Perspectives on the Democratic Developmental State

Perspectives on the Democratic Developmental State

WORKSHOP and BOOK LAUNCH organised by CROP, UIB Global and the School of Government at the University of the Western Cape.

27-28 February 2018 | Cape Town, South Africa


[NB: Please contact for access to background paper mentioned in the call.]

n 2015, CROP, UiB Global and UWC's School of Government launched an initiative aimed at critically assessing the complex relationships between democracy, capitalism and the role of the state in promoting development focused on social justice.

Productive discussions on this topic conducted over the course of the past two years have now culminated in a book entitled "The Democratic Development State: North-South Perspectives", edited by Chris Tapscott, Tor Halvorsen, and Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario, and scheduled to be published early in 2018.

The book features a number of geographically contextualised interpretations rather than a definitive consensus on the essence of a democratic developmental state (DDS) and raises a number of critical questions about how sustainable growth and social justice can be achieved in an increasingly globalised world order.

The positions advanced by the authors and editors need to be critically examined and put into a broader perspective in order to continue the debate on this scientific and politically relevant topic and to continue the collaborative network established in the 2015 seminar. In that respect, a number of the questions raised during this seminar would benefit from further discussion and assessment:

  • How can historical experiences in the South and in the Nordic countries shed light on the governance structures most suitable for dealing with inequality and poverty in the 21st century?
  • How can we conceive of, and implement, a model capable of "governing" the markets and of pursuing a long-lasting plan towards a sustainable and inclusive development?
  • What roles are required of the state, local government, civil society and international actors for the DDS to effectively address the challenges of social injustice and inequality, while maintaining sustainable development?
  • What are the levels of poverty, inequality, and environmental threat that current states are able to afford and how feasible is the achievement of the Agenda 2030 goals?
  • What is the relevance of universities and research-based knowledge for DDS?

This workshop seeks to continue the debates initiated in 2015 by critically addressing the topics raised in the questions above. We ask interested participants to submit a short paper (max.1500 words) addressing one or more of these points, identifying the most salient issues that still need to be researched / addressed in order to reconcile democracy and sustainable development, and reduce inequality in the 21st century.

An abstract of the current book's main findings is included as a background paper. All proposals are expected to critically refer to it in order to promote a fruitful dialogue.

(extended to 10 December)

NB: The paper must not exceed 1500 words and should follow the editorial guidelines of the CROP Brief Series (LINK). A CV no longer than one page must also be submitted.


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