Can we understand the prospects of development without understanding its environmental dimension?

By Imme Scholz

Development Studies aim to understand the root causes of poverty and its reproduction and how social inequalities emerge and are stabilized. This is a broad endeavour with a number of academic disciplines contributing, with quite a few success stories if we look at the economic and the social dimensions. However, while maintaining the focus on human wellbeing, we ought to change the mainstream understanding of this task and need to include the natural evnironment and its threats in the research on development. Continue reading “Can we understand the prospects of development without understanding its environmental dimension?”

Rethinking the Economy from Ground Up

By Nicky Pouw

 In the global policy and research debates on inclusive growth and inclusive development  increasing emphasis is put on the need to rethink the economy. The expiration date of the neoliberal growth model seems nearly over. False assumptions have led to false policy prescriptions, with detrimental impacts on society and nature. Instead of greater human wellbeing for all, inequality, social-economic, political and climatic risks have increased. Another great concern is that the poorest of the poor are excluded from neoliberal growth, or are at best adversely incorporated. They are not even effectively reached by development interventions. Continue reading “Rethinking the Economy from Ground Up”

Engaged Excellence in Development Studies

By Melissa Leach

Development Studies dilemmas

In our current times, Development Studies is needed more than ever.  As global challenges – from inequality, conflict and migration, to climate change and pandemics – intensify, the established hallmarks of Development Studies have much to offer and need to be nurtured and spread. These include interdisciplinarity, problem-focus, the addressing of connections between global and national processes and the realities of people’s lives and livelihoods, critical examination of institutions and power relations (including those of the aid industry), and the seeking of progressive change. Yet in our current political times, Development Studies is also facing new demands and dilemmas. Continue reading “Engaged Excellence in Development Studies”

What Ever Happened to Mixed Methods in Development Research (and has Star Trek got anything to do with it)?

By Andy Sumner, Laura Camfield, Keetie Roelen and Lukas Schlogl.

‘Q-squared’ is a best-selling Star Trek book from the mid-1990s (yes there are Star Trek books, not just films and TV series) about someone who has the power to tamper with time and reality resulting in three parallel universes that intersect. Just a few years later the term came to prominence in three parallel universes in development studies (spooky, eh?). Those parallel universes being qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods researchers. Continue reading “What Ever Happened to Mixed Methods in Development Research (and has Star Trek got anything to do with it)?”

Development Studies Need Social Engagement!

By Elisabetta Basile and Isa Baud

Redefining Development Studies is necessary for two reasons. First, the complexity and urgency of world development problems require direct assumption of responsibility from the Development Studies community. This implies that scholars and practitioners explicitly engage in exploring problems and solutions in partnership with the communities and policymakers involved. Second, an epistemological and ontological change in Development Studies is required. Emerging development interests and the needs of multiple actors lead to new research approaches, themes and priorities, requiring new forms of knowledge and involving several disciplines in research. Continue reading “Development Studies Need Social Engagement!”