This Winter School invites scholars at a doctoral or post-doctoral level to share their work on the history of development experiences and to elaborate innovative perspectives for further research.
Topic and Aims:
Since the end of World War II the coordinated leveling of global economic and social inequality has become a major field of international action. The aid endeavor has a seven-decade long track record and has thus become historical. However, academic research on the history of development initiatives is still in an infant stage. We are well informed about the succession of leading doctrines, but why paradigmatic changes happened at particular points in time is not so clear. The power function of foreign aid has been studied for major industrialized countries, but we still need to better understand, why and how development aid could at all be turned into an instrument in securing power. Also, the institutional history of many donor agencies has been reconstructed, but the ways in which these agents transcended nationally consigned action spaces and connected to global networks must be further analyzed. Only few historical studies have tracked the impact of development cooperation and aid upon socio-economic change in recipient societies.
We do not know very well, why and how a specific interpretation of European modernization was stabilized and propelled as a norm around the globe in the 20th century. To strengthen our capacities to explore this field, the Winter School offers a platform to study a diverse range of key topics, such as colonialism and post-colonialism, globalization, Neoliberalism, and post-development, and to test different theoretical and methodological approaches connected to the categories of culture, power and knowledge.
The objective of the Winter School is to map an emerging field that cannot be adequately investigated within the nationally contained framework of historiography but constantly refers to global action frames. A specific focus is on processes of trans-national entanglement. We wish to question a uni-directional sender-receiver-model of knowledge transfer and follow local complexities. The Winter School tests the added value of a cultural history approach to a research topic that has so far been largely worked upon within a framework of political history, diplomatic history and global security issues. In the terms of a cultural analysis a variety of historical questions arise: Which assumptions gained general plausibility for which groups of actors? What norms ruled the collective interpretation of social change in different societies? How did development schemes and organizations deploy socially structuring effects also by failing to reach their explicit goals?
Another objective is to link-up junior and senior researchers from all over the world and thus to facilitate the establishment of the academic discipline of development history. The Winter School is organized to endow the participants with a broader picture of their research topic and a range of possible connections to other historical development experiences. In addition to providing a platform for in-depth discussion and mentoring of the single research projects we aim at building up a new research framework that allows connecting differently structured studies on diverse geographical regions. Ongoing research shall be connected in a bottom-up procedure that takes the participants own research experience as its starting point. We wish to stimulate a process that directs currently unrelated research projects towards possible points of contact.
Participants are invited to present their current research in such a way as to stimulate a general discussion concerning further research trajectories. Participants will present their individual projects in teams of 4 to 5 members and elaborate shared conceptual problems and comparative perspectives. A series of key-note lectures will condense state-of-the-art scholarship in the field and generate provocative input. Key-note lecturers will be present the whole week in order to moderate the intellectual process and ensure a coherent mentoring of the participants. The program of the Winter School allocates considerable time to in-group discussion and envisions recurrent plenary sessions.
In addition, distinguished persons who were personally involved in the global development endeavor in the 1970s, 1980s and the 1990s will be present at the Winter School. These contemporary witnesses will reflect their experiences on the NGO, the national political and the international organizations’ level respectively and subject their propositions to general debate. An evening program of selected films will generate further input.
Hubertus Büschel (Historian, Univ. of Giessen, Germany): Historical development experiences and the category of culture; Andreas Eckert (Historian, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany): African development bureaucrats as historical actors; Jonathan Harwood (Historian of Science, Manchester Univ., UK): The global Green Revolution and the category of knowledge; Gerald Hödl (Historian, Univ. of Vienna, Austria): Colonial and postcolonial development - shapes of the North-South conflict; Corinna Unger (Historian, German Historical Institute, Washington, USA): American Modernization Theory, the Cold War, and the category of power; Aram Ziai (Political Scientist/Sociologist, Univ. of Vienna, Austria): Neoliberal development concepts
Anne-Marie Holenstein (Dr. hc. theol., Zurich, Switzerland): Founder of the Swiss NGO 'Erklärung von Bern'; Sir Richard Jolly (Development Economist, Lewes, UK): Former director of IDS Sussex, former deputy executive director of UNESCO, special advisor to UNDP, co-director of the United Nations Intellectual History Project; Theo von Fellenberg (Sociologist, Berne, Switzerland): Former development professional, expert for Swiss Development Corporation DEZA
Applications including an abstract of the current project (one page), a statement of interest (half page) and a brief CV (half page) shall be sent to email@example.com by August 15, 2010.
A registration fee of CHF 50.- (c. EUR 35.-) and an accommodation fee of CHF 500.- (c. EUR 350.-) are in place to cover full-board lodging for the whole Winter School week at the Hotel and Conference Centre Monte Verità (www.monteverita.org).
Sara Elmer and Daniel Speich in collaboration with Harald Fischer-Tiné, ETH Zurich
MA Sara Elmer: ETH Zurich; Chair of History of the Modern World
Dr. Daniel Speich; ETH Zurich; Chair for the History of Technology
Prof. Dr. Harald Fischer-Tiné; ETH Zurich; Chair of History of the Modern World
Chair of History of the Modern World
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