African Development and Human Security Workshop (Nov 2, 2009)

When: Monday, Nov 2, 2009; 5 pm to 6.30 pm.

Where: Room 1028 Dana



Paul C. Hébert

Doctoral Program in History

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Please join us on Monday, November 2nd, 5-6:30 PM in 1028 Dana for another meeting of the African Development and Human Security Workshop. Presenting this week will be Arland Thornton, who will be giving a paper entitled “Developmental Idealism and Worldwide Family Change: Looking at Africa.” (abstract below)

Hope to see you there,

Paul Hébert,
Ashley Rockenbach,

African Development and Human Security Workshop.


This presentation reports on a research program called Developmental Idealism Studies that examines how ordinary people around the world understand and accept, reject, or modify developmental models and frameworks. The project is studying how people view societies and families as modern/developed or not developed, the extent to which they view societal development and family development as causally connected, and their views of such concepts as freedom and equality. The project is also interested in how people come to believe, reject, or modify developmental thinking and how such ideas influence their subsequent behavior. This project has collected information on these topics in 13 countries: Albania; Argentina; Bulgaria; China; Egypt; Iran; Iraq; Lebanon; Nepal: Saudi Arabia; Taiwan; United States; and Vietnam. The paper will report on our research and note that, so far, our data collections include only one African country, Egypt, and no countries from Subsaharan Africa.  We will also discuss the project that we are currently designing in Malawi, invite input concerning it, and explore possibilities of complementary research in other African countries.

More information about this Developmental Idealism Studies program can be obtained from: .


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