Global development and rights

The SDGs highlight how development needs to be built upon international rights-based principles and practices and a fairer, more equitable economic system. Scholars working under this cluster explore a range of human development challenges using a rights-based framework.

We study issues related to SDG-17 the partnership for development, in particular we have a strong focus on development financing though aid, concessional and non-concessional debt mechanisms, and remittances and migration. We examine the way partnerships for development are evolving through South-South and triangular cooperation, as well as the role of traditional development players like NGOs, state donors and international financial institutions. Our members work with Australian and international civil society organisation to promote rights-based development. 

Doctoral Fellows

Tatiana Andersen Assetization in the Life Sciences: A Critical Political Economy of Military Biosciences.

David Pedersen COVID-19, Crisis and tourism in Indonesia: a critical political economy

Julie Cunningham I'm Still Here, International Labour Migration and the Children Left behind: Hearing the Voices of children Traversing Transnational Households in Tonga

Specific Projects

Associate Professor Susan Engel is working with Dr Adrian Bazbauers at the University of New South Wales, Canberra on a multifaceted project examining the history, operations and impacts of the 32 multilateral development banks (MDBs). The World Bank is the largest and best known of what is an increasingly complex network of MDBs that link development finance to export finance and private capital and the smaller banks and the interactions between the banks are little researched.  

Dr Hironori’s Onuki’s project investigates the development of Japan’s immigration regime and its implications for the lived experiences of so-called “unskilled” migrant workers. Drawing on historically and ethnographically informed research, this exploration of the everyday struggles of these workers, whose existence has been largely “invisible” to the majority of Japanese nationals and many people in the world under the prevailing myth of Japan as a homogeneous society, attempts to provide topical and vital insights to consider the future scenarios for Japan and beyond 

Dr Farzana Tanima’s project with colleagues mobilises Dillard and Vinnari (2019) proposals for critical dialogic accountability practices that address the concerns of marginalised and under-represented groups, rather than privileging finance capital. We approach this through participatory fieldwork with(in) an NGO that provides development programs, including microfinance, intended to empower poor women in Bangladesh. We engage with microfinance representatives, women borrowers, their husbands, program volunteers and gender change activists on the problems and conditions of possibility associated with microfinance and women’s empowerment programs. By engaging competing discourses and constructing counter-narratives, based on poor women’s lived experiences with neoliberal microfinance programs, we demonstrate the potential of critical dialogic praxis to support marginalised groups’ struggles to hold powerholders accountable for their (in)actions and to promote more enabling development approaches.