After the Economist’s piece on the (non-)value of doing a PhD and some comments later (e.g. Prometheus doesn't read the Economist (I like the slightly cynical dichotomy between ‘civilians’ and the ‘academic insiders) or the '100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School' (they are only halfway through so check it out regularly in the future...) I had an interesting conversation with a prospective PhD student a few days ago.
This was not the first time that I had been approached about doing a PhD and I always try to be as frank as possible, even playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ when it comes to the complicated ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ decision-making process. At the end of our conversation I sat down and tried to summarize a few important and generic points from the point of view of doing a PhD in Development Studies and in the UK.
I understand that every case is different and involves a range of motives, options and rationales, but there a few important questions and topics t…
Happy Valentine's, happy #globaldev reading & thanks for all your great birthday wishes!
My quotes of the week Is civil society a
means of providing service provision alternatives to the Government of
Syria? Is civil society a means of improving local development in
specific communities? Is civil society empowered as a means of
politically transforming the Government of Syria? Is civil society
support to be based on Western development theories and objectives, or
on a more ‘community defined’ series of objectives? Is civil society
being empowered for its own sake? (Function Over Form: Rethinking Civil Society in Government-held Syria)
The Academy has a huge way to go. I don’t even know if it wants to decolonize. Universities are bureaucracies, increasingly corporatized, we are hiring vice chancellors to be like CEOs, paying them huge salaries to get research grants. This is true in Ghana just like in the UK (How to Decolonize Academia. Interview with Prof. Akosua …
My colleagues Lisa Ann Richey, David Simon, Ilan Kapoor & Stefano Ponte with a timely guest post as the International Studies Association’s (#ISA2019) annual meeting kicks off in Toronto. The topic is once again the journal Third World Quarterlywhich is sponsoring the reception of ISA’s Global Development Section and the broader questions these discussions raise for higher education and academic publishing.
In my longer essay, a forthcoming paper, I am arguing that engaging with online social media in the form of curating a regular development blog column is a simple, yet effective way to provide decolonised resources in the context of development studies teaching, research and communication. You can download a traditional pdf version of my chapter as well.
I started my development blog Aidnography in 2010 and it has since become an integral part of my teaching, research and broader engagement to communicate development. In my first journal article on development blogging my co-author and I concluded: Our research on development blogs has highlighted a range of interesting dynamics with regard to reflexive and reflective learning processes. Peer learning in the blogosphere, mentoring of students or colleagues through intergenerational exchanges between seasoned veterans in the field and aspiring aid workers, and multidisciplinary inputs all contribute to learning processes. One of the bi…
To be fair, it felt it bit more exciting to share link review 350 last week, but time flies and great new content wants to be shared! So happy reading, thinking & sharing!
My quotes of the week We must start respecting the diversity of approaches that support people in different societies and cultures; many of which start with the body, not the mind, and the acknowledgement that sometimes the emotions that need releasing are trapped somewhere in a physical form. (A Personal Account of Trauma and Healing)
‘My whole life is on
my phone’ they say; that means your dating life, social life, self-image
and maybe your business. Having a smartphone doesn’t change your life
or your behaviour, it just extends it onto a new platform. Of
course, smartphones are already expanding the potential of social
ventures like ours. But to harness that potential, we need to keep one
foot on the ground. Fundamentally,
whether someone has a smartphone in their hand or not, they’re the same