Centre for Development Studies

Publications

If you wish to submit a paper to the working paper series, please send it to:

Susan Johnson
email: s.z.johnson@bath.ac.uk

Manuscripts should not have been previously published elsewhere, and will be submitted to a peer review process.

Research publications

Publications by Centre members have appeared in leading disciplinary and multi-disciplinary journals.

Visit our on-line publication library for our latest publications .

Working papers

CDS publishes a series of working papers which are listed and available below.

Past working papers from the WeD (Wellbeing in Developing Countries) working paper series are also available online on the research project's archived website .

Bath Papers in International Development and Wellbeing

ID Title Author Date
BDP 55 Postcapitalism, Basic Income and the End of Work: A Critique and Alternative
  • F. Harry Pitts
  • Ana C. Dinerstein
November 2017
BDP 54 The Potential of Digital Cash Transfers to Strengthen the Link Between Humanitarian Assistance and Social Protection
  • Emma Ford
November 2017
BDP 53 What Crisis Produces: Dangerous Bodies, Ebola Heroes and Resistance in Sierra Leone
  • Luisa Enria
October 2017
BDP 52 Domestic resource mobilisation strategies of National Non-Governmental Development Organisations in Ghana
  • Emmanuel Kumi
June 2017
BDP 51 The intrinsic and instrumental value of money and resource management for people’s wellbeing in rural Kenya
  • Silvia Storchi
May 2017
BPD 50 Chieftaincy and the distributive politics of an agricultural input subsidy programme in a rural Malawian village
  • Daniel Wroe
January 2017
BPD 49 Managing relationships in qualitative impact evaluation to improve development outcomes: QuIP choreography as a case study
  • James Copestake et al
November 2016
BPD 48 Neo-developmentalism and trade unions in Brazil
  • Andréia Galvão
October 2016
BPD 47 Progress and setbacks in the Neo-developmentalist agenda of public policy in Brazil
  • José Marcos N.Novelli
October 2016
BPD 46 WITHDRAWN
  • Ann Mitchell
  • Pablo Del Monte
  • Séverine Deneulin
May 2016
BPD45 Qualitative impact evaluation: incorporating authenticity into the assessment of rigour
  • Susan Johnson
  • Saltanat Rasulova
March 2016
BDP44

Financial Capability for Wellbeing: An alternative perspective from the Capability Approach

  • Silvia Storchi
  • Susan Johnson
January 2016
BDP43

Relational Wellbeing: A Theoretical and Operational Approach

  • Sarah C. White
November 2015

BDP42

 

Humanitarian NGOs: Dealing with authoritarian regimes

  • Oliver Walton
November 2015
BDP41

'Upliftment’, friends and finance: Everyday concepts and practices of resource exchange Underpinning mobile money adoption in Kenya

  • Susan Johnson
  • Froukje Kritenberg
October 2015
BDP40

Towards a Pural History of Microfinance

  • James Copestake et al
October 2015
BDP39

Theological resources and the transformation of unjust structures: The case of Argentine informal economy workers

  • Severine Deneulin
April 2015
BDP38

Coloniality and Indigenous Territorial Rights in the Peruvian Amazon: A Critique of the Prior Consultation Law

  • Roger Merino Acuña
March 2015
BPD37

 

Micro-foundations of producer power in Colombia and the Philippines: towards a political understanding of rents

  • Charmaine G. Ramos
February 2015

BPD36

Whither development studies? Reflections on its relationship with social policy

  • James Copestake
December 2014
BPD35

Assessing Rural Transformations: Piloting a Qualitative Impact Protocol in Malawi and Ethiopia

  • James Copestake
  • Fiona Remnant
November 2014
BPD34

"We don't have this is mine and this is his": Managing money and the character of conjugality in Kenya

  • Susan Johnson
September 2014
BPD33

Can civil society be free of the natural state? Applying North to Bangladesh

  • Geof Wood
August 2014
BPD32 Creating more just cities: The right to the city and capability approach combined
  • Séverine Deneulin
May 2014
BPD31 Engaging with children living amidst political violence: Towards an integrated approach to protection
  • Jason Hart
April 2014
BPD30 Competing visions of financial inclusion in Kenya: The rift revealed by mobile money transfer
  • Susan Johnson
March 2014
BPD29 Can't buy me happiness: How voluntary simplicity contributes to subjective wellbeing
  • Nadine van Dijk
January 2014
BPD28 Challenge funds in international development
  • Anne-Marie O'Riordan
  • James Copestake
  • Juliette Seibold
  • David Smith
December 2013
BPD27 From the idea of justice to the idea of injustice: Mixing the ideal, non-ideal and dynamic conceptions of injustice
  • Oscar Garza
October 2013
BPD26 Understanding policy and programming on sex-selection in Tamil Nadu: Ethnographic and sociological reflections
  • Shahid Perwez
September 2013
BPD25

Beyond the grumpy rich man and the happy peasant: Subjective perspectives on wellbeing and food security in rural India *

*This paper subsequently published and is open access

  • Sarah C. White
August 2013
BPD24 Behind the aid brand: Distinguishing between development finance and assistance
  • James Copestake
July 2013
BPD23

The political economy of financial inclusion: Working with governments on market development

  • Susan Johnson
  • Richard Williams
June 2013
BPD22 ‘Everything is Politics’: Understanding the political dimensions of NGO legitimacy in conflict-affected and transitional contexts
  • Oliver Walton
May 2013
BPD21 Informality and corruption
  • Ajit Mishra
  • Ranjan Ray
April 2013
BPD20 The Speed of the Snail: The Zapatistas’ autonomy de facto and the Mexican state
  • Ana C. Dinerstein
February 2013
BPD19 Patriarchal investments: Marriage, dowry and economic change in rural Bangladesh
  • Sarah C. White
January 2013
BPD18 Political economy analysis, aid effectiveness and the art of development management
  • James Copestake
  • Richard Williams
September 2012
BPD17 Justice and deliberation about the good life: the contribution of Latin American buen vivir social movements to the idea of justice
  • Séverine Deneulin
June 2012
BPD16 The limits of participatory democracy: Social movements and the displacement of disagreement in South America
  • Ana Dinerstein
  • Juan Pablo Ferrero
January 2012
BPD15 Human rights trade-offs in a context of systemic unfreedom: The case of the smelter town of La Oroya, Peru
  • Areli Valencia
January 2012
BPD14 Inclusive financial markets: Is transformation under way in Kenya?
  • Susan Johnson
  • Steven Arnold
January 2012
BPD13 Beyond subjective well-being: A critical review of the Stiglitz Report approach to subjective perspectives on quality of life
  • Sarah C. White
  • Stanley O. Gaines Jr.
  • Shreya Jha
July 2012
BPD12 The role of social resources in securing life and livelihood in rural Afghanistan
  • Paula Kantor
  • Adam Pain
January 2011
BPD11 Côte d’Ivoire’s elusive quest for peace
  • Arnim Langer
December 2010
BPD10 Does modernity still matter? Evaluating the concept of multiple modernities and its alternatives
  • Elsje Fourie
September 2010
BPD9 The political economy of secessionism: Identity, inequality and the state
  • Graham K. Brown
September 2010
BPD8 Hope movements: Social movements in the pursuit of human development
  • Séverine Deneulin
  • Ana C. Dinerstein
August 2010
BPD7 The role of informal groups in financial markets: Evidence from Kenya
  • Susan Johnson
  • Markku Malkamäki
  • Max Niño-Zarazua
August 2010
BPD6 ‘Get to the bridge and I will help you to cross’: Merit, personal connections, and money as routes to success in Nigerian higher education
  • Chris Willott
August 2009
BPD5 Withdrawn    
BPD4 Contesting the boundaries of religion in social mobilization
  • Graham K. Brown
  • Séverine Deneulin
  • Joseph Devine
August 2009
BPD3 Legible pluralism: The politics of ethnic and religious identification in Malaysia
  • Graham K. Brown
March 2009
BPD2 Financial inclusion, vulnerability, and mental models: From physical access to effective use of financial services in a low income area of Mexico City
  • Max Niño-Zarazua
  • James G. Copestake
February 2009
BPD1 Financial access and exclusion in Kenya and Uganda
  • Susan Johnson
  • Max Niño-Zarazua
February 2009

BPD33 Can civil society be free of the natural state? Applying North to Bangladesh

Geof Wood

Abstract

The recent book on ‘Violence and Social Orders’ by the Nobel Prize winner Douglass North and others distinguishes between limited access and open access states. Most states in the world remain limited access, or natural, states dominated by coalitions of elites capturing rents from the society while limiting access of ordinary people. A feature of natural states, whether fragile, basic or mature, is that organisations in the society are unable to exist and function independently of the state, which is represented either by dominant individual rulers or by a broader social persona or political class. There are parallel theoretical approaches to express this lack of independence, for example: the contrast between normative approach of de Tocqueville and the scepticism of Gramsci; the discourses on syndicalism and corporatism, especially associated with authoritarian decades in Latin America; and, for societies like Bangladesh, whether the presence of Ummah undermines any prospect of conceiving civil society independently of the state. Being so heavily aid dependent in the recent past, civil society organisations in Bangladesh, especially the development NGOs, have also reflected a western normative discourse about open access states and critical independence which is rarely realised in practice, while crowding out other more indigenous forms of social capital. The paper will review some case examples of failure, compromise and apparent success among CSOs to reveal the tension between voice and loyalty, and ask whether Bangladesh will continue to be a natural state regime for the foreseeable future, combining elements of fascism, populism, syndicalism and tight control of access to rents. The analysis has to be subtle, drawing upon ethnographical insights, particular events as well as structural conditions and processes.

Full Paper

BPD32 Creating more just cities: The right to the city and capability approach combined

Séverine Deneulin

Abstract

Eighty percent of the Latin American population is now urban, but the urbanization process has been accompanied by greater inequality and social segregation. To address urban exclusion, the idea of ‘the right to the city’ is increasingly being endorsed by international organizations and national governments as conceptual framework for urban policy towards more inclusive cities. The paper argues that the right to the city is a limited framework to revert the fragmentation trend of the Latin American city, and it examines how the capability approach could offer more suitable conceptual tools to that effect. The paper proposes the idea of ‘just cities for life’ as the outcome of a combination of the right to the city and a capability-view of justice. It explores some avenues for translating the idea into concrete actions to create cities in which all residents can equally have opportunities to live well in the urban space they share.

Full Paper

BPD31 Engaging with children living amidst political violence: Towards an integrated approach to protection

Jason Hart

Abstract

This paper begins with reflection upon the specific protection needs of children in settings of political violence as identified by child protection actors. It then considers the nature of institutional response offered by child-focussed humanitarian organisations. Particular attention will be paid to the challenges of public advocacy addressing the sources of harm to the young, taking into account the political agendas and sensitivities attendant to many of the world’s conflict zones. From this perspective, the piece constitutes a call to consider child protection in broader political-economic context, concluding with analysis of key ways in which the field requires further development if it is to ensure not just the healing of children harmed by political violence but also more effective prevention of such harm in the first instance.

Full Paper

BPD30 Competing visions of financial inclusion in Kenya: The rift revealed by mobile money transfer

Susan Johnson

Abstract

Financial inclusion policy has been ignited globally by the rise of money transfer services over mobile telecommunications platforms. Explanations for the success of the leading example in Kenya have focussed on conditions of supply side development and the demand for domestic urban to rural remittances. This paper investigates this phenomenon by examining the financial practices of low income people and in particular the social relational dimensions of debt that underlie these mobile money transactions. By contrasting the social relations involved in mobile money to those of informal groups and banks which are the next most used services, this evidence highlights a ‘fiduciary culture’ in which relationships of equality and ‘negotiability’ dominate and which are seamlessly facilitated by mobile money in contrast to relations with banks which tend towards relations of hierarchy. I argue that this reveals a competing emic vision that questions policy makers expectations that mobile money transfer will itself seamlessly facilitate engagement with the formal sector for savings and credit.

Full Paper

BPD29 Can't buy me happiness: How voluntary simplicity contributes to subjective wellbeing

Nadine van Dijk

Abstract

The ongoing debate on the purpose of ‘development’ has given rise to many new studies on happiness and quality of life situated in both developed and developing countries. Recent insights from this field include the suggestions that ever-increasing incomes do not always increase happiness, and that an emphasis on materialistic values goes hand in hand with relatively low levels of subjective wellbeing. Meanwhile, key authors within the ‘new economics’ debate are concerned with the effects of dominant economic values and behaviours on human and ecological wellbeing. They point towards ‘voluntary simplicity’, a more sustainable practice that involves a relatively low consumption level, as a way forward. While it is clear that lifestyles based in less materialistic pursuits benefit the natural environment, it remains unclear how they may contribute to quality of life. Building forth on recent psychological and other research, this paper combines primary and secondary qualitative data to suggest how voluntary simplicity contributes to subjective wellbeing. Policy makers looking to promote human and ecological wellbeing are advised to make use of an empirically grounded understanding of how relatively ecologically sustainable lifestyles may contribute to life satisfaction.

Full Paper

BPD28 Challenge funds in international development

Anne-Marie O'Riordan, James Copestake, Juliette Seibold, & David Smith

Abstract

The use of challenge funds to promote economic and social development continues to grow, but has been the subject of relatively little research. This paper develops a definition of what challenge funds are and how they differ from other development funding mechanisms, taking into account their purpose, financial terms, agency relationships, screening processes, selection mechanisms, implementation and risk sharing characteristics. A challenge fund provides grants or subsidies with an explicit public purpose between independent agencies with grant recipients selected competitively on the basis of advertised rules and processes who retain significant discretion over formulation and execution of their proposals and share risks with the grant provider. This paper draws on a review of fifty challenge funds being operated by international agencies in order to explore variation in their characteristics. A distinction is drawn between business oriented ‘enterprise’ challenge funds and civil society or social development challenge funds, and between relatively ‘light touch’ and ‘hands-on’ approaches to their management. The paper concludes with suggestions for further research.

Full Paper

BPD27 From the idea of justice to the idea of injustice: Mixing the ideal, non-ideal and dynamic conceptions of injustice

Oscar Garza

Abstract

Recent legal reforms in Mexico demonstrate that, it, like many other countries, still relies on an understanding of development as economic growth in order to justify social policies. The widespread social costs of this framework, however, demand now more than ever before a framework of social justice that can counteract the justification and legitimisation of social policies solely based on such a view of development. While there is a strong demand for social justice to inform political action, in recent years, ideal theories of justice have also come under severe criticism due to their (apparent) lack of practical policy relevance. This paper departs from this view and argues that ideal theories are essential for the reduction of injustice in the present but that it is necessary to reconcile and complement ideal and non-ideal approaches to justice. The paper takes Rawls’s Theory of Justice and Sen’s Idea of Justice as illustrations of my argument. In the light of the labour reform in Mexico, this paper, however, argues that both ideal and non-ideal conceptions of justice are necessary but are still insufficient in reducing injustice. Without a dynamic understanding of injustice and how it is reproduced, approaches to social justice would remain transcendental and, thus, their effective applicability in the real world is highly compromised. This implies the need to go beyond the usual all-purpose conceptions of justice (whether ideal or non-ideal) and establish what the paper calls a ‘multi-level’ conception of justice to effectively inform social policies and reduce injustice ‘in the real world’.

Full Paper

BPD26 Understanding policy and programming on sex-selection in Tamil Nadu: Ethnographic and sociological reflections

Shahid Perwez

Abstract

The family-planning programme of Tamil Nadu, largely a female sterilisation campaign, has been applauded as one of the successful public health interventions in India, which had arguably led to the drastic fertility decline in the state. To the state’s dismay, however, the fertility decline in Tamil Nadu was also attended by the increasing reports of female infanticide and sex-selective abortion. In its subsequent response, the state in Tamil Nadu introduced specific policy and interventionary measures to curb the practice. In this paper, I critically examine these responses in their local ethnographic contexts to highlight the manner in which family-planning goals get intertwined with the political intervention on the issue of sex-selection. This leads to women’s diminishing access to unmet needs for family planning and reproductive health services thereby contributing to further marginalisation of Tamil women.

Full Paper

BPD25 Beyond the grumpy rich man and the happy peasant: Subjective perspectives on wellbeing and food security in rural India

Sarah C. White

Abstract

This paper relates different subjective approaches to wellbeing to different traditions of economic analysis. The dominant formula of ‘Subjective Well-Being’ is attractive because it promises a direct measure of utility, but other approaches bring different strengths to policy evaluation. ‘Inner Wellbeing,’ which has affinities to Sen’s Capabilities Approach, is introduced. Analysis of primary data from mixed method research in rural India explores what ‘happiness’ and other subjective perspectives add to understanding of food security policies at a community and individual level. This shows that subjective perceptions contribute most when considered on their own terms, rather than as proxies for objective outcomes.

Full Paper

BPD24 Behind the aid brand: Distinguishing between development finance and assistance

James Copestake

Abstract

International aid is often analysed as if it was a homogeneous product exclusively distributed between a relatively small numbers of public agencies. In contrast, this paper contributes to thinking about aid as a quasi-market with many different suppliers, users, channels, products and brands. More specifically, it suggests drawing a stronger distinction between development finance and development assistance. A simple graph shows how this entails distinguishing between social impact and financial sustainability. Given that these characteristics are often far from transparent, the paper also illustrates the limitations of a rational choice approach to analysing aid. The difficulties entailed in assessing aid impact and sustainability help to explain why brand reputations matter. The argument is illustrated with references to UK aid, aid to Ethiopia, and NGO promotion of smallholder linkages into agricultural value chains in Africa.

Full Paper

BPD23 The political economy of financial inclusion: Working with governments on market development

Susan Johnson and Richard Williams

Abstract

This paper examines the tensions that exist in financial inclusion policy between donor approaches founded on market modernism and governments with more activist leanings. It draws on political economy analysis – now frequently used by donors themselves – to demonstrate the underlying dynamics at play. It discusses how donor policy for microfinance has moved from disengagement to increasing engagement, as visions for financial inclusion require government involvement in building markets. We argue that there are opportunities for finer-grained understanding of the space for engagement and that, as a result, there are approaches to donor engagement, which may push the envelope of feasible strategies. In particular, the policy goal of inclusion may be achieved by a variety of means that go beyond the current orthodoxy. Finding policy that fits involves understanding the conditions under which activist governments are more likely to achieve developmental outcomes rather than to assume they cannot.

Full Paper

BPD22 ‘Everything is Politics’: Understanding the political dimensions of NGO legitimacy in conflict-affected and transitional contexts

Oliver Walton

Abstract

This paper examines how national NGOs operating in conflict-affected or transitional regions generate and maintain legitimacy. It considers the experience of NGOs in three such contexts – Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The paper argues that existing accounts of NGO legitimacy are unhelpful for understanding the dynamic and highly politicised processes of NGO legitimation that can be observed in these contexts and argues that greater attention should be paid to the contextual and political dimensions of NGO legitimation and de-legitimation.

Full Paper

BPD21 Corruption and informality

Ajit Mishra and Ranjan Ray

Abstract

The paper considers several determinants of the size of the informal sector and explores the implications of corruption. It focuses attention on an issue that has not received much attention before, namely, the link between informality and corruption. We show that corruption affects both the size and composition of the informal sector in a significant manner. While small firms locate in the informal sector to avoid the fixed costs associated with the formal sector, we find that even larger firms might prefer informality because of their superior access to corruption. The paper shows that there is a U shaped relationship between a firm’s share of its sales in the informal sector and the scale of its operations. We also show that imperfections in the credit market and wealth inequality are likely to be associated with a larger informal sector. We use a large cross-country firm level survey data to provide supporting evidence. The results of our exercise have considerable policy implications that extend beyond the micro level framework of this study to the wider macro economy.

Full Paper

BPD20 The Speed of the Snail: The Zapatistas’ autonomy de facto and the Mexican state

Ana C. Dinerstein

Abstract

The recent re-emergence of autonomy as a central demand in many social movements across the world (which involve claims for self-determination, organisational self-management and independence vis-à-vis the state and capital) has opened a theoretical space to re-think its meanings in novel ways. Particularly interesting are in this regard autonomous practices, which have been presented by movements as offering an alternative to social relations of capitalism. In this paper I offer an illustrative case study of new political and juridical bodies (the ‘Snails’ and Good Government Council) operated by the Zapatista movement in the Chiapas region, Mexico. I use this case to illustrate the Zapatista’s struggle for autonomy with, against and beyond the Mexican State, and the role of the law and policy making in disciplining the rebel communities of Chiapas. By exploring the Zapatistas’ critique of civil society and development, I engage with Bloch’s ‘principle of hope’ in order to theorise autonomy as a form of ‘organising hope’. I suggest that autonomy delineates spaces where a utopian impulse is articulated, made concrete, realised, experienced, and also disappointed. The data presented comes from the author’s research project on social movements and collective autonomy in Latin America (RES-155-25-0007) funded by the ‘Non-Governmental Public Action’ programme of the Economic and Social Research Council, United Kingdom.

Full Paper

BPD19 Patriarchal investments: Marriage, dowry and economic change in rural Bangladesh

Sarah C. White

Abstract

Contemporary studies of marriage around the world note increased emphasis on ‘choice’ and ‘conjugality’. In South Asia, such discussions have largely displaced an earlier focus on ‘dowry’ and its implications for the gendered vulnerability of women. This paper argues that considering together discourses of affinity and practices of dowry adds significantly to understanding of the complex inter-relations of social and economic change. Drawing on data from rural Bangladesh, it emphasises the materiality of marriage, its centrality to family advancement strategies and ongoing commitment to the governing idioms of masculine provision and protection. Against conventional views that dowry compensates for a perceived weakness in women’s contribution, the paper argues that it functions to bolster men’s. The contradictory faces of marriage as dowry or conjugality in South Asia may cast light on the broader political and economic transformations in which they arise.

Full Paper

BPD18 Political economy analysis, aid effectiveness and the art of development management

James Copestake and Richard Williams

Abstract

Recognising that aid effectiveness critically depends upon the quality of host country institutions and policies, international aid agencies have sought to inform their activities through more systematic political economy analysis (PEA). Three analytical frameworks for PEA are compared, contrasted and critically appraised in the light reflections of PEA practitioners and recent theoretical debate about development management. We conclude that the potential of PEA to improve development effectiveness depends on how far it addresses the micro as well as macro politics of aid, and permits a finer grained engagement between analysis and action. This requires more reflexivity on the part of those who commission and produce PEA, and further movement from intervention to interaction modalities for aid delivery.

Full Paper

BPD17 Justice and deliberation about the good life: the contribution of Latin American buen vivir social movements to the idea of justice

Séverine Deneulin

Abstract

Since the 1990s, Latin America has witnessed indigenous mobilization which contest the public policies implemented by their governments. They contend that public policy is not about following a linear development model of material accumulation, but about buen vivir or Good Living, about providing the conditions for people to live in harmony with each other and Nature. Buen vivir social movements aim at replacing the dominant cosmovision of humans above nature by another cosmovision of humans as part of nature. The paper discusses these buen vivir social movements in the context of wellbeing discourses and Sen’s capability-based account of justice. It argues that buen vivir social movements testify that questions of justice cannot be separated from questions about the good life, and that the quality of relations people have with each other and with the environment, and the institutions which support these, is as important as capability outcomes for remedying unjust situations.

Full paper

BPD16 The limits of participatory democracy: Social movements and the displacement of disagreement in South America

Ana Dinerstein and Juan Pablo Ferrero

Abstract

Recent experiences of social movements in South America and the expansion of non-institutional forms of collective action have given rise to new conceptual frameworks such as participatory democracy, which aim to capture the impact of new forms of participation and collective action on democracy in the region. As a means of exploring the possibilities of deepening democracy, such frameworks have taken as their focal point the institutionalisation of 'alternative' forms and processes of participation. However, the focus on institutionalisation has usually bypassed the more radical dimensions of the discourses and practices of the movements—the ‘disagreement’ at their heart. By way of illustrative cases of two contemporary movements from Argentina (Piqueteros) and Brazil (Movement of Rural Landless Workers) we focus on two questions: What is the contribution of social movements to the process of democratisation? To what extent is such contribution being captured by new scholarly work on participatory and deliberative democracy? We analyse the political struggle within, against and beyond democratic ‘borders’ led by social movements in three historical moments. By distinguishing the dimensions of ‘real policies’ and ‘imagined politics’ we suggest that new conceptualisations such as ‘participatory democracy’ are unable to recognise the alternative democratic realities that emerge out of disagreement and play a regulatory role in transforming disagreement into dissent. Hope is then lost in translation. We suggest that Radical Democratic Theory can offer a better work of translation, as it is able to grasp the vital dimension of movements’ collective action that resists integration into the hegemonic cannon, thus reflecting the movements’ own reflection of their emancipatory collective action.

Full paper

BPD15 Human rights trade-offs in a context of systemic unfreedom: The case of the smelter town of La Oroya, Peru

Areli Valencia

Abstract

This paper examines the interconnecting causes that have placed residents of the community of La Oroya, in Peru’s central Andes, in the dilemma of having to sacrifice their human right to health in order to preserve job opportunities at the town’s smelter. Using the lens of a “capability-oriented model of human rights”, the paper shows how a constellation of environmental, social, institutional and personal factors have resulted in structuring a context of systemic unfreedom in La Oroya. This is a context in which human rights abuses reproduce systemically, affecting the overall wellbeing of individuals and communities, and in turn, diminishing their ability to transform their reality of unfreedom. The paper argues that to understand fully why some residents of the La Oroya community acquiesced in forfeiting their own rights, particular attention has to be paid to the pernicious manner in which living under unfreedom has historically trapped individuals of this community in a vicious cycle of disadvantage.

Full paper

BPD14 Inclusive financial markets: Is transformation under way in Kenya?

Susan Johnson and Steven Arnold

Abstract

Policy emphasis for financial sector development has shifted away from microfinance and towards the development of ‘inclusive financial markets’. But for inclusion to take place, policy must address barriers to access. This paper analyses the socio-economic, demographic and geographic factors associated with financial service use across formal, semi-formal and informal financial services in Kenya between 2006 and 2009, including the new and rapidly growing mobile phone-based payments service—M-PESA. We find that, despite an expansion of services, evidence of access barriers is now clearer than it was in 2006. However, there is some evidence that M-PESA is reversing age as a barrier to inclusion, but as yet, it is more of a complement than substitute for formal services.

Full paper

BPD13 Beyond subjective well-being: A critical review of the Stiglitz Report approach to subjective perspectives on quality of life

Sarah C. White, Stanley O. Gaines Jr. and Shreya Jha

Published as: White, S.C., Gaines, S.O. and Jha, S., 2012. Beyond subjective well-being: A critical review of the Stiglitz report approach to subjective perspectives on quality of life. Journal of International Development, 24 (6), pp. 763-776

BPD12 The role of social resources in securing life and livelihood in rural Afghanistan

Paula Kantor and Adam Pain

Abstract

This paper examines how rural Afghan households in five villages located in Badakhshan and Kandahar provinces have negotiated within contexts of weak formal institutions and localized power to achieve physical and economic security. The paper uses household case studies to assess how the concepts of informal security regimes and dependent security aid understanding of the means through which rural households in Afghanistan seek security. It particularly examines how different households’ are integrated into social relationships, the variable quality and usefulness of these relationships, and under what conditions they might facilitate autonomous versus dependent security. In doing so the paper explores the importance of context, linking the details of household experiences to their village and provincial locations. It provides an understanding of opportunities for and constraints to rural transformation in Afghanistan based on the social hierarchies and relations present, illustrating the complexities with which interventions aimed at improving human security and reducing poverty must engage, interventions which to date have focused more on filling gaps in access to human and material resources than on addressing the root causes of poverty.

Full Paper

BPD11 Côte d’Ivoire’s elusive quest for peace

Arnim Langer

Abstract

The October 2010 elections in Côte d’Ivoire were supposed to bring lasting peace to a country that has been split since a rebellion of predominantly northern forces in September 2002. Instead, disagreement over the electoral results has pushed the country back to the brink of civil war. The Ivorian electoral debacle adds to the long list of failed peace agreements and initiatives that have been undertaken since the 2002 violent rebellion. The main objective of this paper is to analyse why restoring peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire has proved to be so difficult. On the basis of this analysis, it will be shown that the Ivorian electoral debacle should not have come as a surprise because the same dynamics and factors that were responsible for the failure of previous peace agreements and initiatives are again at play.

Full Paper

BPD10 Does modernity still matter? Evaluating the concept of multiple modernities and its alternatives

Elsje Fourie

Abstract

In recent years, the concept of multiple modernities has emerged to challenge the perceived Eurocentrism and unilinearity of traditional theories of convergence, and has led to renewed efforts to appreciate differing trajectories of contemporary political and social development. Its exponents’ key argument—that forms of modernity are so varied and so contingent on culture and historical circumstance that the term itself must be spoken of in the plural—is particularly pertinent in an era where prevailing ‘Western’ models of development are becoming less influential.This paper seeks to provide an examination of the main principles of this approach, a synthesis of its evolution and an analysis of its strengths and shortcomings. It examines the application of the theory to the case of Indian modernity, before addressing several alternative approaches that have attempted to fill similar gaps in the literature. It concludes with some thoughts on the future and feasibility of the study of modernity itself.The paper finds that multiple modernities has been useful in widening the scope of study, and that it focuses on important questions that its rivals have not yet addressed. However, it has not yet adequately identified the 'core' of modernity itself, nor has it refuted the charge of cultural essentialism. For modernity to retain utility as a concept, it must ultimately be viewed as a single, coherent force, albeit one which is continually contested and reversible, and which has vastly differing impacts on different societies. By addressing the ways in which this force is creatively adapted and its manifestations socially constructed, multiple modernities will be able to better identify the many ways in which societies can be modern today.

Full Paper

BPD9 The political economy of secessionism: Identity, inequality and the state

Graham K. Brown

Abstract

The econometric study of civil war is increasing recognized to suffer from problems of ‘over-aggregation’. As such, there is a high risk of estimation biases, ecological fallacies, and endogeneity problems. In this paper, I seek to contribute to the disaggregation of the study of civil war by focusing on the socio-economic dynamics of secessionist conflict as an identifiably distinct subset of ‘civil wars’, and by using a new subnational dataset compiled for this purpose. I test a series of hypotheses relating to the socio-economic conditions that encourage secessionism and political institutions that might mediate it. In contrast to the mainstream literature on civil war, I find a very strong predictive role for a measure of ethnic diversity in accounting for the incidence of secession. I also find a relatively straightforward set of socio-economic relationships. The relationship between relative socio-economic performance and conflict incidence is non-linear: regions that suffer from high ‘horizontal inequalities’—whether relatively poor or relatively rich—in relation to the rest of the country are more prone to secessionism. The presence of hydrocarbon deposits also dramatically increases the likelihood of secessionism. But the institutional story is more complex and contingent upon interaction effect with the degree of ethnic diversity and the level of horizontal inequality.

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BPD8 Hope movements: Social movements in the pursuit of human development

Séverine Deneulin and Ana C. Dinerstein

Abstract

The evaluative framework of Sen’s capability approach provides the most robust alternative to utilitarian economics and its income and growth oriented vision of development. However, despite its affirmation of human flourishing as development objective, it does not provide an alternative to economic and social practices which undermine that objective. It therefore needs to engage more with forms of social and political mobilisation, which seek to create an alternative social and economic world more akin to human flourishing and dignity. The aim of this paper is to analyze the role of these social and political mobilizations in development. We argue that they constitute a new type of social movements inspired by ‘hope’. That is, following Bloch, they are striving forward to create another world, moved by the anticipatory consciousness of a ‘not-yet-become’. We examine two seeming dissimilar social movements: the Zapatistas in Latin America and the Live Simply in Europe. Despite their differences, these movements share common characteristics, which do not fit easily within the category of ‘new’ social movements, in that they question the existing relation between social movements and development, and intend to offer not simply alternative forms of development but alternatives to development. We propose to name them ‘hope movements’ so as to better capture what they are and do. We conclude by discussing the significance and implications of the category of hope for development.

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BPD7 The role of informal groups in financial markets: Evidence from Kenya

Susan Johnson, Markku Malkamäki, and Max Niño-Zarazua

Abstract

While the scale of informal finance in many developing countries has long been known to be extensive, data at the national level and particularly in Africa has been scarce. Moreover, financial sector development policy has firmly shifted its attention away from informal finance and towards working with the formal sector to provide inclusive financial services. However, some donors and policy makers are concerned that this approach is inadequate and will leave the poorest people unserved with even basic financial services, and are as a result experimenting with savings-led group-based approaches. This paper uses data from the 2006 Financial Access Survey carried out in Kenya to examine the scale, scope and nature of informal groups in order to assess the context for this alternative strategy. This survey provides the first significant nationally representative dataset to exist offering a much more detailed analysis of informal group operation than has so far been possible. First, we demonstrate the extent of use and estimated scale of savings currently flowing through these systems. Second, we examine the profile of use via socio-economic characteristics through the use of logistic regression analysis. We then turn to the reasons users give for engaging in groups, the way they are organised and the experiences reported by users having engaged with them. We conclude by drawing out the policy implications of this analysis for the new focus on savings-led group-based approaches and for policy towards the development of the informal financial sector.

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BPD6 ‘Get to the bridge and I will help you to cross’: Merit, personal connections, and money as routes to success in Nigerian higher education

Chris Willott

Abstract

The state is acknowledged as the central actor in development, and there are numerous studies on African states and their relationships to societies. However, the vast majority of these studies focus on the highest echelons of politics and policymaking, with very few dedicated to how the state is experienced and lived by its users. This literature tends therefore to be abstract. Furthermore, much literature, particularly that stressing the neopatrimonial character of African states, examines states through the prism of Weberian logic and suggests that, because states do not conform to a rational-legal ideal, they must therefore be deficient or dysfunctional. This literature therefore tends to be quite normative. This paper offers a less normative and abstract understanding of the state in everyday action, through analysis of the workings of the Nigerian higher education sector. It draws on primary data collected through ethnographic methods to analyse how service providers and users of a university in south-eastern Nigeria negotiate their passage into, and through, a highly complex and flexible system.

The paper argues that achieving success in Nigerian higher education is dependent on a combination of merit, personal connections and money. While all students enter the university on the basis of merit (locally referred to as ‘getting to the bridge’), personal connections and money are crucial influences. The relative importance of the latter is stronger among poorer performing students. Furthermore, the paper will demonstrate that amongst academic staff, personal connections to influential people and factions are the most important factors influencing success. The notion of ‘get to the bridge and I will help you to cross’ is also important for staff as official credentials are a necessary but not sufficient criteria for academic success. Strong personal connections play a key and decisive role.

The case presented in the paper offers an important corrective to the rather abstract and normative ideas that underpin the theory of the African neopatrimonial state. It argues that a better understanding of the state requires a stronger focus on the routine and real experiences of service providers and users, as well as on their everyday interactions

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BPD5 Withdrawn

BPD4 Contesting the boundaries of religion in social mobilization

Graham K. Brown, Séverine Deneulin and Joseph Devine

Abstract

This paper seeks to contribute to an understanding of the dynamics of religion in social mobilization. It argues that existing approaches to the study of the role of religion in social mobilization have been insufficiently nuanced and have failed to probe the multiple and often contradictory influences that religion can have on mobilization channels. On the basis of three qualitative case studies, from Malaysia, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom, we identify three key ingredients for religion to act as a catalyst for social mobilization: theological resources, sacred spaces, and their interaction with the wider context. This leads us to conclude that the boundaries of the ‘religious’ dimension of social mobilization are fluid, and that the religious element of social mobilization can never be disentangled from its social and political context.

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BPD3 Legible pluralism: The politics of ethnic and religious identification in Malaysia

Graham K. Brown

Abstract

This paper examines the changing nature of ethnic and religious identification in Malaysia, drawing upon a survey of attitudes conducted in three locations in Malaysia. The paper argues that the widely perceived political shift from a prevailing ethnic Malay/non-Malay dichotomy towards a more religious Muslim/non-Muslim dichotomy is more complex that previous analyses have suggested. Moreover, the paper argues that while this shift has typically been seen as primarily societally driven, a more complete explanation of these changes needs to account for the changing role of the state in identity construction and boundary-making. To this end, the paper appropriates Scott’s notion of ‘legibility’ and argues that the changing politics of ethnicity and religion in Malaysia must be located within the bureaucratic politics of identity and the increasing ‘legibility’ of religion vis-à-vis ethnicity for a state concerned to differentiate and stratify its citizenry.

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BPD2 Financial inclusion, vulnerability, and mental models: From physical access to effective use of financial services in a low income area of Mexico City

Max Niño-Zarazua and James G. Copestake

Abstract

Quantitative analysis indicates that variation in use of regulated and unregulated financial services in a low-income area of Mexico City can only partially be attributed to differences in socio-economic variables including gender, employment, education and housing status. Qualitative evidence suggests cognitive resources (including financial knowledge, attitudes and values) and socialised experiential learning are also important to financial inclusion and its relationship to vulnerability. Better understanding of these links requires more research into actual and potential users’ diverse and malleable mental models.

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BPD1 Financial access and exclusion in Kenya and Uganda

Susan Johnson and Max Niño-Zarazua

Abstract

Policy emphasis has recently shifted to ‘Finance for All’ given evidence that financial sector development (FSD) contributes to growth but that the primary effects on poverty do not from pro-poor provision. This paper uses data from Financial Access Surveys carried out in Kenya and Uganda to investigate the socio-economic, demographic and geographical factors causing access to and exclusion from formal, semi-formal and informal financial services. approaches this from the perspective of institutional analysis. It finds, first, that institutions do present underlying barriers to access - more so than geography - and informal provision is extensive. These findings suggest that institutional theories of FSD need address the role of underlying social institutions and better understand the role of informal finance, and that policy for effective outreach must similarly consider these dimensions.

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