Western-style development was supposed to have been a springboard for the poorest nations of the world to achieve democracy, prosperity, peace and security.
But many scholars and activists feel development has done little to improve Third-World societies.
An international conference to discuss those failures and suggest remedies will be held at the University of California, Santa Barbara Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15 and 16.
"On the Edges of Development: Critical Interventions" will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day in UCSB's MultiCultural Center Theater.
The conference is free and open to the public.
"Development has failed the Third World," said conference organizer Kum-Kum Bhavnani, a professor of sociology at UCSB. "Poverty has become increasingly feminized, environmental degradation continues at an alarming pace, and conditions for peace and security remain elusive.
"We hope that this gathering of active and activist scholars from all over the world at the UCSB campus---a campus well-established as a leader in offering cutting-edge insights into development and international/global issues---produces some sparks for change in well-worn debates on development and its impasses."
Friday's schedule includes a welcome by UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang (9 a.m.) and panel topics "Fictions of Development" (9:15 a.m.), "Refusing Development" (11:15 a.m.), and "Space, Hegemony, and Dissent" (2:25 p.m.).
Saturday's schedule includes "Third-World Cultural Studies" (10 a.m.), "Truth Commissions, Violence, and Human Rights" (1:30 p.m.), and "Visions of Development" (4 p.m.). Under the banners of those topics will come discussions of the consequences of corporate globalization, authoritarian and unrepresentative governments, military interventions by the U.S. and other First-World powers, and the affects of environmental devastation on the daily lives of Third-World men and women.
The conference will also include special focus on ways Third-World men and women organize against their increasing poverty and inequalities.
Concluding the conference will be a performance by Aparna Sindhoor, a contemporary Indian dancer, who will perform "Agua-Thanneer-Water" at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The performance includes a mix of dance, music, and theater to tell two stories of the human search for water, one set in India, the other in Bolivia.
The conference is hosted by the Women, Culture, Development Program in Global and International Studies.
It is co-sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor; deans David Marshall, Martin Moskovits and Melvin Oliver, and acting provost Aaron Ettenberg of the College of Letters and Science; the College of Creative Studies; the Hull Chair for Women's Studies; the Global and International Studies Program; the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center; the Institute for Social, Economic, and Behavioral Research; the Office of International Students and Scholars; the Center for Black Studies; the departments of History of Art and Architecture, and Sociology; the Latin American
and Iberian Studies Program; the Women's Studies Program; the Multicultural Center and the Women's Center.