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Learning Disobedience : Decolonizing Development Studies - Amber Murrey

Learning Disobedience

Decolonizing Development Studies

By: Amber Murrey, Patricia Daley

Paperback | 20 August 2023

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This is a book about teaching 'disobedient pedagogies' from the heart of empire. The authors show how educators, activists and students are cultivating anti-racist decolonial practices, leading with a radical call to eradicate development studies, and counterbalancing this with new projects to decolonize development, particularly in African geographies.

Being intentionally disobedient in the classroom is central to decolonizing development studies. The authors ask: What does it mean to study international development today? Whose knowledge and perspectives inform international development policy and programming?

Building on the works of other decolonial trailblazers, the authors show how colonial legacies continue to shape the ways in which land, wellbeing, progress and development are conceived of and practiced. How do we, through our classroom and activist practices, work collaboratively to create the radical imaginaries and practical scaffolding we need for decolonizing development?

About the Authors

Amber Murrey is an Associate Professor of Political Geography at the University of Oxford and a Fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford. Her award-winning scholarship on political ecologies and economies in Central Africa focuses on dissent and resistance amidst racialised extractive violence. Amber is the editor of 'A Certain Amount of Madness': The Life, Politics and Legacies of Thomas Sankara and Associate Editor of The African Geographical Review.

Patricia Daley is Professor of the Human Geography of Africa and The Helen Morag Fellow in Geography at Jesus College, Oxford. She co-edited, with Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, The Routledge Handbook on South-South Relations.
Industry Reviews

'Murrey and Daley take no prisoners in their sharp decolonial analysis, they are not apologetic in their decolonial critique development, and they are fired up in their envisioning of the future. 'Learning Disobedience' is far from a post-development treatise, it is a work of dismantlement of that which harms humanity in the name of humanity.'

-- Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, author of 'Beyond the Coloniality of Internationalism: Reworlding the World from the Global South'

'This is the book we've all been waiting for to divest from Development Studies. It engages the abolitionist imperative as imaginable, intelligible, and doable; as a labour of love, solidarity and abundance rather than refusal or 'cancel culture'.'

-- Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa, Assistant Professor in Human Rights and Politics, Department of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science

'Invites us to abolish development, not as simple rejection, but as a life-affirming pathway into liberation and freedom beyond coloniality. Development is violence actively producing impoverishment, epistemic dispossession, and erasing peoples of the Global South knowledges, experiences, and sensibilities. Through a plurality of African intellectual anticolonial and decolonial archives and musical soundtracks of liberation, Murrey and Daley enacts a practice of epistemic disobedience that refuses colonial heteropatriarchal and racial global imaginaries of international aid and humanitarian interventions. Full of intellectual energy and radical love for the learning possibilities of autonomy, communities of struggle and marronage ... a must-read'

-- Dr Rosalba Icaza, Professor of Global Politics, Feminisms and Decoloniality, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Netherlands

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