Development Days 2022: Infrastructures, technologies, and vulnerabilities in global development
Date: February 17, 2022 - February 18, 2022
This conference is organized by the Finnish Society for Development Research in collaboration with the University of Helsinki, Hanken School of Economics and Finnish University Partnership for International Development – UniPID.
Infrastructure and (new) technologies unquestionably play a central role in (and for) development, as highlighted by the current sustainable development goals and revealed by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. The extractive development pathways putting liveable environments at risk are closely intertwined with infrastructural politics. Perhaps more than ever, the creation, maintenance, and distribution of infrastructures and technologies are crucial for virtually every aspect of development, including: the environment; health care; food supply; climate responses; education; trade; transportation and traffic; employment and work; economic stability and growth; information and communication; and, not least, social activities and well-being.
However, not only are access to and control over infrastructures and technologies drastically uneven; they also generate power inequalities and vulnerabilities in global development. With the notion of politics of vulnerability, we draw attention to power-ridden and complex socio-technical, gender, ethnic, and political-ecological relations. These relations shape the production of differentiated vulnerabilities to infrastructural, social, and environmental harms and adversities. It is urgent to think of and explore infrastructures critically because of their power to define futures by locking-in certain social, political, economic, and environmental relations while simultaneously locking-out other modes of relations for long periods of time. To avoid the looming socio-environmental catastrophe, we need to consider how the current infrastructural formations can be rearranged, retrofitted, or even decommissioned, as well as how to create future infrastructures that support and generate more just and sustainable futures.
In light of the urgent need to tackle climate change, inequality, and unsustainable forms of development, Development Days 2022 discusses the complex relations between infrastructures, technologies, and vulnerabilities in global development.
Tania Li , University of Toronto
Timothy Oakes, University of Colorado
Nikhil Anand, University of Pennsylvania
Registration to the Development Days 2022 is open from the 10th of January to the 7th of February.