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Learning Disobedience: Decolonizing Development Studies

Amber Murrey, Patricia Daley

2023 United Kingdom

This is a book about teaching ‘disobedient pedagogies’ from the heart of empire. The authors show how educators, activists and students are cultivating anti-racist decolonial practices, leading with a radical call to eradicate development studies, and counterbalancing this with new projects to decolonize development, particularly in African geographies.

Being intentionally disobedient in the classroom is central to decolonizing development studies. The authors ask: What does it mean to study international development today? Whose knowledge and perspectives inform international development policy and programming?

Building on the works of other decolonial trailblazers, the authors show how colonial legacies continue to shape the ways in which land, wellbeing, progress and development are conceived of and practiced. How do we, through our classroom and activist practices, work collaboratively to create the radical imaginaries and practical scaffolding we need for decolonizing development?

Introduction: Learning Disobedience from the Heart of Empire

1. Coloniality, Racial Logics and the Ethos of International Development

2. Impoverishment is an Active Process: Capitalism and Development

3. Development and Violence/Development as Violence

4. Development Without the Peoples of the Global South

5. Resistance and Autonomous Spaces Beyond the NGO: Marronage, Social Movements and Hashtag Dissent

6. Critiquing Heteronormativity and the Male Gaze: Queering Development and Beyond

7. Decolonizing the State and Reworlding: Global Imaginaries of Liberated Futures

8. Beyond Tokenism: Pluriversals and Decolonizing Solidarity for Thriving and Dignified Futures