Working group 6: Political imagination of development

Eeva Mäkinen, University of Lapland

Political research on development has tended to focus on development as an object or tool of power, ranging from its historically exploitative nature to its neocolonial relations. The concept of development has been haunted by the question “What is development?” due to limitation of the ontological tools available to analysis; that ‘development’, as the theoretical stumbling block, reflects

some of the limits inherent in the ways in which development theories have approached the question that totalize the object of development as a problem to be solved. This intentional view of development, as something to be achieved with specific end goals and means, may distract, or keep development in an apolitical cage of exploring additional dimensions of how we may understand new ways or forms of political thought of development. This raises questions of political autonomy of development, as well as rethinking or formulating politics of development beyond traditional paradigms of development. The working group welcomes papers in optional form (e.g., research proposals, idea papers, manuscripts) from a variety of perspectives that deal with the question of political imagination of development.

Please submit your abstracts of papers of max. 300 words to