The Asia Association for Global Studies:

Developing Asia: Past, Present and Future (day 1 of 2)

Date: Friday, March 28th, 2008 Time: Time TBA

Speaker: Keynote speaker: Dr. John Nauright, George Mason University

'Development' is one of the most ubiquitous yet least understood concepts of our age. It is something all governments claim to be engaged in and is considered desirable by scholars, activists, policymakers and laypeople alike. Yet it is also a highly contested term. For some, development is simply a matter of economic growth. Others maintain that it must entail improving life expectancy, literacy, education levels, and access to resources. Others yet, disillusioned by the results of development initiatives, have rejected development altogether, equating it with a self-serving aid industry that entraps the poor in a vicious cycle of dependency. Yet critics argue these 'post-development' theorists merely replicate earlier doctrines of development and have themselves become part of the problem they wish to transcend.

This conference gathers together scholars, practitioners of development, and others interested in or associated with the theory and practice of development to debate and discuss its implications and varied meanings. The conference will explore development in Asian contexts both in its objective and constructivist senses. That is, it will examine how societies and nations have developed over time and how experts or trustees have attempted to develop these same societies and nations. Has true development been occurring in Asia? Is it possible to direct development? What have been the results of past attempts to develop Asian societies or nations? Should the concept of development be retained or discarded? These are a few key questions the conference aims to debate. Finally, it is hoped that the event will foster discussion on the future of development in Asia.

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Organization: The Asia Association for Global Studies

Cost: AAGS Members: 10,000 yen
Non-members: 12,000 yen

Venue: Kobe Gakuin University, Kobe

Location: Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan


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Derrick Nault
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