Foto Daniel Bendix

Daniel Bendix

Dozent für Global Development

Daniel Bendix
Ph.D. (University of Manchester, UK) Dozent für Global Development

An der Ihle 5 A
D-39291 Möckern-Friedensau

Raum: LÜP 301
Telefon: +49 (0) 3921 916-203
Fax: +49 (0) 3921 916-203
E-Mail:

Icon PlusEducation

2014-2019:Post-doc researcher and lecturer at the Section Development and Postcolonial Studies, Institute of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kassel, Germany
2008-2012:PhD at Institute for Development Policy and Management of the University of Manchester, United Kingdom (Thesis title: Colonial Power in Development – Tracing German Interventions in Population and Reproductive Health in Tanzania; supervisors: Uma Kothari and Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez)
12/2006:Diploma (equivalent to M.A.) in Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
2001-2006:Diploma in Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and Université de Lausanne, Switzerland

Icon PlusEmployment

since March 2019:Lecturer for Global Development, Friedensau Adventist University
since 2008:Freelance facilitator and consultant for education and development cooperation at glokal, German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), German Development Service, Engagement Global, Oxfam Germany, United Evangelical Mission, and many other state institutions, faith-based organisations, and NGOs
2014-2019:Post-doc researcher and lecturer at the Section Development and Postcolonial Studies, Institute of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kassel, Germany
2017:Junior Fellow in the research group “Landnahme, Acceleration, Activation, dynamic(s) and (de-)stabilisation of modern growth societies”, Jena University, Germany
2013-2014:Researcher, educator, consultant, and administrator in the project “Postcolonial Perspectives on Practices of Development Cooperation in Germany” at glokal
2007-2008:Junior Researcher in the project on “Democratic Participation in Security Sector Reform”, funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research, Free University Berlin
2007:freelance campaigner at Oxfam Germany
1999-2000:Social Service at Streets Community Development, Cape Town, South Africa

Icon PlusResearch Projects (Past and Present)

  • 2018-present: Development Cooperation, Land-Grabbing, and Transnational Activism in Mali

This research examines processes of development-induced displacement in the Office du Niger in Mali. The focus is on two cases with German involvement: The irrigation project “Siengo Extension” was carried out by the German Development Bank (KfW) and led to the relocation of four villages in 2013 and 2014. A grassroots peasants’ union has been formed subsequently to fight for reparations. In the other case, Germany is involved through its investment in the African Development Bank. It financed the activities of a major Malian agro-business investor who is involved in a case of landgrabbing in the villages of Sanamadougou and Sahou. Since 2010, inhabitants of these villages have been resisting the loss of their lands. The research attempts at understanding the strategies of peasant resistance against development-induced displacement.

  • 2014-2019: Towards Transnational Solidarity – Postcolonial Critique of Global Inequality in the North, Habilitation Project,

The recent declaration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has resulted in a slight shift of focus from the usual suspects – ‘less developed’ countries in the South – to include Northern countries as objects in need of socio-economic change. The move away from the colonial/development gaze, i.e. a perspective on the South as ‘the problem’, bears witness to the influence of particularly anthropological studies critical of the ‘development project’. Critiques of development have for a long time been pointing out the Eurocentrism and coloniality of dominant notions of socio-economic change. This project’s aim is to contribute to the understanding of postcolonial global change by directing attention to the necessary socio-economic change in the North. The basis for this new theoretical approach is developed on the basis of an investigation of different cases in which questions of global change are re-negotiated in Germany: (1) refugee activism, (2) degrowth, (3) global citizenship education, and (4) public relations of development policy. To achieve the mentioned aim, this study draws an epistemologies of the South (postcolonial critique), but turns towards the North and to transformative approaches challenging dominant notions of socio-economic change. The project 1) includes the North as a challenge for global change and thus moves beyond the focus on the South in development studies; 2) overcomes the (explicit or implicit) view of the North as a homogenous liberal, capitalist bloc; 3) and identifies potential actors for, as well as challenges to, postcolonial socio-economic change in the North. By investigating questions of postcolonial global change beyond the common focus on the South, this project contributes to identifying common global objectives and to the possibilities of “an effective politics of transnational solidarity between […] struggles” (Wilson 2012, 244).

  • 2014-present: International Development, Population Policy, and Contraceptive Markets (with Dr. Susanne Schultz, Goethe-University Frankfurt)

This research explores recent changes in international development policy with regards to population and reproductive health and connects these to contemporary dynamics in contraceptive markets. While the vocabulary of individual reproductive and human rights is ever-present, governments in the global South – and in certain Asian and African countries in particular –  are nowadays encouraged to manage their ‘human capital’ in light of population age composition and available resources. Global population policies thereby link family planning strategies to national economic rationales, focusing especially on Asian and African countries. 20 years after the Cairo conference, key documents and budgets evidence a discursive and financial shift towards more explicit neo-Malthusian approaches to population developments. At the same time, a rollback of formerly discredited long-acting reversible contraception is evident in major public-private partnerships of governments, business and NGOs. In this research we link global development policy and marketing approaches by pharmaceutical companies to the level of implementation in particular country contexts. Here, we take into account the perspectives of the ‘target groups’ to understand how the needs and desires of particularly poor women in Asian (India, Bangladesh) and African countries (Kenya, Rwanda) interrelated with particular technological devices (implants) in the context of classed, racialised and gendered international and national population policies.

  • 2014-present: Reinventing Development Theory – Comparing and Theorizing Post-Development Concepts and Practices

This project’s aim is to contribute to a progressive reformulation of development theory which takes into account Eurocentrism and relations of power in ‘development’ without giving up the desire for greater global material equality. Specifically, it will identify factors that lead to a progressive or reactionary effects of different Post-Development (PD) concepts and practices, enabling a new theoretical grasp on social change, based on a cross‐country comparison and case studies in Bolivia, South Africa, Iran, and Germany. It will advance the state of the art of PD theory by 1) including examples from Africa and the Near East (hitherto neglected in the debate); 2) transcending the exclusive focus on the Global South by linking it to a European case study; 3) transcending the exclusive focus on civil society by also investigating governmental concepts and practices; 4) examining the potentially reactionary political consequences of PD concepts. The aim of the project will be reached by investigating the different concepts and practices (Buen Vivir, Ubuntu, Gharbzadegi, Degrowth) according to their correspondence to central tenets of PD, their implementation in the political system, their contribution to the emergence of sustainable livelihoods and their ideological function for the ruling elite. The project is a cooperation between the University of Kassel (Aram Ziai), Universidad Católica Boliviana La Paz (Oscar Vega Camacho), Rhodes University Grahamstown (Sally Matthews), University of Tehran (Sara Mazinani Shariati), and University of Jena (Silke van Dyk).

  • 2012-2014: Postcolonial perspectives on practices of development cooperation in Germany, glokal e.V.

This project included research as well as educational and outreach activities, such as workshops and seminars with development NGOs and faith-based organisations, as well as lectures at universities. In academic terms, this project explored the extent in which development education material in Germany broaches or neglects postcolonial power relations. The analysis was based on materials for development education in Germany, dating from 2007 to 2012, which were publicly accessible and used by NGOs, teachers and multipliers as guidance for their educational work. The analysis evidenced that the material “disremembers” colonialism in various ways. Furthermore, it reproduces hegemonic Eurocentric development imaginary. In addition, it does not do justice to an inclusive pedagogy in a society of migration: Not all potential participants, with their different societal positions, are included and addressed; instead, learning takes place based on, and at the expense of, the ‘Other’. The project came to the conclusion that, instead of questioning historically developed relations of power and domination, German development education in its current orientation contributes to stabilising inequality at the social, political, and economic level.

Our study of German development education material has been downloaded more than 7,000 times. It has been hotly debated amongst development education practitioners as well as academics in Germany. I was invited to several universities, NGOs, and development education networks in order to present and discuss our findings. The recently published German Handbook on Political Education contains a chapter on development education, in which the study is cited as the most important contribution to postcolonial development education in Germany. I also co-authored a booklet assisting educators to reflect on existing study material and develop new educational material on the issues of racism and coloniality.

  • 2008-2012: Colonial Power in Development: Tracing German Interventions in Population and Reproductive Health in Tanzania”, University of Manchester

This was my PhD research project. It examined the impact of the colonial past on contemporary development. More specifically, it investigated how colonial power – conceived as discourses that emerged during colonisation and are interconnected with the material world – continues to shape present-day ideas and practices of development actors from the Global North that intervene in the lives of people in the Global South. The study analysed the emergence of German interventions in what is now Tanzania with regards to population and reproductive health during Germany’s colonisation of “German East Africa” and compared these interventions to present-day German development cooperation in Tanzania, where reproductive health is one of the focal areas. Drawing on archives, interviews, and observations in Germany and Tanzania, the project concluded that colonial power continues to significantly shape present-day development policy and practice. The results of this study have been published in international peer-reviewed journals (see list of publications) and I have attempted, more generally, to push the debate on the colonial present in Germany’s development policy with a special journal issue, academic and non-academic lectures, workshops, and a number of articles of a popular scientific nature. As a follow-up to my research, I spoke at Bayer HealthCare’s 2014 annual shareholders’ meeting, addressing the disturbing fact that Bayer profits from development aid funding while investing mostly in risky, long-term contraceptives.

  • 2007-2008: Democratic Participation in Security Sector Reform”, Free University of Berlin & German Foundation for Peace Research

This project explored the concept and practice of security sector reform (SSR), a concept that had, since the late 1990s, entered the repertoire of international development aid as a means to good governance, democratisation, development and conflict transformation. The project focused specifically on normative aspects of the SSR paradigm, notably its commitment to local ownership, to gender sensitivity, to accountability of security actors, and to the contribution of SSR to broader efforts towards democratisation and participation. I was one of two researchers responsible for carrying out the project. My work involved the development of the research design, the application of qualitative methods, a comprehensive literature review, and semi-structured interviews. My focus was on SSR in African countries as well as on the issues of gender and local ownership. Since I realised that SSR research (including our own research project) did not take into account postcolonial power relations, I attempted to take the debate further with a paper entitled “A review of gender in security sector reform. Bringing post-colonial and gender theory into the debate”. The results of the project were published in international journals (in English and Spanish) and also presented and discussed at an international workshop in Berlin with academics and practitioners of SSR.