When I was invited to speak at the IDS fortieth anniversary conference, I was asked to be both challenging and brief. So in the short space available now for this article, I must be selective. In order to do that, I need to make you aware of two of my preconceptions.
The first is my belief that what once was called development research is, in fact, an attempt at both the theory and practice of cosmopolitanism.
By cosmopolitanism, I mean the effort to make the world a more hospitable place for all its citizens. But I also believe that the language, the semiotics of development today is an obstacle to engaging in the theory and practice of cosmopolitanism.