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Events

Thursday, June 13, 2019

 
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GRP ID Annual Postgraduate Conference
Oculus OC 1.08

The Politics of Hope - Reviving the Dream of Democracy and Development

GRP-ID Annual Postgraduate Conference 2018/2019


Thursday 13 June 2019
9.30am – 5.00pm
University of Warwick
Oculus Building, Room OC 1.08


What is it that people most want in life? What are their hopes and expectations? Global surveys show people of all ages, genders and nationalities list ‘an honest and responsive government’ among their top three priorities. The other two priorities that regularly top the list are ‘a good education’ and ‘better healthcare.’ Hence, people clearly want not just that their politicians deliver development, but also that they can be held to account. Democracy, good governance and development are intertwined in a hopeful way.

However, the practice is less encouraging, and people are increasingly disillusioned with regard to those issues. Although people still tend to support the abstract ideal of democratic governance, world-wide there is increasing dissatisfaction with how democracy is working in practice. Democracies don't necessarily perform better compared to dictatorships. Moreover, there is growing support for strong, authoritarian leaders. Populist leaders capture voters with a narrative mixing xenophobia with promises to boost economics grown and development. This gap between the optimistic theory and the more doubtful practice raises profound questions for scholars to consider, such as how can politics play a role in realising people's hopes and expectations?

See here for the programme of this exciting conference on reviving the dream of democracy and development.

There will be a drinks reception after the keynote address.

ALL WELCOME!!

Entrance is free but please register below for the conference.

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GRP ID Keynote Address by Greg Power
Oculus OC 1.08

Getting to Grips with Politics in Complex Places: Behaviour, Institutional Change and Political Development - Keynote Address by Greg Power

Thursday 13 June 2019
5pm - 6pm*
University of Warwick
Oculus Building, Room OC 1.08

This lecture will be based on the book that Greg Power is currently writing which draws heavily on his own first-hand experience of working with politicians in some of the world’s most complex political environments.

One of the book’s central arguments is that the functionality of political institutions is determined more by behavioural and cultural norms and practices, than it is by formal processes, rules and structures. It argues that international assistance needs a far better understanding of this dimension of politics if it is to succeed in supporting the transition to more representative political systems.

The examples seek to illustrate how lasting change tends to be built from the existing political logic at work, aligning the interests of individual politicians and the institutions within which they operate. Often the most successful programmes of reform will play directly and simultaneously to a combination of political self-interest and higher principle. Critically though, that approach starts by engaging with political problems through individuals rather than institutions, exploring the logic of politics in different contexts from their perspective, and seeking to alter behaviour rather than seeing ‘success’ embodied in new institutional structures.

The book argues that although international donor’s agencies have in recent years claimed to “get politics”, the form of politics that they are comfortable with is an anodyne and anaemic version of the reality. The key to meaningful political development is to help politicians to become better at politics, but international assistance is still a long way from this form of practical support.

*This lecture will follow a short ceremony for the 2018/2019 Photography Competition winners. Please join us for a drinks reception after the conclusion of this ceremony.

All welcome!

Entrance is free but please register below for the Keynote Address.