CFP RGS/ IBG 2014 Entrepreneurship in peri-urban villages: Understanding empowerment and marginalization in the urbanizing global south

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2014

London: 26th to 29th August 2014

Call for papers


Entrepreneurship in peri-urban villages: Understanding empowerment and marginalization in the urbanizing global south

Organizer: Rohit Madan (Cardiff University)

In the global south urbanization is changing the nature of villages, and rural entrepreneurs play an important part in this. Entrepreneurial success requires good roads, labour, communications, technology, skills and (relatively) cheap land (Buciega et al 2009, Tacoli 2006), and these are readily available in the peri-urban fringe, where urbanization is most rapid. This is considered “modernization” and “progress” – a neo-liberal mindset within which the private entrepreneur is embedded.

Private entrepreneurship has been traditionally seen as vital in achieving poverty alleviation – there are several examples of this in studies from: China (Lin 2006, Ma 2002), Tanzania (Lanjouw et al 2001), Indonesia (Leinbach 2003), and India (Eapen 2001), amongst many others. Often government policies have tried to increase the proportion of non-cultivation employment in rural areas to achieve this (Rigg 2006). On the surface entrepreneurship suggests innovation, collaboration and partnerships between the state, civil society and private sector, however, de-regulation gives entrepreneurs increased access over human/natural resources. In the peri-urban fringe therefore the entrepreneur has greater capacity to affect both empowerment and marginalization of rural communities (Kay 2002, Xu and Tan 2002).

In this session we aim to theorize relationships between rural-entrepreneurship and urbanization, shifting the spotlight away from solely the “urban” or the “rural”, but also away from simplistic preconceptions that see urbanization within binary frameworks. We aim to converge strands addressing how entrepreneurship transforms individuals and the community, but also at national/global levels – on how both governance and everyday life are transformed.

We welcome papers connecting urbanization with rural entrepreneurship that deal with (but are not limited to) the following themes:

v  How environmental and social justice are linked with entrepreneurship in the global south?

v  How entrepreneurship shapes (and is shaped by) multi-level governance and policy?

v  How can we theorize the agrarian dimensions of entrepreneurship (i.e. food, labour, multifunctionality, etc.)?

v  How is entrepreneurship co-produced (through the nature/type of individual – institutional interactions)?

v  How can we theorize the relationships between learning/education and entrepreneurship?

v  How does entrepreneurship relate to rural-urban linkages and urbanization?

v  Typologies and wider discussions / debates around entrepreneurship?

Please email abstracts of 150 words (max) with full contact details by Friday, 31st January 2014 to Rohit Madan (

CFP RGS/ IBG 2014 Witchcraft, spiritual beliefs, and the co-production of development knowledges and practices in the Majority World.

Call for papers: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2014:

London, 26th–29th August 2014

Witchcraft, spiritual beliefs, and the co-production of development knowledges and practices in the Majority World.

Convenor: Tom Smith, Department of Geography, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN

Sponsored by the Developing Areas Research Group (DARG)

Session Abstract:

Traditionally a domain of anthropological study, witchcraft, occult and spiritual practices in the Majority World have received considerably less attention from geographers. Yet the continued importance of these knowledges and practices in Africa and elsewhere prompts this session to call for discussion over their contemporary role in the co-production of development knowledges and practices.

Whilst there has been some influential work on the history of magic and occult thinking in early geographical/scientific thought (Livingstone 1990; Matless 1991), and the embodied practices of witchcraft in the Minority World (Rountree 2002), much less consideration has been offered from the realms of Development Geographies (broadly defined) to the intersections between witchcraft, occult practices, and spiritual beliefs with development in the Majority World. Yet these themes seem ripe for discussion, particularly concerning the nature of rationality, or rationalities, being applied to contemporary development agendas at a range of geographic scales. Whilst current thinking on local knowledges for development and local participation in development have done away with privileging knowledges and technologies from the Minority World, a focus on witchcraft and the occult, and its role in development practice, might ask more fundamental questions about the kinds of rationalities, moralities and ethics being applied to development agendas and goals. In Africa, witchcraft and magical practices have not receded under the variegated forms of development which have and continue to operate across a range of national contexts (Kohnert 1996; Luongo 2010). This should prompt us to consider: What role does witchcraft and spiritual belief play in contemporary forms of development practice and knowledge at a range of scales? How do such practices and beliefs intersect with the current participatory/local knowledges agenda? Do witchcraft and spiritual beliefs contribute to the co-production of development knowledges and imaginaries, both locally and nationally?

This session invites contributions which discuss how witchcraft, occult practices, and spiritual beliefs intersect with the geographies of development at a range of scales and contexts. This might include the relationship between such practices and environmental management, education, rural and urban livelihoods, healthcare and medicine, law, community organisation, among others, whilst broader theoretical, conceptual and methodological reflections are also encouraged. I would also like to invite those from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds to participate.

Please email proposals (title, 250 word abstract) or questions to:

Deadline for abstracts: 3rd February 2014

Format of the session:

The presentation of 4-5 selected papers.


Kohnert, D. (1996) Magic and witchcraft: implications for democratisation and poverty-alleviating aid in Africa, World Development 24(8), 1347-1355.

Livingstone, D. N. (1990) Geography, tradition and the scientific revolution: an interpretive essay, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS: 15(3), 359-373.

Luongo, K. (2010) Polling places and “slow punctured provocation”: occult-driven cases in postcolonial Kenya’s High Courts, Journal of East African Studies 4(3), 577-591.

Matless, D. (1991) Nature, the modern and the mystic: tales from early twentieth century geography, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS: 16(3), 272-286.

Rountree, K. (2002) How magic works: New Zealand feminist witches’ theories of ritual action, Anthropology of consciousness 13(1), 42-59.

Field courses in the Global South for Geography, Earth and Environmental Science students in UK higher education

This report identifies key issues and provides advice to new and established lecturers considering field courses in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East. It includes case studies from successful courses and a database that can be used to contact colleagues who ran the case studies to gain more details about the opportunities and challenges.  You can download the report from here (opens new website).

DARG would like to thank Elsbeth Robson, Katie Willis and Helen Walkington for producing this resource!

Congratulations to Dr. Aditi Chatterji

Congratulations to Dr. Aditi Chatterji who has been awarded a second Senior Fellowship by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) from 2013 to work on ‘Landscape and the Bengali Diaspora’.

Joint DARG and RGRG day seminar, for doctoral candidates and recent postdoctoral researchers on Agriculture and Aquaculture in the Rural South: Pressures, Opportunities and Constraints. 20th March, 2014, Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester


This seminar is about the place and importance of agriculture and aquaculture in the developing south.  Comments at the AGMs of DARG and RGRG at this year’s RGS-IBG Annual Conference indicated postgraduate students are looking for opportunities to present their work and develop a network with others in this field.  This seminar is intended to create space for postgraduate research students and early years researchers to present their work and network.

In many so-called developing countries, particularly in Asia, rural livelihoods are changing rapidly and agriculture is often only one part of a suite of activities; in parallel the scale of farm–based aquaculture is increasingly rapidly and projected to rise sharply in sub-Saharan Africa. However, many households are still highly dependent on the use of natural resources and much potential exists for the development of both agricultural and aquaculture.  In Africa in particular, the attainment of many millennium development goals is problematic, while population growth and climate change are all predicted to impact negatively.  This event is an opportunity to present work, work in progress, that addresses this field.

Key note speakers will be Prof Dave Little, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, an expert in rural aquaculture, and an agriculturalist (name to be confirmed).


I hope many of you will wish to make a 15 minute presentation, please submit your abstract of 250 words to me, Charles Howie, by 15/1/14.  I will be in touch with you by the end of January. Please register your intention to attend with Karen Rial-Lover  by 1st March 2014.  Karen will supply details of how to reach the University.  The nearest train station is Kemble, if several people all arrive at the same time, around 10am we will try and provide transport to Cirencester.  Alternatively, there is a regular and frequent National Express coaches service from Victoria coach station, via Heathrow central bus station.


We expect the day to cost £12, inclusive of buffet lunch, teas and coffees. This will be confirmed at the end of January. Looking forward to hearing from lots of you, Charles Howie, Visiting Fellow, RAU. Adviser Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, An Giang University, Vietnam.

The Caribbean Region: Adaptation and Resilience to Global Change

International Seminar to be held at The University of the West Indies,

Mona campus, Jamaica, June 24th -27th, 2014 

The Department of Geography & Geology, University of the West Indies, Mona campus, in conjunction with DARG and the Climate Change Research Group, is hosting a Regional Meeting on ‘The Caribbean Region: Adaptation and Resilience to Global Change’ at The UWI Mona campus, Kingston, Jamaica in June 2014. Global change encompasses a multiplicity of interconnected economic, environmental, social and political factors that create vulnerabilities and invoke local responses. For small island developing states like those in the Caribbean region, the impacts of global change are often negative, though positive responses to new economic opportunities created by these changes are not precluded. Vulnerabilities to global change range in scale from national and regional economies, through  terrestrial and marine ecosystems, to communities, households and other social groups..

This is the 6th meeting in the RGS/IBG British-Caribbean Geography Series which, for two decades, has brought researchers periodically together to highlight geographical and related research on Caribbean economic and environmental change. The aim once again is to provide a forum for geographers and researchers in the natural and social sciences to present and discuss their work on the impacts of Global Change on Caribbean people, societies and landscape, modes of coping and adaptation, and strategies for building resilience.

Offers of Papers are invited on the following themes:

  • Climate variability and environmental change research in the Caribbean Basin.
  • Responding to economic and environmental shocks and stresses in Caribbean urban and rural settings.
  • Impacts of environmental and economic shocks and stresses on Caribbeanterrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Offers of papers, with an abstract of not more than 300 words, should be sent by 31 January 2014 to :

  • Dr Duncan McGregor ( (Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey  TW20 0EX, UK)

Papers which fall outside these themes but are linked to the main theme will also be considered.

A Second Circular, with costings, will be sent out to those expressing an interest in attending, in January 2014.

David W.Smith Memorial Prize 2014 supported by Routledge Publishers

Essay Competition

The Developing Areas Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) annual essay competition in memory of David W. Smith .

David W Smith, who also published under the name of David Drakakis Smith, was an outstanding scholar committed to researching on Third World cities. He died in 1999.

A2 level students in England and Wales and Advanced Higher students in Scotland are invited to write an essay of up to 1500 words on the following title:

Examine the view that levels of inequality are increasing within cities in the Global South.

Essay prize: £100 in book vouchers.

Essays should be word processed, double spaced.

Essays must be received by Friday 28 February 2014 . Please include your name, school and contact details with your essay. Your teacher must confirm that the essay is your own work.

If you would like to acknowledge receipt of your essay please include a stamped addressed envelope.

Submit either hard copy or electronic copy to the address below.

ADDRESS for essays:

Gill Miller

David W Smith Memorial Prize

Department of Geography and Development Studies

University of ChesterCollege

Parkgate Road

Chester CH1 4BJ

Call for Session Proposals – RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2014

The Developing Areas Research Group (DARG) of the RGS-IBG invites proposals for DARG-sponsored sessions at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference in London (27 – 29 August 2014). The chair of the 2014 conference is Professor Wendy Larner (University of Bristol) and the theme is ‘Geographies of co-production’.

The deadline for submissions to reach DARG is Monday 9th December 2013. These should be emailed to Glyn Williams (

Please include the session title and abstract (400 words), the name(s) and affiliation(s) of the session convenor(s), and the anticipated format of the session. Convenors will be notified before 20th December whether or not DARG will be able to provide sponsorship for your session. If sponsorship can be provided, then you have until 21 February 2014 to provide the full session details (with all proposed papers and presenters) for final submission to the RGS-IBG. Full instructions and a session proposal form can be found at, and the full conference timeline is at

We look forward to hearing from you – if you have any queries, please contact Glyn Williams ( and copy Dorothea Kleine (

Doing Development Dissertations: Undergraduate Dissertation Workshop

Doing Development Dissertations: Undergraduate Dissertation Workshop

Friday 21st February 2014 9:30-16:30 

University of Manchester, University Place 2.220, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL

Planning to write your dissertation on a topic related to development geography?  This one day workshop is aimed at second year Geography undergraduate students considering doing their final year dissertation on a topic related to Development Geography whether abroad or in the UK. We will cover a range of practical and intellectual issues, such as choosing your topic, planning your fieldwork, the ethics of doing research on development, and how to finance your research projects.  In the afternoon we will have a range of interactive and participatory sessions on research methods, such as interviews, focus groups, questionnaires and using texts and images.


There is a cost of £14 to cover lunch, refreshments and a booklet.

Limited number of free places

If you feel your financial circumstances will prevent you from attending this workshop, we have a limited number of free places available.  To be considered for a free place, please send a one paragraph statement to the workshop organiser (see below) and ask your Personal Tutor/ Academic Advisor to back this up with a reference.  Your reference and the statement need to explain how you will benefit from participating and make a case for financial support.

The deadline for receipt of statements and references is 15th January 2014.

To register, please to make the payment to secure your place on this eventbrite page.  Please also fill in this workshop application form (opens word document) and send it to the workshop organiser, Tanja Bastia, IDPM, University of Manchester,