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On Babies and Bathwater: Decolonising International Development Studies

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IDS Convening Space

University of Sussex

Falmer

BN1 9RH

United Kingdom

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Sussex Development Lecture by Dr Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa, University of Portsmouth

Given the decades old decolonial and post-development critiques that the international development project is ultimately a deeply colonial enterprise, how is it that International Development Studies is still a thing? As a field of research under that same name; Very much also as a higly popular pedagogical project with departments of international development studies that continue to attract high numbers of students. In this lecture, Dr. Rutazibwa offers a conversation between personal experiences, reflections and decolonial scholarship to reflect on the fundamental, practical, institutional and epistemological implications of recognising the coloniality in the international development project. When we seek to part with the coloniality but not with the desire and imperative of global solidarity and justice, the following questions impose themselves: What do we keep? What do we throw out?

About the Speaker

Dr Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa is Senior Lecturer European and International Development Studies at University of Portsmouth. For the last fifteen years, her research interests have focused on the motivations and effects of western ethical foreign policy in the Global South. Understanding ethical foreign policy as those policies that are explicitly designed around the well-being of the receiving societies cf. democracy promotion, development, good governance and humanitarian interventions, she specifically focused on the EU’s policies in sub-Saharan Africa to understand their limited success and potential alternatives like autonomous recovery and genuine ownership beyond self-management. She started her PhD research ‘In the Name of Human Rights. The Problematics of EU Ethical Foreign Policy in Africa and Elsewhere’ at the European University Institute in Florence (2001), did an internship at DG RELEX of the European Commission (2003), was a Visiting Fellow at the EU Institute for Security Studies in Paris and did fieldwork in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somaliland. From 2010 to 2013 shewas a journalist at the Brussels based monthly magazine, MO*, for which she continuse to write regularly. As the Africa desk editorshe had the opportunity to travel extensively in the continent. From July 2015 to July 2016 she spent a year at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research in Duisburg Germany on a Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow scholarship to work on her book project: "On Ethical Retreat. Decolonial Reflections on International Solidarity through Agaciro, Black Power and Autonomous Recovery.

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IDS Convening Space

University of Sussex

Falmer

BN1 9RH

United Kingdom

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