Past Event

Sussex Development Lectures

Building intellectual communities for a world in crisis: lessons from Africa

23 April 2020 17:00–18:30

IDS, Convening Space Institute of Development Studies

Pandemics, economic crises, climate collapse – these all pose existential questions about intellectual communities. What is our purpose, and how will we endure? If we are to survive, we must learn from the experiences of African intellectual communities, who have faced down structural adjustment and the concomitant rise of authoritarian regimes and civil conflict.

This Sussex Development Lecture focuses on one pan-African community – CODESRIA. It tells the story of what it took for them to endure. At heart, this is a story about using collective deliberation to resist and reimagine social forces. Their resistance pioneered an early model of the knowledge commons, and suggests possible modes of intellectual survival for us today.

This lecture is part of the Sussex Development Lecture series: Global development challenges: towards a politics of hope.


  • Nimi Hoffman, Lecturer in International Education and Development, Centre for International Education, University of Sussex








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