The Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: Projects
April 2009‒April 2010
Sustainable development cooperation is one of the key prerequisites for global justice. But are the efforts deployed hitherto actually aiming in the right direction, or might offers of help, however well-meaning, in reality even be counterproductive? When Frankfurt University’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities commences work in Bad Homburg in the summer semester of 2009, it will be with a critical analysis of selected aspects of international development cooperation.
The series begins with a public lecture by Professor Klaus Töpfer, former United Nations Executive Director and Federal Minister. This will be followed by public lectures by two scholars who teach at renowned universities in the United States of America, Professor Thomas Pogge and Dr. David Ellerman. Their residence at the Institute over a period of several days – the programme also includes public seminars for in-depth exploration of their theses – is made possible by the Herbert Quandt Foundation and Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft under the »Schweickart Fellowship« scheme.
Guest lecturer programme
The transatlantic guest lecturer programme established in honour of Professor Nikolaus Schweickart is to run initially for a two-year period. It enables a total of four academics from universities in the United States to spend time at the Institute for Advanced Studies. Professor Schweickart has made important commitments at both the Herbert Quandt Foundation and Stifterverband. He is also an Honorary Professor of Frankfurt University.
At the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, experts from all over the world work on socially relevant issues together with academics from the local region on an interdisciplinary basis. The subject matter of the research concerned and the associated projects are closely bound up with the principal fields of research in which the University engages. The public is involved by means of lectures, to ensure that the Institute becomes a forum for dialogue between academia and society.
Die Friedenspolitik der Gegenwart und der Zukunft
Tuesday 28 April 2009, 17:00, at the Institute’s building in Bad Homburg
Professor Klaus Töpfer is the recipient of many distinctions for his commitment to environmental and development policy issues. He has held high office both in the world of German politics and in the United Nations. The holder of a PhD in economics who remains active in the academic sphere, he is constantly concerned to emphasize the ever closer connections between climate policy and peace policy.
In his lecture at the Institute for Advanced Studies, too, Professor Töpfer addresses the links between destruction of the environment and the threat to world peace. Developing countries are particularly susceptible to the effects of global warming, for which they themselves bear only minimal responsibility. Climate change results in very many additional migratory movements. People see ever shrinking prospects of feeding their families in their native lands. Klaus Töpfer was born in 1938 and educated at, among other institutions, Frankfurt’s Goethe University; he is a former Federal Environment Minister and Federal Minister of Transport. From 1998 to 2006 he was in charge of the United Nations Environment Programme. He has been an Honorary Professor in the Economics Faculty of Tübingen University since 2005 and Honorary Professor of Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development at Tongji University in Shanghai since 2007. Professor Töpfer is a member of the German Council for Sustainable Development and Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam.
|Public lecture and public seminar
Vermessung des Fortschritts
Indizes für Armut, Entwicklung, Geschlechtergleichheit
Lecture: Monday 11 May 2009, 18:30
Seminar: Tuesday 12 May 2009, 10:00
Thomas Pogge is a world-renowned philosopher of justice. A particular field of interest is global justice and hence the ever widening gap between rich and poor. Although average income worldwide has risen, so too has the number of people living in poverty.
In Bad Homburg, Professor Pogge will also be discussing the definition and measurement of progress. If the wrong targets and instruments are chosen, vast sums of money and development efforts are misdirected. Questionable definitions may also give rise to false optimism. For instance, Professor Pogge criticizes the World Bank for setting too low a threshold for the level of income at which a person is deemed to be in extreme poverty. If the limit were higher, the statistics would show that the number of poor people was greater, and the interim balance of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals would appear in a less favourable light.
Thomas Pogge was born in 1953 and is Professor of Political Philosophy and Ethics. After graduating in sociology in Hamburg, he took his PhD with John Rawls at Harvard University in 1983 with a dissertation on global justice. He went on to teach at institutions such as New York’s Columbia University. Last year he was appointed Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University. Recent publication: World Poverty and Human Rights: Cosmopolitan Responsibilities and Reforms, second, expanded edition (Cambridge: Polity Press 2008).
|Public lecture and public seminar
Towards a Theory of Unhelpful Help
Why so much development assistance does not help people to help themselves
Lecture: Tuesday 16 June 2009, 18:30, at the Institute’s building in Bad Homburg
Seminar: Wednesday 17 June 2009, 10:00, at the Institute’s building in Bad Homburg
Dr. David Ellerman has an all-round academic background and holds a doctorate in mathematics, while also possessing many years of practical experience. He founded a consulting firm in eastern Europe and has worked for the World Bank. His many interests include the analysis of various methods of development cooperation.
Dr. Ellerman will give his lecture at the Institute for Advanced Studies in English. It will focus on the reasons why so many development projects are demonstrably unhelpful. Aid organizations have played hardly any part in the boom in the Far East. Africa, a hotbed of development cooperation, has shared barely at all in the trend of worldwide development. Many projects fail in terms of the demand that they should help people to help themselves. Self-help is an expression of autonomy. Help from outside can lead to dependence.
Born in 1943, David Ellerman is a philosopher, economist and mathematician. From 1992 to 2003 he worked at the World Bank, where he was adviser to two Chief Economists, first Joseph Stiglitz and then Nicholas Stern. He is currently a visiting scholar at the University of California at Riverside. For further reading on the subject of his lecture, see: David Ellerman, Helping People Help Themselves: From the World Bank to an Alternative Philosophy of Development Assistance, Foreword by Albert O. Hirschman, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press 2005.
Perspectives for global development
Wednesday, 21 April 2010, 17.30
Shalini Randeria (Zürich University)
»How much land does a man need? Dispossession and neo-liberal globalization in India«
Mamadou Diawara (Frankfurt University), Shalini Randeria (Zurich University), Daniel Speich (ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich)
Introduction and moderation
Spiros Simitis (Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities)
Please register for the individual events: