Policy & Practice - A Development Education Review



Reimagining Development Education for a Changing Geopolitical Landscape
Autumn 2012

Guest Editorial: Reimagining Development Education for a Changing Geopolitical Landscape

Matt Baillie Smith

DE and the Changing Geopolitics of Development

Ideas of change have always been central to development education (DE), but it is less clear whether DE itself responds well to change.  As individuals, communities, regions and nations in Europe face brutal austerity measures and growing marginalisation, as citizens in North Africa struggle and suffer in seeking to alter their political systems, as some countries of the global South begin to flex new economic and geopolitical muscle, and as poor communities already feel the effects of climate change, it is not always clear if or how DE is responding to this changing landscape.

The relatively small number of DE practitioners and researchers, the scarcity of resources and fragility of programmes and projects in the face of government cuts or changes to non-governmental organisation (NGO) policy, are more likely to encourage a retreat to familiar spaces and practices.  This makes a reimagining of development education for this changing world all the more challenging.  A key part of meeting this challenge is to understand how development education is shaping and could be shaped by the big debates and questions.  Where, for example, might DE fit into the Beyond 2015 agenda, not only in what follows the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but also the processes that shape this?

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