Tag: COVID-19

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Development Geographies: Current Debates

Stockholm University and Gothenburg University offer a course at the National Doctoral College (NDC), which is also open to PhD students in other social sciences and other European countries (given the partially hybrid format of the sessions).

About the course “Development Geographies: Current Debates”

We live in unprecedented times, when ‘normality’, including around development processes, is perforated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also become a moment for reflection on the harms (to people’s livelihoods, for instance) and recompense (the environment) of this pause, with this awkward phase rightfully nudging us to revisit questions on the nature of the global economy and development processes itself. This course is on development geographies. Yet, instead of revisiting the depth and richness of the development paradigm and its contested nature, we use COVID-19 as a point of departure to focus on current debates around feminism and social reproduction, degrowth, political ecology, and decoloniality. These contemporary discussions will help us disrupt development geography, as we have known it – and hopefully, help craft a toolbox that brings to the forefront the need for regenerating state that recognizes the depletion and social harm four decades of the market-centric global economy has wrought.

We will organise the course around three pivot points:

  • depletion, social reproduction and regeneration – to make feminist and gender debates central to contemporary contributions to global development;
  • political ecology and the calls for degrowth in rebalancing the global economy;
  • decoloniality and urban life – the calls for disrupting and uprooting the development
  • paradigm from its colonial past and the contested nature of claim-making

Course admissions and information

This course is directed to geographers, anthropologists, sociologists and economic historians who are pursuing research that relates to development geography in some way. The course is conducted as a Swedish national PhD-course in Human Geography, which means that in case of a large number of applications, priority will be given to PhD-students at member departments, ie human geography departments in Sweden. However, the course is also open to doctoral students in cognate disciplines both from Sweden and beyond; as well as in rare cases to early career researchers.

There is no course fee, but participants will have to cover travel, accommodation etc. by their own
arrangements. PhD candidates from the Departments of Human geography in Sweden make the
arrangements with their home institutions.

The course will be held via two online sessions and a final one together as a group. The course assessments will consist of continuous evaluation of class participation and engagement, along with an obligatory 4,000-word essay framed alongside viewpoints, critical reviews, and research notes (including references). The assessment details will be distributed and discussed in further detail at the first meeting (September 2022).

National PhD research courses

The National Research Program in Human Geography was established in 1997. It aims at:

  • Providing all doctoral students with access to research courses at the Swedish geographic departments;
  • give all PhD students the opportunity to gain access to research skills outside their own institution;
  • offer courses with lectures by invited scholars from Sweden and abroad;
  • offer doctoral students the opportunity to meet other PhD students and researchers.

Should you have further information, please refer to Kanchana Ruwanpura or Lowe Borjeson.

Developing countries at risk from global economic threats, says World Bank

The World Bank in Washington.

The risk of a hard landing for large parts of the global economy is rising as countries struggle to cope with the triple threat of Covid-19, inflation and higher interest rates, the World Bank has said.

In its half-yearly forecasts, the Washington DC-based bank said it expected a “pronounced slowdown” in growth in the next two years, with the less well-off parts of the world especially hard hit.

David Malpass, the World Bank’s president, called for action to reduce the debts of poor countries and said he was “very worried” about the permanent scarring of development caused by the pandemic. He said:

“The world economy is simultaneously facing Covid-19, inflation, and policy uncertainty, with government spending and monetary policies in uncharted territory. Rising inequality and security challenges are particularly harmful for developing countries.”

David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group

COVID-19 pandemic highlights urgent need to scale up investment in lifelong learning for all, says OECD

This article was first published on OECD.

“Countries must step up their efforts to enable people to continue learning throughout their lives to navigate a rapidly changing world of work shaped by globalisation and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new OECD report.”

OECD Skills Outlook 2021: Learning for Life says that public policies should play a key role in facilitating effective and inclusive lifelong learning, but much remains to be done. It will be crucial to invest part of the resources devoted to the recovery to lifelong learning programmes, involving all key stakeholders and with a focus on vulnerable groups, particularly young people, the NEET (neither in employment, education or training) and those whose jobs are most at risk of transformation, says the report.”

““It’s essential that lifelong learning becomes a reality for everyone since the crisis has further accelerated the transformation in our economy and skills needs. Today, too many adults do not participate in workplace learning and the pandemic has further reduced their opportunities to do so,” said OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann, launching the report in Paris.”

“Even before the pandemic, only two out of ten low-educated adults took part in formal or on-the-job training, compared to six out of ten high-educated adults. The pandemic may also affect the learning attitude of children and youth. The disruptions to regular schooling led many children to progress less than expected in skill development. In the short term, the pandemic could lead to increases in early school leavers. In the medium and long term, lower engagement could result in the current generation of students failing to develop positive learning attitudes, at a time of profound structural changes that will require individuals to upgrade their skills throughout their life, warns the report. Furthermore, the report identifies potential cause of gender inequality in training opportunities. Up to 28% of “inactive but motivated” women mention family obligations as a barrier to participating in training, compared to only 8% of men. The gender gap widens when children appear in the family.”