our issues

An undercurrent, by definition, is the unseen movement of water beneath the surface; its tug and motion are only perceptible upon submersion. It is an apt metaphor both for international development studies and its undergraduates. The intriguing tensions and debates within the field of IDS flow beneath a popularized veneer of humanitarian charity. And we, its undergraduates, study at the margins of the arena of the academy – much of our vitality and dynamism hidden from view. Undercurrent is a publication that immerses its readers in the ebbs and flows of development studies through the perspective of Canadian undergraduates. Indelibly marked by the legacy of colonialism and the onward march of global integration, international development studies is a field illuminated by our confrontation with human difference and inequality. The just pursuit of unity in diversity promises to be a reiterating challenge for the next century, and water is a fitting icon for such a pursuit: an elemental reminder of our fundamental oneness that, through its definition of our planetary geography, also preserves our distance.

With aspirations of distinction, we are proud to offer Undercurrent.

The (1).png

volume xii, issue i

This particular issue has compiled Hive varied and fascinating articles. Sumaya Almajthoob examined the economic development of South Asia that has resulted from remittances from South Asian migrants to the Gulf. Similarly, Camila Acosta Varela studied how neo-liberal policies in South America have affected migrant workers and has created a dependency on remittances for economic development. Anna Hermansen explored the roles of the Special Economic Zone and the Maquiladora in the economic development of India and Mexico respectively. Rumana RaHiq has written an article that evaluates the effectiveness of sanitation projects in India. Finally, Jeremy Wagner, Sierra Nickel, Josh Rempel and Marie Verbenkov have taken a look at how supermarkets have affected food procurement practices in Dar es Salaam.

The (2).png

volume xi, issue ii

This issue of the Undercurrent features several exemplary articles from development students across Canada. As I was compiling these selections, one heme seemed to resonate: studying the past in order to create a better future. As the clock winds down on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the development sector has also lapsed into a reflective state. By learning from the MDGs’ achievements and failures, the international community hopes that its successor, the Sustainable Development Goals, will guide the post 2015 development agenda. Similarly, some of the manuscripts in this issue utilize a case study to highlight the errors of the past and pose suggestions for the future.


volume xi, issue ii

This fall’s editorial cycle has produced a remarkable compilation of works from development studies students Canada-wide: Patrick Balazo examines the international community’s responsibility in defending the human rights of stateless persons; Hannah Hong presents a compelling argument for the problematic injustices concealed by ‘single story’ narratives of Africa; Ayesha Barmania looks at the differences between immigrant communities in small cities and urban centres in Canada; Colton Brydges discusses the role of external actors in African mineral economies; Melissa Jackson utilizes a postcolonial feminism lens to advance the role of women as integral agents of social change in the Arab world; and Matthew Farrell presents, in French, a neo-Gramscian case study to argue that civil society cannot solve the failure of globalization.

The (1).png

volume xi, issue ii

In this issue you will once again find some of the best undergraduate work the editorial team has seen: Faye Williams discusses the securitization of aid in Afghanistan; Madison Ellas debates the impact of biofuels on global food security; Sandy Restrepo Jerez looks at the HIV/AIDS crisis in Asia; Nathan Stewart forcibly argues the impact that urban neoliberal policy has on urban economic competitiveness; Lucy Mackrell reviews family planning in Iran under ISlamic and Imperial governments; and Jacob Winter analyzes the concept of 'freedom from fear' in the context of the human security debate...


volume xi, issue ii

This issue you will find some of the high-quality undergraduate academic writing the journal has been publishing for years: analysis of the ‘Gender Development Index’ and ‘Gender Empowerment Measure’ as they apply to South Africa (Lauren Milne); discussion of trends in anti-HIV measures in India (Ali Tejpar); a look at how microfnance plays into the lives of enterprising Peruvian women (Sarah Silverberg); and an exploration of how gendered perspectives in development can actually silence minority voices (Tecla Van Bussel). You will also fnd something new, however: personal refections on international placements (Remy Bargout, Courtney Vaughan, Ashley Rerrie), and short discussions on the intersection of academia and practice (Grace Sheehy, Jennifer Lawrence).


volume x, issue i

Our Spring/Summer 2013 edition offers some choice undergraduate academic pieces. To begin, Gillian Autton (Wilfrid Laurier University) looks critically in to the current form of healthcare aid to developing countries, and calls for a more holistic approach. Isabelle Jones (Queen's University) then explores the intriguing implications of viewing peacebuilding in a new way. Lanika Gallant (University of Ottawa) critiques Bono's Product (Red) campaign, while Rashid Mohiddin (University of Guelph) writes on the consumption of African Footballers in the Global West. Following this, Zoe Kavoukian-Scharf (Queen's University) looks at the United States' controversial HIV/AIDS policy. Finally, Kyle Ng (McGill University) considers the rooted issues of poverty inherently connected to Canadian health care.


volume ix, issue ii

In this edition, we present our readers with a wide selection of articles exemplifying critical analysis. Today’s convoluted conflicts and issues such as the civil war in Syria, the political uprisings in Egypt, or the Idle No More movement in Canada illustrate the need for this defining cornerstone of development studies.   

Amy Bronson (University of Guelph) starts us off with an inward gaze at the Canadian International Development Agency, fitting in light of recent developments, as she explores the efficiency of our national overseas development assistance. Lindsey America-Simms (University of Guelph) then assesses the economic outcomes of antiretroviral therapy programs in low income countries, taking a non-traditional stance on this traditional development issue....

The (5).png

volume ix, issue ii

Dima Saab (University of Guelph) reports on his first-person investigation into the needs of pregnant women in Guatemala, and whether traditional healers and western-style medical practitioners are meeting them. Sarah Rostom (McMaster University) uses Save the Mothers, an organization that teaches Ugandan professionals to become advocates for safe motherhood as a case study of the use of networks and social capital in development initiatives. In her paper on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted by the UN in 1979, Helen Bowman (McGill University) explains why problems enforcing member state compliance are rendering the treaty ineffective as a tool in the fight against discrimination.


volume viii, issue ii

In 2011, issues of inequality and poverty in Canada were highlighted when the living conditions of the Attawapiskat First Nation made headlines. !e shock brought on a period of national self-reflection, as Canadians wondered how such a thing was possible in their country. As International Development Studies tend to have an outward-looking focus, we are pleased that two contributions to the Fall/Winter 2011 issue tackle Canadian IDS related issues. Vera Mirhady’s (University of Guelph) paper on queer migration examines how Canada’s immigration policies affect individuals who do not "t into the dominant category of heterosexual migrants. Alexia Ackert, Stephanie Lalonde, Victoria Robson and Victoria Yang (University of Guelph) explore Ontario’s subsurface mineral-rights and associated property rights institutions from the perspective of free-market environmentalism, and advocate changes that would permit Aboriginal communities to govern their own mineral wealth...


volume viii, issue i

In the current issue, many questions are debated and analyzed at length. Leah MacNeil (University of Ottawa) studies the concept of human security and its practical application via Canadian policies in Afghanistan. Elizabeth Freele (University of Western Ontario, Huron University College) stands at the crossroads of environment, agriculture, gender, and Africa, and pieces together a fantastic paper from a post-colonialist and feminist perspective. On his end, Jonathan Williams (University of Ottawa) examines Freirean philosophy and the role of participatory budgeting in the Popular Administration of Porto Alegre, Brazil. De sa part, Mia Choinière (Université d’Ottawa) examine les mesures proposées pour solutionner le grave problème de sécurité alimentaire en Haïti. Nick Bernards (University of Guelph) addresses the governance of labour relations in export processing zones in Madagascar through corporate social responsibility regimes...