阿图罗·埃斯科瓦尔（Arturo Escobar）和吉尔伯特·里斯特（Gilbert Rist）等批评家谴责说，“发展”的实质是高收入国家的一种霸权政策。以“发展”之名形成的国际格局体现了诸国权力的不平等，代表着那些使国际格局得以发挥效力的国家的利益。这些批评者还呼吁注意这一现象：尽管——抑或因为——几十年的“发展”旨在缩小差距，但是世界各地人民的经济不平等在持续扩大。与此同时，理查德·乔利（Richard Jolly）和查尔斯·肯尼（Charles Kenny）等学者以寿命、婴儿死亡率、性别平等或者识字率等社会指标作为衡量的标准，认为“发展”其实是成功的。双方观点的差异因为对“发展”不同解释的现状而变得更加复杂。西方社会的“现代化”概念通常是机械化、城市化、世俗化的综合，是一种向个人主义、物质极大满足以及快节奏生活的转变。然而，这种理解方法的缺点是催生了一些替代概念，这些概念包括基本需求方法（basic need approach）、阿玛蒂亚·森（Amartya Sen）的“作为自由的发展”，以及赫尔曼·戴利（Herman Daly）坚定地将“发展”视为一个严格的定性概念，从而与经济发展区别开来。20世纪80年代，“可持续发展”概念的提出，旨在调和因发展而产生的经济、环境和社会之间无法调和的矛盾。最近这些替代概念也包含了南方的诸如“美好社会”（Buen Vivir）或者“乌班图”（Ubuntu）思想，然而这些关于社会应该如何演进的思想本身却饱含争议。
适值联合国《我们共同的未来》（Our common future）发表三十周年之际召开本次会议，旨在以世界史的视角，浅探18世纪以来关于“发展”的不同理念和实践，以及这些理论和实践如何使不同历史时期和不同地方的历史互相影响。鉴于发展实践在一些关键领域已经卓有成效，我们尤为欢迎关于发展之经济、卫生、环境及其互动的研究。
3. 发展的实践，包括工业化、集体化、强化（mise en valeur）、发展援助方案等；
Call for Papers: How to Change the World. Entangled Histories of Development
Conference: 26-28 May, 2017
Shanghai University, Shanghai
Organized by College of Liberal Arts, Shanghai University, Shanghai, and Graduate Institute, Geneva.
Call for Papers
Large part of international policies during the last two hundred years – at least – have been influenced by the idea of “development.” Though the term became an important part of the international discourse only after 1945, the concept is clearly older, rooted in the idea that socio-economic conditions would and should improve and that specific policies should be employed to bring about such improvements. Beyond this core, “development” has been a highly contested concept, whose constructed character has repeatedly been pointed out.
Critics such as Arturo Escobar or Gilbert Rist have denounced it as essentially an imperialist policy by high-income countries. They point to international structures created in the name of “development” which have often reflected power inequalities and served the interests of those that put them in place. They also call attention to the continuing enormous economic inequalities between people in different parts of the world despite - or because of? - decades of “development” efforts allegedly designed to mitigate such disparity. Meanwhile, other scholars like Richard Jolly and Charles Kenny identify perceived successes of “development,” measured in social indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality, gender equality or literacy, which contradict a simplistic notion of continued failure. These differences of perspectives are compounded by the fact that interpretations of what exactly constitutes “development” abound. A Western concept of modernization usually entailed a combination of mechanization, urbanization, secularization, a shift towards individualism, a growing provision with material goods and life at an accelerating pace. But the perceived shortcomings of this approach have given rise to a series of alternative concepts, including the basic needs approach, Amartya Sen’s view of “development as freedom” or Herman Daly’s insistence on “development” as a strictly qualitative notion, to be distinguished from economic growth. The 1980s saw the emergence of “sustainable development,” designed to reconcile arguably irreconcilable economic, environmental and social components of development and, more recently, Southern concepts such as “Buen Vivir” or “Ubuntu” have been added to the list of alternative concepts about how and where to societies should direct their evolution, each with its own package of contested meanings.
Despite this lack of precision, “development” continues to play an important role in public rhetoric. International organization continue to employ categories such as “developed” or “least developed” countries, and for many people, particularly in low-income countries, “development” remains a powerful and seemingly self-evident goal. Clearly, for all its vagueness, the term has been considered useful in communication both about international policies and about desired or actual changes in a given society. In a larger sense, the idea of some form of socio-economic improvement as a goal of public or private actions seems to have resonated with societies in many parts of the world, though not necessarily with similar meanings or goals. Inevitably, as concepts and policies traveled, they underwent transformations, often in unsuspected or contradictory ways, and perspectives of what constituted “successes” or “failures” often evolved along with changing attitudes in public and in academia. Besides, a full analysis of development is complicated by different, sometimes contradictory repercussions over time and space. For instance, the adoption of fossil fuels, by replacing wood and manual labor, may have contributed to reforestation in some regions, to the end of slavery in others and to the endorsement of ethics of human equality (almost) everywhere. Only decades later did their potentially disastrous role in climate change become visible, whose precise effects are still unclear but will be profound, long-lasting and regionally different.
Meeting thirty years after the publication of Our Common Future, this conference seeks to explore various concepts and practices of “development” between roughly the eighteenth and the twenty-first centuries from a world history perspective, looking at the ways in which they entangled histories of different times and different places. As pivotal sectors in which developmental practices have become effective, contributions addressing economic, health and/or environmental aspects and their interaction are particularly welcome.
Papers are invited on topics related to this general framework. Questions of particular interest include but are not limited to the following aspects:
- The actors of development, including governments, social movements, individuals, organizations and others;
- The various concepts of development and ways in which they changed through adaptation to evolving circumstances or new ideas, through hybridization and/or through selective adoption;
- The practices of development, including industrialization, collectivization, mise en valeur, development assistance programs etc.;
- The role of knowledge in development debates, including relevant input of science and technology;
- Apparent winners or losers of developmental processes, including trade-offs between different effects.
Accommodation and meals in Shanghai will be covered. Limited travel assistance may be available for some participants upon application.
A subsequent publication of selected contributions is planned.
1 Nov 2016: submission of abstracts
1 Dec 2016: notification about acceptance
1 May 2017: submission of papers
For further information please contact Iris Borowy (email@example.com) or Jussi Hanhimaki (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please send abstracts of approximately 300 words to email@example.com by 1 Nov 2016.