This paper argues that two types of brainization (Newtonian mind-oriented rational/mechanical/objective way of being, thinking and behaving) in Development Studies (DS) hinder us from truly understanding poor people's realities as they are, with respecting context specificity and diversity, which is a fundamental ethical conduct of DS. The author also discusses that such brainization also functions as an apparatus of paradigm maintenance of the developed countries through regenerating value systems and behavior patterns of the WEIRD (White, Educated, Industrial, Rich and Democratic) through development policies, programs and projects.
First, from the literature review, the author explains that there are two types of brainization: 1) which perpetuates objectification and mis-representation of the poor people in developing countries as “problematic opposite others” and 2) which accelerates standardization of mind-oriented way of thinking and behaving as the universal default setting of “appropriate” human-being and societies.
Second, to examine the assumption, the author conducts a comparative review (art works, project team, overview, frequently used words, and report structures) of the two World Development Reports (WDR): 2000/2001 (“Attacking Poverty”) and 2015 (“Mind, Society, and Behavior”). The analysis reveals that the first type of brainization is observed in WDR2000/2001, while the second type of brainization is clearly observed in WDR2015. The paper also argues that in the both reports, whatever methodologies are adopted, the life and realities of people in developing countries are kept understood intentionally partial or problematic for paradigm maintenances of DS.
Finally, the author seeks for some scenarios for de-brainization of DS through learning from human body and its fundamental features and analogies, for truly understanding poor people's realities as they are, which should also be a pathway for reconstructing DS itself.
In this article, the Japanese version of Serge Latouche's book on his de-growth strategy (〈Datsu-Seicyou〉 wa Sekai wo Kaerareruka?, Sakuhinsya, 2013) is critically reviewed, while paying special attention to its localism. The book provides a useful insight into how development studies can be reoriented, to better address issues pertaining human security; it cannot possibly be attained without rectifying growth-oriented international economic order, which has brought about the proliferation of socially, environmentally unsustainable development practices. Latouche's proposal to promote locally-based development initiatives shows a way to refurbish the existing economic order; in a locality, people could utilize locally available resources to make a living, while their topmost priority would be their material as well as emotional wellbeing, rather than economic growth. At the same time, Latouche makes a dubious assumption that de-growth is to be attained by solely promoting locally based development initiatives, and fails to pay due regard to the potential roles that the state and market forces can play in degrowth initiatives. To highlight this pitfall, this article explores how the state and market forces can propel, and should be capitalized on, in moving forward de-growth. Latouche simplistically posits a dichotomy between the state and locally autonomous de-growth, or between marketization and locally self-reliant de-growth. This would deny those people in need, their right to pursue livelihood improvements through the participation in wider markets, or with recourse to support from the state authority. The state and market forces can further human-centered, ecologically-sound development. Their potential in contributing to de-growth initiatives should not denied a priori.
When a development study fails to accurately comprehend a situation, there is a tendency to analyze the study's methodological problems and propose improvements. Though this happens repeatedly, studies continue to fail. No doubt, such practical efforts to improve studies is necessary, but at the same time, it is necessary to analyze the real reasons for repeated failure. For example, why have international organizations like the World Bank, with a great number of prominent researchers and advanced safeguard policies governing the quality of studies, failed to comprehend local situations at project sites? This article will tackle this question not by exploring practical possibilities to improve the quality of institutions or their policies, but by focusing on the function of the studies themselves, in order to avoid the “trap of improvement”—the vicious cycle between improvement and failure, in which the strong will to improve is a parasite of failure (Li 2007).
This paper presents a hypothesis that development studies have “instrumental effects” (Ferguson 1994) beyond their apparent objectives. The World Bank's Inspection Panel is examined as a case study in this paper because applications for inspections indicate the possibility that studies failed to accurately reflect local situations. In addition, all relevant information is publicly accessible making it possible to conduct this research. Thorough document analysis of 17 projects filed to the Inspection Panel indicates five reasons for why studies fail, and also brings to light the complicity of experts with different types of knowledge (scientific/universal and practical/contextual). This paper proposes the necessity to conduct more research on power and ethics of experts equipped with the above mentioned knowledge.
When the state of development studies is re-considered these days, ethics is one of the central issues, and the knowledge produced by development studies and the power structure which surrounds it became the target of re-examination from the presupposition of the alliance of knowledge and power. Also, in the realm of environmental conservation, all of science, knowledge and power are the points at issue. Political-ecologists have led its discussion, but their discussion has the limitation in terms of an investigation of the variety of knowledge, the nexus of knowledge and the agency of stakeholders.
The purpose of this paper is to describe how diverse knowledge surrounds the site of development and stakeholders show their agencies to produce and circulate it with an attention to the ethics of animal lover and the traditional culture of a local society. For this purpose, this study examine what is discussed in four different dimensions of knowledge, that is, abstract theories proposed in the academic domain by scientists, a practical opinions of scientists explained in non-academic and for-the-generalmarket books, information of the site of development sent by outside donors, and statements made on the site of development by outsiders and local people.
As a result, it is revealed that while the idea of “community-based” is generally supported in all dimensions, not only scientific knowledge but also non-scientific one, such as ethics, culture and the state of a development site is the subject of argument. Also, it is demonstrated that each stakeholder including local people is trying to strategically handle information so as to gain more fruits. These results draw further issues for development studies, namely, the importance of introducing the knowledge of humanities to development study and inquiring the legitimacy of knowledge to local people.
In Mongolia, the natural disaster ‘Dzud’ occurs from winter to spring by complex factors, e.g., snow, storms, low temperatures, and lack of vegetation.
The objective of this study is to analyze the causal relationship between livestock mortality numbers and the complex factors of Dzud.
Surveys were conducted in Dundgobi Prefecture, the most affected area of Mongolia due to Dzud between the winter of 2009 and the spring of 2010.
Data collected include herders' perception of factors causing livestock loss in Dzud, livestock numbers of each household before and after the Dzud, and coping behavior and properties of 148 livestock households selected at random after being classified by livestock numbers.
Analytical methods were factor analysis, correlation analysis and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM).
The study newly reveals two points.
First, the causal relationship and severity between livestock mortality numbers and the complex factors of Dzud became clear. A trigger of livestock loss is storms. The result of this study will contribute to effective policy making of central and local government for countermeasures of Dzud.
Second, the quantitative and empirical effects of the coping behavior, ‘Otor’, the moving of livestock to unusual pasture lands during a disaster, became clear: it mitigated livestock losses. Mobility of herders and livestock is the most effective way of mitigating the adverse effects of natural disasters in Mongolia. The result will contribute to discussions on mobility and modernization for future policy development in arid rangelands.
This study examined return and international scientific collaborations of highly cited researchers who had moved abroad from developing countries, using curricula vitae and bibliographic data. Collaborations between migrated talent and their colleagues in the countries of origin could have a positive impact, such as in knowledge creation and accumulation of scientific and technological human capital in the home countries. The results showed that during their stay abroad after earning doctorate degrees, 54 of 143 targeted researchers (37.8%) whose papers were correctly identified had published at least one paper in collaboration with researchers in their countries of origin. The migrant researchers tended to obtain their doctoral degrees abroad. However, those who earned a degree in their originating countries tended to collaborate more with researchers in those countries and later return home. The results also tentatively indicate that career-related factors, such as scientific achievement, motivate these collaborations.
Two-thirds of refugees in the world are said not to be in emergency situations, but trapped in protracted refugee situations (PRS). UNHCR advocates three durable solutions for refugees; (1) voluntary repatriation, (2) local integration, or (3) resettlement to a third country. However, these solutions are not really feasible in light of the fact that the number of refugees in PRS has been increasing. This may have happened because international agencies tend to pay little attention to the idea of social inclusion, especially as it relates to social relations or belonging.
Through a case study of Afghan refugees in Iran, this study aims to analyze the roles and meanings of a school managed by refugees themselves from the viewpoints of belonging and approval. The number of Afghans in PRS is approximately 2.6 million and they occupy the largest number of refugees in such a situation. The majority of the Afghan refugees live in urban areas, where they establish and operate their own schools for their children without any external assistance. This study was carried out in one of these schools in Tehran. The teachers and the students at this school are all Afghans. Semistructured interviews and participant observation were the principal tools utilized in the study.
It was found that the Afghan refugees have been frequently discriminated against and have encountered difficulties in their lives. They appear to have been often excluded from Iranian society. The study identified three practical roles of these schools as follows: (1) The school can offer alternative learning opportunities for many Afghan children. (2) It functions as one of a few working places for Afghan women. (3) It is a place where Afghan mothers can gather and communicate with each other. These roles have been explored by means of employing the concept of ‘I-basyo’ (a psychological place where one feels one belongs). This might be of importance in understanding more inclusive strategies for refugees in new social contexts.
Laos has been promoting development of social and economic infrastructure for remote rural communities and mountain regions where people have been engaged in subsistence agriculture since the introduction of the market economy mechanism in 1986. But the development of infrastructure such as road access and irrigation equipment is insufficient in rural areas especially isolated from the city. In this paper, we analyze the economic effects of road accessibility and irrigation equipment on agricultural production, sales, income, expenditure and savings based on a household survey which was carried out in Vientiane province in 2011.
We found that irrigation equipment has a strong impact on the production of rice in the dry season, and road accessibility has a strong impact on the production and sale of rice during the wet season. Accessible roads to the market in the wet season and irrigation equipment in the dry season play an important role in increasing the volume of rice production and sales. Road accessibility improves the quality of life by enabling access to health facilities and education along with increasing consumption of production factors and consumer goods. In addition, it provides an opportunity to earn income from the non-agricultural sector. Infrastructure development contributes to supplementing the information asymmetry and helps with the issue of lack of goods market. It also encourages the spread of market-oriented economy in rural areas.
The development of infrastructure is indispensable but this alone is not sufficient for rural development. Diffusion of financial intermediation functions, contracting farming and commercialization of agricultural crops by distribution networks are also critical. Incentives for expanding agricultural production of farmers will work when contract farming and commercialization of agricultural crops are promoted by the government. In order to increase farmers' income, irrigation and roads development and support with financial systems and sale networks by government is very important.