Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا

Re-thinking Development in the South: A Tri-continental Perspective

15 May-9 June, Dakar, Senegal

Number of visits: 1338

Within the ambit of the APISA-CLACSO-CODESRIA collaboration, a series of activities and programmes has been scheduled for implementation over the period to the end of 2007, among them an annual summer institute. The institutes are designed to offer research training to younger scholars on the diverse problems and challenges facing the countries of the South. In doing so, it is hoped also to promote a revival of comparative thinking and cross-regional networking among a younger generation of Southern scholars. The institutes will be rotated among the three continents where the lead collaborating institutions are located, namely, Africa, Asia and Latin America. This way, participants in the institutes who will also be drawn from all three continents will be exposed to the socio-historical contexts of other regions of the South as an input that will help to broaden their analytical perspectives and improve the overall quality of their scientific engagements. The inaugural institute was held in 2005 in the Latin American/Caribbean region of the global South, with Havana, Cuba, serving as the host city.


The underlying objective of the institutes is to offer research training opportunities to participants on various key issues relevant to the South, and on the theoretical and methodological perspectives that might be appropriate for gaining a full understanding of the specific situation of countries and peoples located outside the core of the international system such as it is presently structured. The main premise of this effort is the glaring inadequacy of the theories and methodologies developed in the North, and crystallised in the mainstream social sciences, to provide the required instruments for the attainment of a sound understanding of the problems confronting - and, in many cases, overwhelming the countries of the South. Through the institutes, it is hoped to be able to mobilise young scholars from across the South to reflect on the alternatives that are available for overcoming the present situation. This way, the institutes will contribute to the promotion of a better knowledge and understanding of the theories and methodological approaches developed in different regions of the South as alternatives to the dominant, Northern-biased paradigms that have shaped the social sciences so far. It is also expected that participants will become acquainted with the local intellectual environment in the regions where different sessions of the institutes are hosted, and strengthen their comparative research capacities in the process. In sum, the institutes are structured to serve as a unique forum for enhancing a deeper understanding among a younger generation of Southern scholars of the history, politics, economy and culture of the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and offer an opportunity to participants to develop long-lasting collaborative relationships with their counterparts from other Southern countries.

December 30 2009