Cultural considerations of development in Asia and Africa
Between 1 July and 31 December, the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Oriental Studies in collaboration with the Warsaw School of Economics’ Department of Sociology carried out a project to prepare a textbook on the cultural aspects of development in Africa and Asia. The project was addressed mainly to academic staff who in their research deal with the broadly understood development issues; civil servants, who thanks to the publication were able to get a fuller picture of Asia’s and Africa’s regions; and students and all those interested in development and/or modern Asia and Africa.
The general purpose involved support for teaching about Asian and African countries at universities through raising awareness and qualifications of teaching staff in the field of development and cultural education. That was possible with the preparation of the academic textbook on the cultural aspects of development in Asia and Africa, and thus taking a fresh look at development issues, one that goes beyond economics and political science. The textbook “Cultural determinants of development in Asia and Africa” is a collective work by 23 authors comprising the following thematic blocks:
• Local responses to European presence—a historical perspective
• Western and local political models—a clash and synergy
• The role of the elements of culture in development
• Towards endogenous development
• Development assistance in Asia and Africa
A panel discussion that accompanied and promoted the publication was held on 13 December 2010 at the Warsaw School of Economics. It was attended by 54 people plus the invited panellists. The discussion was held in two parts: during the first one each speaker responded to two general questions from the moderator; during the other the panellists took questions from the room. After the discussion its participants were handed the publication and treated to Oriental refreshments.
The project has contributed to improving academic teachers’ potential on two levels—factual and pedagogic. It will surely be the only scientific publication on the Polish market that combines culture and development topics in the context of Asia and Africa for the years to come.