Special Issue "Development at the Crossroads of Capital Flows and Migration: Leaving no One Behind?"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2018
Prof. Dr. Annelies Zoomers
This Special Issue starts from the idea that inclusive development—and opportunities to achieve the sustainable development goals—will very much depend on flows of capital and flows of people moving in the ‘right’ direction. Over the final decade, the total volume and diversity of capital flows has rapidly increased. In addition to large scale foreign and domestic investments, the world is full of flows of ODA-money by traditional donors, but also money originating from the BRIC countries and new charities (such as the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation, etc.), and a new community of social businesses and impact investors. At the same time, international migration has rapidly increased, producing worldwide flows of remittances; remittance flows to developing countries are estimated to amount $429 billion in 2016 (1).
Given current dynamics of capital investment and migration, what kind of mobilities are taking place and in what direction. What are the new geographies of development, and what are the consequences of the moving-in and moving out of capital/people (including goods and ideas) for ‘local’ development and achieving the various sustainable development goals.
More theoretically, we argue that flows and circulations of capital and people merit a more central place in theorization about development. “The so-called mobilities turn in social science has undoubtedly been of major significance in challenging the sedentarist assumptions embedded in much social thought” (2), but this is often not reflected in discussions about ‘local’ development (3). Globalization has given rise to new and intensified flows and circulations which will shape places, development trajectories and livelihood possibilities in distinct ways. Local development plays out not just in fixed settings, but is increasingly shaped by the way people are attached to and participate in networks. Rather than looking at ‘local development’ in terms of local people having access and control of local resources’ we acknowledge the importance ‘networked space’ and positionality (4). Given the rapid transformations, accepted notions such as ‘development as a freedom’ (5) are increasingly under pressure. Defining development as ‘expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value’, we would better understand the link between well-being and the emergence of new types of flow-driven developments coming from the outside. Given the current goal of ‘leaving no one behind’, and benefit from new types of ‘flow-driven’ development, people need to be able to ‘plug in’, ‘deal with the foreign’ and jump on the right train. There is a need for a conceptual update.
1. Word Bank Group. Migration and Remittances. 2016. Available online: http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/661301460400427908/MigrationandDevelopmentBrief26.pdf (accessed on 13 July 2017).
2. Walters, W. Migration, vehicles and politics: three theses on viapolitics. Eur. J. Soc. Theory 2014, doi:10.1177/1368431014554859.
3. Zoomers, A.; van Westen, A.C.M. Translocal development, development corridors and development chains. Int. Dev. Plan. Rev. 2011, 33, 377–388.
4. Zoomers, A.; Leung, M.; Westen, G. Local development in the context of global migration and the global land rush: the need for a conceptual update. Geogr. Compass 2016, 10, 56–66.
5. Sen, A. Development as Freedom; Oxford University Press: New York, NY, USA, 1999.
Prof. Dr. Annelies Zoomers
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- Flows of capital, flows of people
- Large scale investment in land (food, biofuels, dams, mining, urban infrastructure etc.)
- Migration and remittances
- Moving in, moving out
- Right to the city – right to countryside
- Inclusive business – inclusive cities?
- Gated communities and enclosure
- Eviction and displacement
- Resettlement and compensation
- Sustainable livelihoods
- Development as freedom
- Sustainable Development Goals
- Inclusive development