Bank intends to mobilise the private capital needed to bridge the gap that exists between the cost of funding a green transition and the current levels of development aid. This strategy aims to reorganise development by engineering a shift from traditional bank-based systems to market-based financial systems in countries in the global south. This raises several questions not only related to the systemic risk associated with financial globalisation but also regarding the motivation to adopt such a development strategy by countries given that 3it would significantly limit their ability to influence their domestic financial conditions and that they might become more attuned to meeting the needs of foreign investors and less to their domestic and national development goals. By taking a qualitative comparative analysis approach of 26 countries involved with the World Bank, I intend to answer what factors drive countries to engage with this development agenda and by doing so contribute to the growing literature on how the rise of financial globalization has transformed programs of climate-aligned development.

Julio Galido Gutierrez, University of York

Paper # 3 - The role of elites in the state-building process: A study of Warlords in Afghanistan

The Afghan Government leadership and its international allies (especially the US) misread the Afghan social and political environment. State-building initiatives (post-2001 era) in Afghanistan designed to stabilise and rehabilitate the country were poorly adapted to the local context. I contend that Afghanistan has a complex social context. Since 2001, initiatives to improve the development and security were particularly vulnerable to the machinations and predation of Afghan powerbrokers. Provision of technical and financial assistances based on foreign models and without adequately considering how powerful Afghan social groups and institutions were massively failed as warlords had strong patronage networks established that could easily capture assets and resources. In this research project, I would like to use neopatrimonialism theory as analytical framework to study warlords and their influence on state-building in a war-torn country like Afghanistan.

Mamoon Khawar, University of York

Location: D/N/056

Admission: Free, register first