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2009-10-29 | News

Does development assistance work in a globalized world?

Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2009-10-29

Does development assistance work? How does globalization and climate change affect the poorest countries? And what happens to patterns of motherhood and masculinity as the world is becoming globalized? These are a few of the questions that a number of internationally renowned researchers will discuss and give their opinions on at a conference on globalization and development at the University of Gothenburg on 29-30 October.

’The issue of whether development assistance really works is controversial. One researcher who has found development assistance to affect development positively is Finn Tarp, professor and director of the UN research institute WIDER, World Institute of Development Economics Research,’ says Arne Bigsten, professor at the Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg. Bigsten is also the director of the University’s new, cross-disciplinary Centre for Globalization and Development (, the host of the conference.

Finn Tarp is a world-leading expert in analysing the effects of development assistance on economic growth. He is going to talk about how the international development assistance system has changed and how this is affecting the African countries.

Professor Olu Ajakaiye from the African Economic Research Consortium in Nairobi, Kenya, will discuss how Africa is affected by the increasing economic and political relations between China and Africa.

Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics at the University of Gothenburg, will speak on the connection between climate change and poverty and what we can do about it by means of international agreements.

Naila Kabeer, professor of social economics at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, will discuss gender issues in the context of globalization. More exactly, she will address how patterns of motherhood, marriage and masculinity are changing with the globalization of the world. Kabeer’s research focuses on gender issues in relation to poverty and social politics in Asia.

Jan Scholte, professor at the University of Warwick and London School of Economics, has studied how to manage the world more effectively and more democratically. He talks about ’global governance’ and what voluntary organisations can contribute in order to improve it and make it work better for countries in the South.

The conference will conclude with a panel discussion on the challenges facing future research on the link between development in the South and globalization.

’The world has undergone a fast globalization process and it is important to try to understand how this international integration affects the possibilities to relieve people in developing countries from poverty. This is a goal that has been highly prioritised in Swedish politics,’ says Arne Bigsten.

Venue: Linnésalen, Seminariegatan 1B at Campus Linné, Mediehuset

Find an orientation map at

The conference will take place in the building marked 1B

For more information, please contact Arne Bigsten: +46 (0)702 134 028, +46 (0)31 786 13 58,