Beyond human rights ‘promotion’: reimagining the EU-South Caucasus relation

by Laura Luciani

The EU’s policies of human rights ‘promotion’ in the South Caucasus region are loaded with coloniality. Rather than projecting a pre-set agenda with homogenising outcomes, the EU should recognise the ‘right to opacity’ of South Caucasus communities and create space for locally meaningful, emancipatory claims to emerge.

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On the Colonial Problem in the EU’s ‘Sustainable’ Trade Agreements

by Camille Nessel

This contribution is part of a blog series seeking to explore how postdevelopment approaches can inform, infuse and potentially transform the study of EU (development) policies and relationships with the Global South.

European colonialism describes a complex period of economic exploitation, racial ideologies and cultural domination. In the last stages of colonialism towards the 1880’s, ideas of a philanthropic civilizing mission were institutionalized. During this civilizing mission, EU member countries like France began to systematically civilize indigenous people through Western “superior” values. This logic shows surprising parallels with sustainable development ideas in the EU’s trade agreements, as I will argue.

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From Decolonising the Self to Coming to Voice

by Zuleika Bibi Sheik

Of the myriad calls for decolonising—the university, the museum, the curriculum, the mind, and so on—few have given attention to decolonising the self[1]. In my/our process of decolonising the self, poetry[2] has been pivotal in giving name to the nameless, which is dreamed but not yet realised (Lorde 2007, 73). As a black woman/woman of colour, following the pen strokes of Audre Lorde (2007) and Gloria Anzaldúa (1987), who put flesh back into words, poetry is a necessity in decolonising and reconstituting the self. In what follows, I hope to walk with the reader on this path of realising my colonised self, decolonising it through the emergence of the plural self, and the eventual reconstituting of self as a coming to voice (Lorde 2007, 79–86).

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Conviviality for a new normality

by Héctor López Terán

The SARS Cov-2 virus pandemic emerges from the multidimensional crisis resulting from our daily destructive behavior with nature, not as a cause of the setbacks in our current society. Control measures to curb the spread of the virus were proposed to solve a life-threatening problem and a “new normal” without questioning the underlying problem.

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A Zine on ‘Situated Knowledges’

In ‘Situated Knowledges’, Donna Haraway is revolting with many other feminist scholars against the objectivity claim of Scientific knowledge; that is, the researchers’ detachment from their objects of study. Instead, she offers an alternative approach to practicing Science which relies on the concept of vision: What we see is consistent of what we know; what we know is what we perceive as our own reality, which is dependable on what we have learned, our situated contexts, and non/privilege. All our knowledges can only be situated; all conceptualizations of our world can thus only be partial, never complete. Situated Knowledges offers a perspective in which we can discuss how we, as researchers, can and should become more responsible and accountable for “what we learn how to see.” (Haraway 1988, p. 583).

(Johanna Tunn)

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EU trade policy and the “meta-participation” challenge

by Diāna Potjomkina

This contribution is part of a blog series seeking to explore how postdevelopment approaches can inform, infuse and potentially transform the study of EU (development) policies and relationships with the Global South.

The ways in which citizen participation is currently organized for “development” purposes have been questioned by critical observers including the post-development community but also by  representatives of the mainstream development world, such as some of the World Bank’s lead economists. Criticism is – justifiably – directed at top-down approaches of the donors, ignoring local power relations, and at participatory fora which lack real impact. In too many cases, the search of “fast policy” and easy solutions has led to uncritical adoption of one-size-fits-all solutions which can easily fail in foreign contexts, even if they were genuinely successful in their place of origin.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Punished if you care, punished if you don’t: Women Health Workers and the COVID-19 pandemic in India

by Sreerekha Sathi 

Hard work which never pays, that has been the story of India’s public health workers. Their hard work, care, and attentive love for the country’s most vulnerable has entered a new phase under the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Development Cooperation in a Post-Growth Era

by Ulla Puckhaber & Tanja Brumbauer (NELA -Next Economy Lab)

“Without growth – no investments, without growth there are no jobs, without growth there is no money for education, without growth there is no help for the weak”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said when introducing the Growth Acceleration Act in November 2009. However, in times of massive ecological overshoot and increasing inequalities worldwide, this growth dependency is increasingly questioned, particularly the notion of ”green growth”. Critics ask:  Is economic growth really indispensable for wellbeing and (global) justice? Or is it, on the contrary, rather a source of global inequalities, severe environmental crises and- even a possible economic decline in the long run?

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Why a firm postcolonial stance is fundamental for the future of ‘development’ NGO work

by Julia Schöneberg

Recently, I participated in a NGO workshop, where a large group of German NGO project officers and representatives met to discuss trends and challenges of the sector. One of these was ‘Postcolonialism’ (as a noun). The ‘new trend’ was assigned the guiding question of ‘How the ideal Postcolonialism-sensitive development cooperation would look like?’.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Caring for earth in times of COVID-19

…from my place in and beyond Extinction Rebellion Netherlands

by Fleur Zantvoort

The past months I’ve spent so much time, too much time, sitting inside, looking outside. What the pandemic is leaving me with is a sense of deep discrepancy. I just haven’t been able to match up the view from my window with what I know reality to be in my head. As if my eyes were deceiving me.

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