International Centre for Public Pedagogies Seminar Series – 18th April, 5-6pm, Stratford, ED.4.02


We are delighted to announce the following seminar as the next instalment in our series.

Colleagues and students from all schools welcome.

18 April 5-6 pm 



Speaker: Sofa Gradin, King’s College London

Reluctant Upgradees: Why workers in the global South may be reluctant to participate in industrialisation and up-skilling projects.

 International Development scholarship that focuses on inequalities in global trade, such as Global Value Chains analysis, often prescribes ‘upgrading’ (i.e. industrialisation and up-skilling) of the global South to promote its socio-economic development. This article, however, shows that would-be beneficiaries of upgrading projects do not always welcome them with open arms. Using the case of a food exporter and training provider based in South Africa, this article explores reasons why workers in the global South may be reluctant to participate in industrialisation and up-skilling projects. It argues that the formulations of the problems to which upgrade is a proposed solution must be opened up for discussion. The purpose of development projects is not a question that can be settled by experts, but is a site of struggle.


Sofa Gradin teaches Politics and International Relations at King’s College London and writes for Open Democracy. This seminar will draw on research from their PhD (Queen Mary University of London), which focused on radical prefigurative politics in international trade.


The International Centre for Public Pedagogy (ICPuP) was founded in 2013, it is based in the Cass School of Education and Communities, and is cross-disciplinary with other members from Psychology and Performing Arts. Public pedagogy is a relatively new area of educational scholarship that considers the application and development of educational theory and approaches beyond formal schooling. Public pedagogy therefore includes analysis, investigation and action research in contexts such as cultural education, public spaces, non-formal learning, technology and education, popular culture and political struggle. The centre hosts seminars once a month during term time.

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