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Development Research and the Crisis of Neoliberalism: notes towards an investigation

Venue: PLAAS Boardroom
Date: 9 May 2017
Time: 13:30 to 14:30

Presenter: Professor Andries du Toit, Director, PLAAS, University of the Western Cape

A range of recent events, ranging from the food price and financial crises of 2008 to the rise of Trumpism and Brexit in 2016, indicate that the global political and economic order that has been in place since the early 1990s is about to undergo important changes. How are we to understand these changes? More specifically, what are the implications of the current crisis in global neoliberal governance for the international collaborative project of evidence-based and policy oriented pro-poor development research? Does the arrival of a ‘post-truth’ world mean the end of the road for evidence-based policy making? Does the collapse of the ‘Washington Consensus’ mean the SDGs are stillborn? Answering such questions requires both empirical research and conceptual reflection. This seminar sets out the outlines of a planned project of research, writing and reflection that will investigate these questions from the point of view of pro-poor research on poverty land and rural development in South Africa. It will provide a characterization of the nature, limitations and potentialities of the regime of ‘neoliberal developmentalism’ that has prevailed until now, and it will describe some of the key challenges arising from its current realignment.   

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