It’s been a pretty busy week on the Reduit campus for the academic staff. Though students are already on holiday as exams are over, this is not our case (pauvres de nous!).
It’s been a whirlwind of marking of scripts, of placement reports and of dissertations, plus we’ve had our external examiner visiting and examiners boards as well as various talks and lectures.
I’ve attended two of those this past week, the first by our own external and the second by the Politial Science external.
Prof Jan Servaes (from Univ of Queensland, Australia) who talked about ‘Communication for Development and Social Change’ gave some info about the needed move from the Western ‘diffusion and adoption’ model and Lerner’s Modernisation framework to a more bottom-up participatory approach which favours indigenisation and multiculturalism.
Put simply, this means that development should involve people at grassroot level in the process… (for example in the implementation of the UN MDGs or Millenium Development Goals)
But I have some doubts regarding whether this is achievable – I fear that much of the international organisations’ money is spent at the level of bureaucracy rather than where it is most needed.
The British political system
The second talk I went to was given by Prof Paul Shelley (from LSE, UK) who elaborated on the British First Past The Post system of elections. A very interesting talk on the evolution of the system from monarchy to present day and discussions about Proportional Representation.
The clear expose helped understand the behind the scenes of political power, specially how, once they had gained access to power, the Labour Party no longer wanted PR which they had been campaigning for when they were in the opposition.
Looks like politicians are the same everywhere, isn’t it?