Westminster Development Studies Symposium 2020

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Is Market-led Development Enough? Global Comparisons and the Challenges Lying Ahead

The Westminster Development Studies Symposium “Is Market-led Development Enough? Global Comparisons and the Challenges Lying Ahead”, organised by the University of Westminster’s  Development Policy Network in collaboration with the Westminster International University in Tashkent will take place on 19 June 2020 at the University of Westminster in London.

The event is now in its third year. Last year, our keynote speaker, Prof Kunal Sen, talked about whether globalisation can cause premature deindustrialisation. You can find further information on last year’s event here: Westminster Development Studies Symposium 2019

For the 2020 round of the Symposium, we are happy to host keynote presentations from Professor Andy Mckay (University of Sussex), Dr Miguel Nino-Zarazua (UNU-WIDER), and Professor Hans-Jörg Schmerer (FernUniversität in Hagen).

Speakers

  • Professor Andy Mckay (University of Sussex)
  • Miguel Niño-Zarazúa (United Nations University World Institute for Development, UNU-WIDER)
  • Professor Hans-Jörg Schmerer (FernUniversität in Hagen)

The debate surrounding market-led approaches to development is definitely not a new one. However, over recent decades, the literature on Corporate Social Responsibility and on the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ (BoP) approach considerably widened. This brought forward renewed emphasis on the trade-offs and benefits that greater involvement of either states or markets could have for the development trajectories of countries around the world. The BoP approach proponents see in large informal markets a resource to tap into which could provide companies with a flexible source of employment, while also potentially lifting scores out of poverty. They also emphasise the large potential for profit-making activities on the part of investing companies if the poor were targeted as consumers, given the large scale of their collective population share. At the same time, creating markets for the poor would for the first time provide them with broader consumer choice at affordable prices, therefore improving their quality of life.

Many are, however, less optimistic about the potential that market-led approaches to development can achieve and counter the arguments by suggesting that the type of employment created in informal markets is precarious and sub-standard and that it is therefore not adequate to ensure decent livelihoods. In addition, it is pointed out that incorporating the poor into global consumption networks may not increase wellbeing when access to basic social services is still lacking. These criticisms target a merely market-based approach on the grounds that it cannot lead to inclusive growth on its own and rather place emphasis on the modalities with which workers gain inclusion into global value chains and globalized production networks. The renewed focus is therefore on the role that States have to play in ensuring that access to enabling social safety nets and social policy initiatives complement employment access opportunities.

We welcome proposals in all fields of development studies which explore challenges and responses related to the debate outlined above, and in particular but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Decent employment in the Global South
  • Bottom of the Pyramid Approach
  • Globalisation and global production networks
  • Multinational Enterprises and Foreign Direct Investment in the Global South
  • Social policy and safety net development

Please submit paper proposals by March 31, 2020 by email to:

s.masino@westminster.ac.uk

Submissions should be including a full academic paper or an extended abstract (maximum 1000 words) of the presentation, all names of the authors, their affiliations and contact details.

Authors of accepted papers will be notified by April 15, 2020.

There is no charge to attend the workshop. The workshop organizers will cover meals and refreshments. Participants will be required to pay for their own travel and accommodation. Further details will be included in the letter of acceptance.

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