Ulrich Brand at the Department of Political Sciences is part of the “Alternatives to Development” working group.

Description: The group exists since 2010, has around 50 members (3 from Europe, the others from Latin America) and we discuss current hot topics on the continent. The group consists of scholars, activists, NGO members, former politicians. Until the pandemic we met once a year for 10 days in Latin America. The meetings usually consist of a field trip, a public conference and a 4-days long retreat to exchange and develop ideas, evaluate current dynamics in Latin America and the world. Topics were, among others, a critique of the very idea of “development” and its colonial legacies, resource extractivism in Latin America and its consequences, the room of manoeuvre of progressive governments to foster environmental policies, the role of the state as well as the role of social movements in social-ecological transformations. The group was very important to push critical international debates around “resource extractivism” and “green extractivism”.

“To me as a researcher in Europe, nothing better can happen than this group in order to be updated and to really understand the complexity of the topics I am doing research on. The richness of debates in our whatsapp group is extraordinary; no third-party funded project could create this kind of knowledge.

Duration: Permanent