International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs) is a pluralist network of progressive economists across the world, engaged in research, teaching and dissemination of critical analyses of economic policy and development. Its members are motivated by the need to strengthen and develop alternatives to the current mainstream economic paradigm as formulated by the neoliberal orthodoxy. The organisation is based in the South and led by economists based in several developing countries, but membership of the network is open to all those committed to developing and using alternative heterodox tools of economic analysis appropriate for meeting contemporary development challenges.
Concern with the development process has been central to the study of economics from its inception. However, in the past two decades, the tradition of development economics that emphasised structural change and systemic processes has been increasingly marginalised in the teaching and practice of economics, just as policy approaches that relied upon market regulation, government intervention and collective action also lost ground. Now more than ever, it is evident that the mainstream economic paradigm, as formulated by neoliberal orthodoxy, has failed to achieve sustainable, equitable and participatory growth. Therefore there is a need to develop critiques of the mainstream paradigm as well as to develop alternative analytical approaches and policy proposals that are based on current realities but aimed at moving economic processes in a more progressive, egalitarian and democratic direction.
With this basic vision, the objectives of IDEAs are:
- to encourage and develop heterodox analyses of economic development issues through research, theoretical debates, empirically-based investigations and policy discussions;
- to create an international medium for the exchange of scholarly and policy-oriented work on such issues;
- to increase the visibility of and access to works and analyses of alternative heterodox groups and scholars;
- to engage with fellow economists, particularly young economists, in order to enhance capacity building in research, teaching, policy making and advocacy; and
- to promote interaction between research activities, policy advocacy and activism, and to reinforce the links between academics, activists, policy makers and other practitioners in networks working on similar issues.
IDEAs was established in September 2001, following a conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on ‘Rethinking Development Economics’ organised by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) with the support of Ford Foundation. The first Executive Committee was chosen at that conference, with the mandate to establish and build the IDEAs network. Subsequently there have been some changes in the Executive Committee, with the approval of members.
With financial support from UNRISD, a secretariat was set up in New Delhi in October 2001. For ease of financial transactions, IDEAs was formally registered in London, UK, as a charitable friendly society in August 2002. IDEAs is registered as an Industrial and Provident Society Number IP29339R.
The address of the registered office is:
International Development Economics Associates
34 St. George’s Manor
Oxford – OX44TN
The address of the secretariat is:
International Development Economics Associates
C/o Economic Research Foundation
104, Munirka Enclave
Nelson Mandela Marg
New Delhi – 110067, India.
Telephone: +91-11-26168791, 26168793.
Both the London and New Delhi offices have received funding from various sources since 2002. The organisations that have funded IDEAs by providing core support or sponsoring particular activities include UNRISD, Ford Foundation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Christian Aid and ActionAid International. In addition, many of its activities have been carried out with local or regional organisations that have borne part of the costs. Both the London and Delhi offices have tax-free status, and the Delhi office also has clearance from the Government of India to receive foreign contributions.
IDEAs provides for two kinds of membership with a view to facilitate a dynamic setup which is open, democratic and participatory, while at the same time capable of furthering its basic vision and overall objectives.
Regular members are invited to join based on a decision of the Executive Committee, which would take account of their suitability from the point of view of the objectives of the organisation and their demonstrated willingness to contribute to the functioning of the society. These are usually drawn from diverse locations and specializations, and include several eminent economists involved in various academic, policy and activist interventions directed at the promotion of a more equitable, participatory and sustainable growth and development process. The regular members of the society elect the Executive Committee.
The second category, network members, consists of those who are free to register if they so desire. Depending on their interests and qualifications, they are involved in various activities of the network. In a span of just a few years, the network membership has expanded dramatically, indicating that a network such as this fills a clearly-felt need, especially among economists in developing countries, and has significant potential to grow in the current international context. The range and evolution of the membership reflect the progressive nature as well as the sheer dynamism and heterogeneity of the network. Currently, there are more than 2600 members (including academicians, researchers, policy analysts and activists) drawn from 114 countries spread over various parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, as well as from Europe and North America. There are several others who regularly visit the website (which currently receives about 360,000 hits per month) and also send in comments, responses and articles for the website.
The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee of IDEAs consists of persons who are all well-known economists and public intellectuals within their own countries:
Professor Pasuk Phongpaichit
Emeritus Professor, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Professor Jayati Ghosh
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Professor C.P. Chandrasekhar
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Professor Andong Zhu
Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Professor Erinc Yeldan
Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
Professor Alicia Puyana
Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO), Mexico City, Mexico
Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal
Professor Andres Lazzarini
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Esteban Perez Caldentey
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Santiago, Chile
Third World Network Africa, Accra-North, Ghana
Professor Parthapratim Pal
Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India
The Advisory Board
The Advisory Board of IDEAs consists of the following eminent economists:
Professor Jomo K. Sundaram
FAO Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development
Former UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development,
United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), New York
Founding member of IDEAs and the first Chairperson of the Executive Committee
Professor Thandika Mkandawire
Professor of African Development, London School of Economics (LSE)
Former Director, UNRISD, Geneva
Professor Samir Amin
Forum du Tiers Monde-Third World Forum
Professor Maria da Conceicao Tavares
Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro
Professor Kari Polanyi Levitt
Professor Diane Elson
University of Essex, United Kingdom
Professor Korkut Boratav
Turkish Social Science Association (TSSA),
Dr. Arturo O’Connell
Member of the Board of Governors
Central Bank of Argentine Republic
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Professor Prabhat Patnaik
Emeritus Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi, India
Professor Dani Rodrik
Harvard University, USA
Professor Amartya Sen
Harvard University, USA
Professor Joseph Stiglitz
Columbia University, USA
Professor Rolph van der Hoeven
International Institute of Social Studies
The Hague, Netherlands
The Secretariat in New Delhi is supported by a team consisting of economists, researchers and other support staff including web managers, etc. There is also a Company Secretary based in the UK who manages the UK office and accounts.
RESEARCH AND DISSEMINATION
IDEAs undertakes a wide array of activities in keeping with its vision of developing, consolidating and promoting progressive and heterodox approaches, to critically analyse contemporary economic problems of growth and development and to encourage alternatives that are more equitable, sustainable and participatory. These activities fall into two broadly intertwining categories: those which are largely research and advocacy based, and those aimed at promoting greater interaction and capacity building through the hosting of workshops and conferences around the world.
The website (www.networkideas.org or www.ideaswebsite.org), managed by the IDEAs secretariat, is the basic means of continuous interaction and dissemination of the theoretical and empirical analyses by members on diverse development themes (global trade and financial flows, employment patterns, gender issues, sustainable development, macroeconomic policy, etc). There is also ongoing research for the website, which is regularly updated not only with featured articles but also with analyses of current events, reviews of literature, economic briefs on particular topics, and so on. Resources are being sought to increase research activity in more areas, such as detailed country studies, explanations and reviews of economic concepts and of economic and development literature on particular themes.
The IDEAs secretariat undertakes specially commissioned papers and articles for international organisations, and has contributed papers to the United Nations’ Department for Social and Economic Affairs, the UNDP, the McArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, amongst others. IDEAs has undertaken a major research project on comparing the macroeconomic implications of trade and financial liberalisation in China, India, Mexico and Turkey, for UNDP. Another major research project on ‘Understanding the Nature and Implications of the Expanding Presence of India and China in the Global Economy, with Special Reference to Asia’ has also been carried out, and the results of the research were discussed and disseminated at an international workshop held in New Delhi, with participants from many Asian countries. The continuing financial and economic crisis in general and its spread to Asia in particular has made the work on financial regulation extremely relevant. The IDEAs Secretariat has begun the work on the project titled ‘Financial Sector Regulation for Developing Country Financial Regimes: The case of Asia’. This would analyse the effects of the ongoing financial and economic crisis in the Asian region and its implications for financial regulation. In addition, in-house research and projects on specific themes of contemporary interest-such as regional trade agreements, globalisation and inequality, financial crises and their aftermath-are undertaken. The Secretariat is currently involved in the work of producing a policy brief on regional trade agreements (RTAs) meant for parliamentarians, policymakers, etc. The secretariat also brings out a Working Paper Series based on recent research output. IDEAs Working Paper Series (IWPS) was launched in 2006 to draw attention to and ensure a wider reach for papers that have special contemporary relevance in terms of topic and quality. The papers are largely empirical but cover theoretical debates as well. The IDEAs Working Papers are available at http://www.networkideas.org/working/papers.htm
Besides ensuring the diffusion of analytical discourse, the website also serves as an instrument for promoting easier access to critical information on issues of public interest and development as well as for the dissemination of heterogeneous resources such as teaching and other relevant study materials, policy documents, alternative surveys, data and statistics, proposals for alternative development models and other action plan documents. The website also makes available pedagogical inputs such as course materials on a range of subjects-theories of growth and development; international finance; open economy macroeconomics and globalization; the history of economic policy in the context of the history of economic thought; international trade, finance and development; problems of accumulation; political economy of development; and advanced monetary theory. These include syllabi and course material put together by eminent economists. There are plans for initiating free online courses for young scholars, policy analysts and development activists with prior commitments from well-established specialists in the field. Material on the website is made available freely without payment, and is accessible to all those who express interest in receiving the information for research and educational purposes.
It is a specific aim of IDEAs to provide an interface between its own research and academic activities and the work of civil society organisations and activists, journalists, and other policy advocacy groups. This is to also ensure the transformation of its research output into other types of developmental tools. One key attempt in this direction is to complement the efforts of various levels of civil society organizations by providing the necessary research inputs for their policy-oriented campaigns and knowledge dissemination activities. IDEAs has also been actively engaged in developing policy briefs along with other policy advocacy groups in countries like India, Mexico and Thailand. In one such effort, IDEAs has acted as the secretariat for ‘the Independent Commission on Banking and Financial Policies in India’, an independent body which was set up in February 2005 for reviewing the reforms in the Indian banking sector, and has made alternative policy recommendations to the Government. It has also co-organised workshops on and helped develop policy briefs for FTA negotiations between Thailand and the United States. The building and strengthening of multiple platforms is necessary, IDEAs believes, for an effective and holistic pursuit of alternative, just and inclusive development options.
EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:
Building Links within the Developing South
While the website is the basic means of continuous interaction for the network-and there is a core staff engaged in research and related activities to produce material for the website-actual interaction and face-to-face discussion is crucial to promote greater exchange of views, understanding and capacity to work together. Therefore IDEAs also organises various activities to encourage dissemination of alternative research findings, as well as greater interaction and academic contact at a personal level, in the form of conferences, seminars and capacity-building workshops held in different parts of the world. In keeping with the IDEAs vision of facilitating a pluralistic, progressive and participatory network, great care has been taken to ensure that the overall participation for all these events is representative of divergent social and economic groups, regional and gendered perspectives.
The dissemination of alternative perspectives on development among young economists and development practitioners is a major objective of IDEAs. Some of the more important activities in this regard have been capacity-building workshops for young economists, policy makers and activists. Since 2002, such workshops have been held in Turkey, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico, Kenya, Ethiopia and China. The express purpose of these intensive workshops on topical themes is to bring together young economists from around the world in order to promote a shared recognition of the urgency for developing theoretical understanding, critiquing established approaches and exploring alternatives to promote more inclusive, democratic and participatory development. While screening the applicants, special emphasis is given to those from the low income developing countries, women and other marginalized groups. For the most part, all the costs incurred (travel, boarding and lodging) during the workshop and conference periods have been covered by IDEAs, but we have also had some workshop participants financed by their own institutions.
These intensive workshops are conducted by internationally-renowned experts making analytical presentations drawing on alternative theoretical paradigms as well as case studies from a wide range of historical and geographical backgrounds based on perspectives from within the third world. From 2006 onwards, the initiative to provide extended participants’ sessions where the young participants can present their own work and receive feedback from peers and colleagues has also been undertaken. The aim is to assist the young scholars in:
- gaining knowledge and familiarity with existing formulations of alternative and heterodox research tools and methodologies;
- enhancing capabilities in integrating such analysis towards formulating more progressive approaches in research, teaching, policy making, advocacy and campaigns; and
- fostering a network among the participants from diverse organisational backgrounds and providing an interface between different work approaches to development.
These capacity building exercises have proved to be very successful, as several participants have gone on to work in academia, policy making and other capacities where they have been able to use and develop the ideas and analyses they absorbed during the workshops. They have also continued to interact with each other, thereby building an international community of young economists, policy makers and activists interested in heterodox analyses.
IDEAs has also organised a number of international conferences in India, Brazil, Ethiopia, Turkey, Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico, Kenya, Argentina and China. They provide a platform for scholarly as well as policy-oriented debate and discussion, and are occasions to strengthen intellectual links among academicians and practitioners working towards building heterodox approaches on similar issues concerning economic growth and development processes. These conferences often follow the capacity-building workshops with the view to providing increased exposure to the young workshop participants on varied development issues.
Besides the formal and structured events, these seminars, workshops and conferences also provide an excellent opportunity for informal interaction, cultural exchanges and get-togethers in a relaxed and casual environment, which facilitates a blend of lighter moments with intensive and wide-ranging discussions. The events have been very successful because of this quality, which allow not only for valuable learning but also for the merging of different visions: of the young and the experienced, the policy makers and the academics, and even that of participants from the developed and the developing worlds.
IDEAs has also held special seminars and sessions at large international events such as the World Social Forums (in Brazil, Kenya and India), the Socialist Scholars’ Conference (USA), the Annual Conference of the Middle Eastern Technical University in Turkey, the Annual Conference of the African Economic Association (in Ethiopia) and the Conference of the Turkish Social Science Association. These are part of the broader knowledge networking activities undertaken to build closer links and coordination with other progressive networks, practitioners, scholars and activists within the third world.
Indications of the success of IDEAs activities can be found in research leading to alternative policy formulation; wide dissemination and discussion of the results of research; and engagement with policy makers, civil society activists and democratic movements. Besides substantial policy-related research output, there has been a significant expansion of IDEAs network with substantial and growing interest in the IDEAs website.
During 21-23 September 2008, IDEAs got the opportunity to link up with other Research-based NGOs, Advocacy groups and Social movements during ActionAid International’s Asia Strategic Alliance Meeting held at Bangkok. ActionAid International had brought all their Asia funded partner organisations together to explore opportunities for further collaboration. Many pointed out the crucial need for capacity building among the youth and in universities to fight the neoliberal economic world order and to create and expand the space for alternative thinking and analyses. This reflected on the strength of IDEAs’ founders’ vision. Another recurring theme was the need for increased networking between research-based NGOs and the Advocacy groups and Social movements, again a major objective of IDEAs. The space for IDEAs and its activities is now clearly defined and increasingly acknowledged.
The most immediate outcome of IDEAs’ participation in the ActionAid International meetings was that IDEAs was invited to participate in the Arab NGO Network on Development (ANND) workshop on ‘Democratic Reforms in the Arab region: A focus on socio economic policies’ at Beirut during 9-10 October. This introduced IDEAs to some of the major social and economic issues under discussion among civil society groups in the Arab region and brought forth possibilities of cooperation for the future. In 2009, IDEAs was invited to participate in ANND-UNESCWA Arab Regional Preparatory meeting before the WTO Ministerial conference.
Policymakers and opinion-forming interests are now more willing to listen to alternatives to the policies that dominated economic discourse during the past three decades. There is visible interest in IDEAs activities and requests from the policy establishment to engage with IDEAs. An example of this influence going forward was the invitation received by two leading members of the IDEAs executive team to conduct an international training workshop in May 2009 for central bank functionaries in the Asian region under the auspices of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on the lessons from the financial crisis and their implications for financial regulation.
A list of events that IDEAs has organised since 2002 follows:
- Two plenary sessions at the First International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy convened by the Ethiopian Economic Association at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 3-5 January 2002. The broad topics were: ”Economic Development in Africa: From Adjustment to Poverty Reduction, What is New?” and ”Agricultural Production, the Role of the State and Liberalisation”. Around 500 people attended the conference, and the participants came from diverse backgrounds.
- Regional workshop entitled ‘New IDEAs in Development Economics’, Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 26-28 January 2002, which included about 30 development economists from the region as well as from other developing countries.
- Two workshops at the World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 4-5 February 2002, on ‘Rethinking Development Economics in the Age of Finance’, which also served to publicise IDEAs among progressive social scientists and social activists.
- Workshop for young economists and policy makers on ‘Financial Liberalisation and Policy Space for Developing Countries’, 5-9 September 2002, Bilkent University, Ankara, for 30 young economists and policy makers from across the world.
- Regional meeting and special session in Ankara, Turkey, on ‘Ten Years of Financial Crises in the Developing World: What have we learned?’ organised as part of the Annual Meeting of the Middle Eastern Technical Universities International Conference VI, 11-15 September 2002.
- Support for a conference on ‘New Directions in Growth Economics’, October 2002, Bahia, San Salvador, Brazil, attended by economists from different parts of Latin America and Europe.
- International conference (funded by UNDP, New York) on ‘International Money and Macroeconomic Policies of Developing Countries: Theoretical and Policy Issues in the Current Context’, Muttukadu, Tamil Nadu, India, 16-19 December 2002. This involved the participation of 35 eminent economists from across the world, as well as 40 Indian economists.
- Seminar on ‘Fluid Finance, Global Crises and the Search for Alternatives’ as part of the Asian Social Forum, Hyderabad, 2-7 January 2003. This was attended by approximately 250 people, including activists, economists, and a range of others, including many non-economists interested in these issues, and evoked a lot of response.
- Workshop on ‘Workers, Nation States and the Role of Finance’ as part of the World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 23-28 January 2003. The audience of about a hundred consisted of academics, activists, people involved in policy making, and concerned citizens.
- Workshop entitled ‘A (in) Compatibilidade Entre Fluxos De Capital Desregulados E O Desenvolvimento Economico’ (The (in) Compatibility between Deregulation of Capital Flows and Economic Development), 29 January 2003, held at and in collaboration with the Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The audience comprised of Brazilian economists and policy makers, some in the Central Government, and students from the University as well as IDEAs members from Malaysia and India.
- Workshop for young economists and policy makers from developing countries in Asia and Africa at Bilkent University, Ankara Turkey, 1-5 September 2003.
- Capacity building workshop, in collaboration with ActionAid Asia, for a group of 10 young Afghan economists/social scientists in December 2003 at New Delhi, around the theme ‘Macroeconomic Policy in Developing Countries’.
- A series of events at the World Social Forum held in Mumbai, 16-21 January 2004, around the theme ‘Resisting the New Imperialism’. There was a panel discussion on ‘The Instruments of Imperialism: war, trade and finance’, attended by more than 2000 people, along with seminars on ‘The Agrarian Crisis’, ”Trade Volatility and Financial Fragility’, ‘Women and Economic Rights’, ‘The World of Labour’ and ‘The Impoverishment of Nation States’, each of which was attended by around 200 participants.
- International conference on ‘The Economics of the New Imperialism’, held at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, on 22-24 January 2004, with 20 international participants, 25 national participants and an audience of around 150 economists and students.
- Session on ‘Resisting Imperialism: Globalization, development and inequality’, Socialist Scholars Conference at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York City, USA, 12-14 March 2004.
- Workshop for young Thai economists, policy makers and activists on ‘Liberalisation, Macroeconomic Policies and Development Options in Asia’, in collaboration with MAIDS programme of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, on 25-28 September 2004, with around 35 participants.
- Workshop for young Philippine economists, policy makers and activists on ‘Liberalisation, Macroeconomic Policies and Development Options in Asia’ in collaboration with Action for Economic Reforms, University of Philippines, Manila, on 24 September-1 October 2004, with around 70 participants.
- International conference in association with FLACSO Mexico and CEPAL Mexico, on ‘Comparing Development Strategies and Experiences’, 7-9 October 2004, with around 35 participants from Latin America and 10 from other parts of the world.
- Workshop for young African economists on ‘Macroeconomic Policies, Agrarian Change and Development’, 12-16 December 2004, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Economic Association, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with 45 participants from 14 countries in Africa.
- International conference on ‘The Agrarian Constraint and Poverty Reduction: Macroeconomic Lessons for Africa’, 17-19 December 2004, with more than 70 participants from across the world.
- International conference on ‘Economic Liberalization and its Implications for Development Policy with Special Reference to India and Mexico’, Mexico City, 24-25 October 2005, co-sponsored with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO). This had around 50 participants from Latin America and Asia. In addition, there was very substantial participation from the student community of UNAM and FLACSO, so that the audience numbered more than 100 people on both days.
- International workshop on ‘Financial Crime and Fragility under Financial Globalisation’, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India, 19-20 December 2005. This involved around 40 economists, policymakers, lawyers and legislators from various parts of the world.
- Workshop for young economists, policymakers and activists on ‘Reclaiming Development in the Age of Financial Globalization’, Bilkent University, Ankara, 31 August-3 September 2005, co-sponsored by Bilkent University Department of Economics. There were 42 participants from Africa, several countries in Asia, three countries in Latin America and 20 from Turkey at the workshop as well as 8 instructors.
- Special session and participation at the Turkish Social Science Association International Conference on ‘Acts of Resistance against Globalization from the South’, Ankara, 5-7 September 2005, which involved more than 200 participants from different parts of the world, including of course from Turkey.
- Capacity building workshop for 38 young economists and policymakers on ‘Macroeconomic Constraints and Policy Alternatives in Developing Countries’, over 23-26 January 2006, in Muttukadu, India.
- International conference on ‘Post Liberalisation Constraints on Macroeconomic Policies’, in Muttukadu, Tamil Nadu, India, January 27-29, 2006. This involved a total of 85 economists and policymakers from different parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as some economists based in Europe.
- The second international workshop on ‘ASEAN Expert Collaboration for FTA Negotiations with the United States’, in collaboration with GSEI (Good Governance for Social Development and Environment Institute), Bangkok, Thailand, 3-4 August 2006. This brought together economists from Mexico, Chile, and Central America along with Asian counterparts from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand to consider detailed aspects of ”model FTAs” as well as other negotiating issues. A special public hearing at the last session also involved policymakers, members of the Thai negotiating team, media and activists.
- International capacity building workshop on ‘Policy Trends, Growth Patterns and Distributional Outcomes under Globalisation’, 21-24 August 2006, at Shanghai, China in local collaboration with the Shanghai Administrative Institute (SAI), Shanghai, China at the institute premises. About 45 young scholars from round the world and 12 instructors from India, Malaysia, Mexico, Italy, Argentina, China, Thailand, Brazil and Ghana participated.
- International conference on ‘Economic Openness and Income Inequality: Policy options for developing countries in the new millennium’, during 26-27 August 2006, again in local collaboration with the Shanghai Administration Institute (SAI). The conference had about 90 participants from 22 countries.
- Seminar on ‘Generating Decent Work in a Liberalised Framework: Current challenges in the Indian context’ during the India Social Forum, New Delhi, India, 11 November 2006.
- Seminar on ‘Strategies of Economic Justice in a Globalised World’ jointly organised by ActionAid International and IDEAs at the World Social Forum, Nairobi, Kenya, 24 January 2007
- International conference in Memory of Guy Mhone on ‘Sustainable Employment Generation in Developing Countries: Current constraints and alternative strategies’ in partnership with ActionAid International and Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, 25-27 January 2007. The conference had noted economists conforming to the heterodox school of thought as well as many young scholars from different countries, as per the basic objective of IDEAs to give space and exposure to budding economists at an international level.
- Workshop entitled ‘Development Experiences and Policy Options for a Changing World’, Beijing, China, 3-5 June 2007 in partnership with the Institute of Economics, at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing and the School of Economics, Renmin University, Beijing and supported by Christian Aid – UK, UNDP India, and ActionAid China. It had about 47 young participants, representing a wide range of regional and academic or work backgrounds, and 8 instructors.
- International conference on ‘Policy Perspectives on Growth, Economic Structures and Poverty Reduction’, Beijing, China, 7-9 June 2007, in partnership with the Institute of Economics, at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing and the School of Economics, Renmin University, Beijing and supported by Christian Aid – UK, UNDP India, and ActionAid China.
- International conference on ‘A Decade After: Recovery and Adjustment since the East Asian Crisis’, Organised by IDEAs, Global Sustainability and Environment Institute (GSEI), ActionAid International and Focus on the Global South, 12-14 July 2007, Bangkok Thailand.
- Training workshop on ‘State of the World Economy (SOWE) Research Programme: Training agenda for a global policy model’, New Delhi, December 2007.
- Workshop on ‘India, China and the World Economy’, Magnolia Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India, 24 January 2008. The workshop had a participation of around 65 with representation from China, US, Mexico, Africa as well as many Indian participants.
- The ‘Economic Literacy and Budget Accountability for Governance: Leaders/Practitioners Workshop’, held in partnership with ActionAid International, Gurgaon, 26-31 January 2008.
- International conference on ‘The Value of Money in Contemporary Capitalism’, World Wildlife Fund Auditorium, 172 B Lodi Road, New Delhi, India, 12-13 September 2008. About 170 participants from India and around the world took part in the conference. The group included academicians, policymakers, students and members of the civil society.
- International workshop titled ‘The Emerging Global Economy: Is there a challenge from the South?’ in collaboration with Argentina’s Ministry of Labor, with support from the National Research Council of Argentina and the School of Economic Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 24-25 September 2008.
- International conference on ‘Income Distribution, Globalization Issues and Policy Challenges’, in collaboration with the UNDP, ILO, ECLAC and the Ministry of Labor, Government of Argentina, Buenos Aires, 22-23 September 2008.
- Panel discussion on ‘New Directions in Financial Regulation’, WWF Auditorium, New Delhi, 7 February 2009. It was attended by a total of about 125 participants from the academia, government and the media.
- International conference on ‘The Crisis of Neo-liberalism in India: challenges and alternatives’, in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, 13-15 March 2009.
- International conference on ‘Re-regulating Global Finance in the Light of the Global Crisis’, in collaboration with Renmin University and Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 9-12 April 2009.
- Workshop on the ‘Nature and Implications of the Expanding Presence of India and China, with Special Reference to Asia’ in partnership with Research and Information System for Developing countries (RIS), New Delhi, India, 5-6 November 2009.
- Asian Regional Workshop on ‘Free Trade Agreements (FTAs): Towards inclusive trade policies in post-crisis Asia’ in collaboration with the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD) and Good Governance for Social Development and the Environment Institute (GSEI), Bangkok, Thailand, 8-9 December 2009.
- International conference on ‘Reforming the Financial System: Proposals, constraints and new directions’, Muttukadu, Chennai, India, 25-27 January 2010.
- International Conference on ‘Recovery or Bubble? The Global Economy Today’, New Delhi, India, 29-30 January 2010.
- International Workshop on ‘New Directions in Financial Regulation’, organised by International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs) and the Centre for Banking Studies, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 22-26 November, 2011.
- International conference on “The Global Economy in a Time of Uncertainty:
Capitalist trajectories and progressive alternatives”, organised by International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs), Muttukadu, Chennai, India, 24-26 January, 2012.
- International Seminar on ”Whither Global Capitalism?” organised by International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs), Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New Delhi, 28-29 January, 2012.
- Workshop on Financial Evolution, Regulatory Reform and Cooperation in Asia, IDEAs, FEI & CSS, Seoul National University, 17-18 May, 2013, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
- Sixth South-South Institute on “Democratic Renewal Versus Neoliberalism: Towards Empowerment And Inclusion”, as part of the third three-year phase of the Africa/Asia/Latin America Scholarly Collaborative Programin collaboration with CLACSO and CODESRIA, Santiago de Chile, September 25 to October 3, 2013.
- International Workshop on ‘Macroeconomic Management and Financial Regulation in Core Countries and the Periphery’, organised by CAFRAL, Levy Economics Institute & IDEAs, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India, 6-10 January, 2014.
- Symposium on “Money, Finance and the Real Economy: What has changed? What is changing?”, organised by IDEAs and ActionAid India South-South Knowledge Hub, 11 January, 2014, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
- Comparative Research Workshop on “Inequality and Climate Change: Perspectives from the South”, as part of the third three-year phase of the Africa/Asia/Latin America Scholarly Collaborative Program in collaboration with CLACSO and CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal, 24 – 25 July, 2014.
- Seventh South-South Institute on “Inequality, Democracy and Development under Neoliberalism and Beyond”, as part of the third three-year phase of the Africa/Asia/Latin America Scholarly Collaborative Program in collaboration with CLACSO and CODESRIA, Bangkok, Thailand,3- 8 November, 2014.
- International Workshop on “Diverse Regional Responses to the Global Crisis: Implications for finance and the real economy”, 24-26 January, 2015, Muttukadu, Chennai, India.
- Panel Discussion on “The Global Economy and its Uncertain Future”, November 4, 2015 at Juniper Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India.
- International Conference on “Financial Instability and Inequality in an Economically Integrated World”, Tsinghua Sanya International Mathematics Forum (TSIMF), Phoenix Town, Sanya, Hainan, P. R. China, 22 – 24 February 2016.
Further details on these activities are available on the following link IDEAs Activities >>
We envisage IDEAs to emerge as a participatory, pluralistic and democratic network, which would then have a life and momentum of its own. Given the success of past activities, IDEAs now has a large membership across the world, especially in developing countries. There is consequently a need to develop more active national and regional committees, which could then pursue a wider range of activities within the heterodox tradition of IDEAs. In addition, there is very large scope to develop specific research activities and dissemination of such research not only among network members but among a wider audience.
Three perceptions have encouraged IDEAs to take a new direction: First, since IDEAs now has access to a growing network of heterodox economists and an expanding pool of participants trained at workshops, it has become imperative to examine how these resources can be put to work to influence policy debates and outcomes. Second, influencing debates and outcomes requires greater interaction between network members and actual actors-democratic movements, civil society organisations, parliamentarians and policy makers-which has to be facilitated by the activities of the organisation. Third, since IDEAs is a South-based network it should not merely be seeking to strengthen the economic policy autonomy of developing countries, but contribute to better interaction and greater integration among developing countries.
The organisation has already experimented with initiatives of this kind, as for example, in connection with the ongoing negotiations on the Thailand-US Free Trade Agreement and the initial efforts to restore confidence in the ability of Afghan economists to influence policy in that country.
We have plans to develop IDEAs into a broad-based and participatory network, with regional branches in different continents, and to strengthen the research base and the publication of relevant materials that can be put to use in particular contexts. For this, we need as much support and participation as possible, from all those who feel that alternative heterodox approaches to development economics are essential for ensuring a more democratic world.