Margaret Anstee Centre: international workshop on trends and challenges in development

At the beginning of December 2018, the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies hosted its first international workshop, on the topic of “Emerging trends, challenges and opportunities in international development.”

Workshop attendees included experts and renowned academics from the UK, The Netherlands and Canada. The main aim was to provide a forum for discussing and taking forward critical debates in two areas: how ‘traditional’ donors and ‘rising powers’ are re-shaping their development relationships; and natural resource politics and the extractive industries in Latin America.

The first day’s debate focused around (so-called) ‘traditional’ donors and middle-income countries developing partnerships for international cooperation, including Brazil, China, India and Mexico. This agenda emphasized a number of narratives and practices emerging in a policy transition shaped by new power constellations.

The second day explored key issues in relation to extractive industries and their influence on economic development, socio-environmental conflicts, and the relationship between multinationals, resource-rich countries and governments, donor agencies and local communities. Based on different case studies, the debate highlighted macro-trends linked to the extraction of oil and minerals, the politics and impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility in the mining industry, the rising power of China as a key player in the extractive and energy industries, and the key role materiality of resources has in shaping socio-environmental conflicts at local levels.

The Margaret Anstee Centre was founded in 2018, and supports research into development and international relations. Its work will initially focus on current trends in international development with the aim of supporting inclusive social and economic change around the world. Under the direction of Dr Emma Mawdsley, the Centre currently hosts two Margaret Anstee Research Fellows, Dr Georgia Cole and Dr Daniela Sanchez Lopez.

The two workshops were very successful, and a small start in moving the Margaret Anstee Centre into academic and policy visibility.