In Pursuit of Development podcast

In Pursuit of Development

Dan Banik

If you are interested in democracy, poverty eradication and climate change, this is your go-to podcast for a deeper understanding of the politics of global development. In each episode, we discuss the experiences of developing and “emerging economies” in Africa, Asia and Latin America. While we examine major global challenges and highlight various “problems”, we also highlight what works on the ground. This podcast is hosted by Professor Dan Banik from the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo (Twitter: @danbanik @GlobalDevPod).

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  • In Pursuit of Development podcast

    Why is the West obsessed with changing China? — Xu Qinduo


    Xu Qinduo is a political analyst, news columnist and an adjunct professor at Renmin University’s School of Journalism and Communication. He is also a senior fellow at the Pangoal Foundation and host of the talk show “Dialogue Weekend” at China Global Television Network, CGTN. He was previously posted as China Radio International’s chief correspondent in Washington, DC.Why the US and the West are always obsessed with changing China (Global Times)China and the U.S.: Equality and Beyond (China Today)Xu Qinduo on TwitterDan Banik and In Pursuit of Development on Twitter 
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    What went wrong with COVAX, the vast global vaccine program? — Katerini Storeng


    Katerini Storeng is an associate professor at the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo.  She directs the interdisciplinary Global Health Politics research group and is the Deputy Director of the Independent Panel on Global Governance for Health, an initiative to follow up the Lancet-University of Oslo Commission's agenda on the political determinants of health inequity. Dr. Storeng's research advances a critical, ethnographic perspective on the social and political dynamics shaping global health research and policy. She is particularly interested in how global public-private partnerships, scientific communities and civil society coalitions shape and challenge prevailing understandings and approaches to global public health.Resources:"The uncomfortable truth about Norway’s pandemic leadership" (Sept. 2021)"The Smartphone Pandemic: How Big Tech and public health authorities partner in the digital response to Covid-19", Global Public Health (2021)"Africa CDC, IFRC, and USAU call for Equitable Vaccine Coverage in Africa" (Sept. 2021)"Biden to Push Global Plan toBattle Covid as National Gaps Widen" (New York Times, 22 Sept. 2021)"Risky business: COVAX and the financialization of global vaccine equity", Globalization and Health (Felix Stein, 2021)Twitter:Katerini StorengDan Banik In Pursuit of Development  
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    Beyond the Bottom Billion — Paul Collier


    Welcome to season 3!Our first guest this season is Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. In 2014, Professor Collier received a knighthood for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa.Sir Paul's research covers the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural resources rich societies; urbanisation in low-income countries; private investment in African infrastructure and changing organisational cultures. He has authored numerous books, including The Bottom Billion (Oxford University Press, 2007) which in 2008 won the Lionel Gelber, Arthur Ross and Corine prizes and in May 2009 was the joint winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book prize; Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (Vintage Books, 2009); The Plundered Planet: How to reconcile prosperity with nature (Oxford University Press, 2010); Exodus: How migration is changing our world (Oxford University Press, 2013); and The Future of Capitalism: Facing The New Anxieties (Penguin Books, 2018). His latest book, co-authored with John Kay, is Greed is Dead: Politics After Individualism (Penguin Books, 2020). Paul Collier, Blavatnik School of Government, University of OxfordIn Pursuit of Development and Dan Banik on Twitter
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    The remarkable expansion of South–South Cooperation — Emma Mawdsley


    Welcome to the final episode of season 2. We’ve had some great guests this season and the show has attracted thousands of new listeners in large parts of the world. Thank you all for listening and for all the positive and most encouraging feedback that we have received this year.Our guest this week is Emma Mawdsley, who is a reader in human geography at Newnham College and Director of the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies at the University of Cambridge. She recently received the Royal Geographical Society’s Busk Medal for her exceptional engagements with fieldwork, research and knowledge production about the Global South."From recipients to donors: the emerging powers and the changing development landscape"‘From billions to trillions’: Financing the SDGs in a world ‘beyond aid’"Human Rights and South-South Development Cooperation: Reflections on the "Rising Powers" as International Development Actors"Please follow our Twitter account @GlobalDevPod and share our episodes with your colleagues and friends. We will be back in a couple of months in season 3 of the show with another bunch of great guests. Thank you and I wish you all an enjoyable summer.TwitterEmma MawdsleyDan Banik 
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    Popular mobilization against dams in Myanmar — Kyungmee Kim


    Many of you may have heard about instances of local communities mobilising against the construction of dams in various parts of the world. But it turns out that not all communities are able to collectively resist dam-building. So, what explains the varying degrees of community resistance against large dams?Kyungmee Kim tackles this question in a doctoral thesis that she successfully defended recently at Uppsala University in Sweden. She studied popular mobilization against dams in Myanmar and the extent to which political violence influenced identity formation, particularly its pace, direction and implications."Civil Resistance in the Shadow of War: Explaining popular mobilization against dams in Myanmar" (PhD thesis, Uppsala University)TwitterKyungmee KimDan BanikIn Pursuit of Development 
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    Politics of the poor — Indrajit Roy


    Even though the world is richer today than ever before, a large number of people do not share in those riches, even in democracies. So, what does living in a democracy mean for people who simultaneously confront persistent deprivations and increasing inequalities? Do people living in poverty absorb the universalistic ideas associated with democracy? Or do their precarious lives overwhelm them so much so that they cannot act beyond particularistic concerns? These are the questions that Indrajit Roy tackles in Politics of the Poor: Negotiating Democracy in Contemporary India. Indrajit Roy is Senior Lecturer in Global Development Politics at the University of York. "Why the subaltern chose, not Hindutva, but Trinamool in Bengal""India: a year after Narendra Modi’s re-election the country’s democracy is developing fascistic undertones""Contesting Consensus. Disputing Inequality: Agonistic Subjectivities in Rural Bihar"Twitter: Indrajit Roy Dan Banik In Pursuit of Development 
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    Religion and democratic mobilization in Brazil – Amy Erica Smith


    In a splendid book titled– Religion and Brazilian Democracy: Mobilizing the People of God –  Amy Erica Smith examines the causes and consequences of Brazil’s culture wars – that as Brazilian democracy faces a crisis of legitimacy, political divisions among Catholic, evangelical, and nonreligious citizens have grown. How then have these culture wars affected Brazil’s democracy? And does religious politics either threaten or help to shore up a democracy now facing grave challenges to its legitimacy? Amy Erica argues that the answers to these questions lie not in political parties, but in clergy, that interacts with and sometimes leads congregants and politicians. Amy Erica Smith is an associate professor of political science, as well as a Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professor at Iowa State University. Her research examines how ordinary people understand and engage in politics. Although she studies democratic and authoritarian regimes globally, her primary expertise is in Latin America, and particularly Brazil.Brazil’s president is rallying his base — so that he can expand his power (The Washington Post)Covid vs. Democracy: Brazil's Populist Playbook (Journal of Democracy)Water of Life: Religion, Drought and Fire in Brazil (ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America)Twitter:Amy Erica SmithDan Banik and In Pursuit of Development 
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    "Global Britain": Inspired vision or wishful thinking? — Mark Miller


    Following Brexit, Britain has expressed a desire to play an important new role in world affairs. The idea of "Global Britain" has thus made a comeback with free trade as its core element. Indeed, Global Britain appears to be a catchy label for the UK’s ambition to look beyond Europe for new commercial opportunities and pathways to global influence. But critics argue that “A positive image of Global Britain must be earned, not declared.” And that the narrative of Global Britain will only be meaningful if and when the ambitious vision is backed up with extra investments. Of particular concern to the global development community has been the recent cuts to the UK’s aid budget, which some argue will adversely affect Britain’s power and global influence. There has also been considerable criticism of the government’s decision to merge the Department for International Development (or DFID) with the Foreign Office.Mark Miller is the director of the Overseas Development Institute’s  work on development and public finance. His research interests include how states can build the capabilities to effectively manage their public finances and the future of development cooperation in the UK. A year of G7 British leadership– delivering on Global BritainLessons from the UK spending reviewBringing global development closer to homeUK aid cut seen as unforced error in ‘year of British leadership’Reasons for optimism over the UK's Integrated ReviewTwitter: Mark Miller, Dan Banik, In Pursuit of Development  
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    How does digital technology affect healthcare? — Vincent Duclos


    There is considerable attention on the pivotal role that digital technology can play in providing better healthcare. The term “digital health” is broad in scope and includes mobile health (mHealth), health information technology, tele-health and telemedicine, virtual care, remote monitoring, and wearable devices. Indeed, for many years, I have been a big fan of wearable devices such as my Fit-bit wristband and am obsessed with monitoring my various stats such as number of steps walked or run every day, the number of stairs climbed and of, course, resting heart rate and the number of calories burned.According to the WHO, there is a growing consensus in the global health community that the strategic and innovative use of digital and cutting-edge information and communications technologies can prove to be crucial enabling factors towards ensuring the fulfilment of the WHO’s so-called triple billion targets: 1 billion more people can benefit from universal health coverage, be better protected from health emergencies, and that more people can enjoy better health and well-being in general.But is technology really helping us to receive better healthcare?One particularly important and ambitious project in this context was launched by India more than a decade ago. The Pan-African E-network (PAN) was the brainchild of India’s former President Dr. Abdul Kalam. It combines India’s competitive advantages and soft power strengths – ICT, education and health expertise – through a public-private partnership (PPP) model. The network offers tele-education and tele-medicine services using fibre-optic and satellite networks – a feature that illustrates India’s preference to showcase “frugal innovation”, where low-cost solutions address major developmental challenges. New Delhi has actively promoted this project as a “shining example” of SSC on health and education. Thus, PAN provides a unique opportunity to understand how India is able to “care for Africa at a distance”.What has been the contribution then of this ambitious global health initiative from the South and how effective have such solutions been in improving healthcare on the African continent? Vincent Duclos is a medical anthropologist and a professor at the Department ofSocial and Public Communication at the University of Quebec in Montreal.Situating mobile health: a qualitative study of mHealth expectations in the rural health district of Nouna, Burkina FasoThe empire of speculation: medicine, markets, and nation in India’s Pan-African e-NetworkAlgorithmic futures: The life and death of Google Flu TrendsDemanding mobile healthClip of Dr. Abdul Kalam's speech from a video ("Connecting Hearts- India's Pan Africa E-Network") produced by Press Information Bureau, Government of India Twitter: Vincent DuclosDan BanikIn Pursuit of Development 
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    Reimagining development — Hannah Ryder


    Do current “development” structures work? If not, why? And what solutions are out there that place greater agency in low-income countries to shape these development structures and results?Hannah Ryder is the CEO of Development Reimagined, an international development consultancy in China, which provides strategic advice and practical support to African, Chinese, and international stakeholders on issues ranging from the Belt and Road Initiative to Africa’s growth markets to green growth and China’s aid and investments. Hannah is an economist and former diplomat, and Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic International Studies in Washington DC. She is also a member of the UAE’s International Advisory Council on the New Economy and sits on the Executive Board of the British Chamber of Commerce in China.Development Reimagined’s Decolonising Global Health Report  What COVID19 informs us about on risk perceptions of Africa African Debt narratives and structures Blueprint for decolonising the development sectorChina-Africa in 2021 Twitter: Hannah RyderDevelopment Reimagined Dan BanikIn Pursuit of Development

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