Posts

Cape Town Book Launch: “The World after GDP”

 

You are invited to join us on 11 May 2017 at 18:00 for the Cape Town launch of GovInn director Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti‘s latest book, “The world after GDP”. The launch will take place at 129 Rochester Road, Observatory.

“Trump leaves citizens a job to do”, Op-ed on Business Day, 23.11.2016

Lorenzo Fioramonti in his latest contribution to Business Day wrote:

“The election of Donald Trump to the White House has been a cold shower not only to many Americans but also to myriad intelligent individuals committed to social transformation and justice the world over. Many know very well that the mainstream neoliberal approach to economic development and politics, as well as the current version of globalisation, has created injustices and tensions. We also know that political systems, not only in the US, are rigged to favour special interests, corporate giants and lobbying, which often is the euphemism for legalised corruption. Yet we found it paradoxical that a man who embodies the most vicious aspects of global capitalism and a natural disrespect for social welfare and the working class can be viewed as the man of change.”

Please read the whole contribution here.

 

Conference Report: “Comparative Regionalism: State of the Art and Future Directions”

Conference Participants

Participants of the Comparative Regionalism Conference

During the first week of November, the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) had the honour to host a conference on comparative regionalism in partnership with the Research College (KFG) “The Transformative Power of Europe” at the Free University Berlin.

KFG-directors Prof. Tanja Börzel and Prof. Thomas Risse together with GovInn director Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti and senior research fellow Dr. Frank Mattheis combined forces to bring together authors of the recently published Oxford Handbook of Comparative Regionalism with experts in Africa. After two similar events of the KFG in Singapore and Rio de Janeiro, Pretoria constituted to third and last stop for the authors to engage in a global dialogue.

GovInn invited colleagues from various South African universities with a track record in studying regionalism but also African experts with practical experience in supporting regional integration. The different panels addressed regionalism from a variety of angles by looking at specific governance issues (e.g. the politics of regional migration), geographic specificities (e.g. what makes regionalism in Africa distinct?) and the broader connections between regionalism across the globe (e.g. how do interregional diffusion processes work?). The debates touched on a broad variety of issues of central relevance to Africa, including the gap between formal regional organisations and regionalising actors on the ground.

The debates were also informed by the current higher education crisis in South Africa. The roundtables witnessed debates about ways to address Eurocentrism in the study of regionalism, not by provincialising regionalisms but by combining the production of regional knowledge with a dialogue between sub-disciplines and theories.

Prof. Risse in action

Prof. Risse in action

GovInn and the KFG turned out to be well placed to congregate scholars from the wider field of comparative regionalism so as to collectively engage with crossing the boundaries of their disciplines and regions. Yet, as discussed in the closing roundtable, the eclecticism produces new challenges for methodological rigour, funding schemes and selection criteria of academic journals. The momentum generated by the growing number of scholars interested in the study of comparative regionalism generates many new questions and challenges for the field to take into account as it further institutionalises in research programmes and state of the art.

Conference Programme “Comparative Regionalism”

‘Everyone should be a Madonsela’, 02.10.2016

In his latest op-ed for Business Day, GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti reflects on the legacy of former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela and considers what it means to practice good governance. Are strong institutions, governments or individuals responsible for this and how does the future of South Africa, our institutional governance and  our future leaders look from here on in? Read the full article here.

Scared of a downgrade? Why it is time to question the politics of numbers

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) will host GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti on the 3rd of November 2016 as part of their HSRC seminar series in collaboration with the University of Pretoria. In this seminar, he provides a critique of the current ‘data fever’, especially in the context of credit ratings and international benchmarks, showing both the direct consequences and indirect implications of the increasing power of numbers. At the same time, it investigates innovative attempts to resist the invasion of mainstream statistics by providing alternative measurements or rejecting quantification altogether. An innovative and timely exposé of the politics, power and contestation of numbers in everyday life.

Kindly RSVP by 1 November 2016

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: acgrossberg@hsrc.ac.za

 

High level expert group on the measurement of economic performance and social progress, Durban 2015

 

The Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi (SSF) Commission Report raised a number of questions about GDP, including its neglect of (i) non-market and social transactions, (ii) stocks and flows of physical, natural and human capital, and (iii) broad distributional issues. The OECD- hosted High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic and Social Progress (HLEG) has been working on developing further the recommendations of SSF. In particular the suitability of GDP, and alternatives to it, for developing countries has been a focus of the discussion. At the same time, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) process has been put in train by the UN system and has proposed a number of goals and targets as successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2015 onwards. All of this links to and feeds in to ongoing processes in developing countries to develop robust indicators of human, social and economic development.

With this background, the Government of South Africa, the OECD-hosted High Level Expert Group, Initiative for Policy Dialogue (Columbia University), Center on Global Economic Governance (Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs) the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management (Cornell University) and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (Cornell University) are organizing a conference to bring together the best thinking and practice in going beyond GDP in the measurement of wellbeing and development in Africa. The conference was supported financially by these institutions, and by the OECD, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the International Labour Organization, the Roosevelt Institute and the Ford Foundation.

The conference organisers included the South African Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel, Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, OECD Chief Statistician Martine Durand and Cornell Professor of World Affairs Ravi Kanbur.

The focus of the conference was on conceptual frameworks and on statistical systems for measuring human, social and economic development, and on tracking the evolution of multidimensional inequality and wellbeing. The agenda was structured around eight 90 minute sessions. The participants were leading analysts and practitioners to facilitate a discussion between methods and frameworks on the one hand and the practicalities of implementation and monitoring on the other and included GovInn director Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti. For the full programme follow the link here.

Let us find win-win ways to make education affordable

In his latest op-ed for Business Day GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti considers the possibilities of affordable education in the wake of recent flare ups of student protests across South African universities. You can read the full article here.

Visual Representation of Lorenzo Fioramonti's LENS address

LENS Design for Sustainable Service-Product Systems and Distributed Economies Workshop, 11-12 August 2016

On August 11 2016, GovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti gave the keynote address at the annual LENS Design for Sustainable Service-Product Systems and Distributed Economies workshop, held in Stellenbosch.

The event seeks to unite two aspirational developments – that of Design for Sustainability, as applied in Distributed Economies. The seminar’s final outcome is to see how these concepts could be included in curricula at HEI’s.

The picture shown is a visual representation of Professor Fioramonti’s address.

Visual Representation of Lorenzo Fioramonti's LENS address

Visual Representation of Lorenzo Fioramonti’s LENS address

For more imformation about the event, view the invitation posted on the GovInn website or visit LENSin Project website.

“The Second International Seminar 2016: Sustainable Product-Service Systems and Distributed Economies,” 11-12 August

GovInn director Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti will be a keynote speaker at the 2016 LeNS project (Learning Network on Sustainability) seminar entitled “Sustainable Product-Service Systems and Distributed Economies.” The seminar is a two day event taking place on 11 and 12 August 2016 at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, Cape Town.

An invitation to the event can be viewed below, with more information being found on the LeNSin Project website.

 

‘Brexit opportunity for Britain to find the courage to change’, Business Day 27.05.2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 8.39.12 AM

 

THERE is much talk about a potential exit of the UK from the European Union (EU), which will be decided by British citizens through a referendum in June. There are a number of unanswered questions over how this may affect Europe-Africa relations.

The latest polls indicate a neck-and-neck battle, with voters divided on the issue in roughly equal percentages. Politicians are split between those wanting to stay in Europe provided that Britain’s special status is preserved, and those who call for a unilateral exit regardless of the conditions offered. Only a minority believes in the intrinsic value of a united continent. This is perhaps not surprising for a country that has never been enthusiastic about the European integration project.

Please click here to read the entire article.