Research Aid Revisited: Understanding Swedish research aid in the current state of world development through a historically grounded analysis
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
In this paper, which builds on an ongoing study for the Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA), we take a fresh look at Swedish development research on a longer time scale. Swedish development research has, by and large, followed the same model since the 1970s. With a focus on building research capacity in the South, this model reflected the larger narrative of how Sweden promoted emancipation of poor countries. Historical records however show that SAREC was formed as an independent agency to bypass aid priorities set by recipient governments. The Swedish government also ignored international calls for re-directing national research priorities towards developing countries by confining development research into one of many sub-themes of aid. The SAREC model was largely shaped by the then prevailing ideologies and by the Cold War political landscape, a landscape gone since decades. Today humanity faces challenges – climate, biodioversity, migration etc - that require cooperation between rich and poorer countries at an entirely different scale. In this emerging global landscape of shared problems, Swedish development research risks becoming an atavism. We argue that Sweden’s development research needs re-thinking against the entire research agenda, against an updated understanding of geopolitical changes and the emerging global challenges, and against our historical experience.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
History of Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193099OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-193099DiVA: diva2:975161
Conference: Global Visions and Local Practices: Development Research in a Post-2015 World, 22 August 2016, 24 August 2016, Venue: Stockholm University, Sweden
QC 201609302016-09-282016-09-282016-09-30Bibliographically approved