Development Studies in Spanish: Critical, Constructive and Peripheral

By Rogelio Madrueño Aguilar and Pablo José Martínez Oses

While Development Studies in Spanish (DSS) has remained to some extent side-lined from the mainstream development discourse, one should not minimise its importance and tradition in development thinking and practice. It can be argued that DSS, from conception to implementation, is substantially peripheral and heterodox. More importantly, DSS can be perceived as a response framework to Western ideas of progress and development from a wide range of disciplines and traditions of thought. In particular, we would like to emphasize four key ideas here: Continue reading “Development Studies in Spanish: Critical, Constructive and Peripheral”

Knowledge, Asymmetric Power Relations and Us

By Henning Melber

Rather than summarising my chapter on “Knowledge Production, Ownership and the Power of Definition: Perspectives on and from Sub-Saharan Africa” in Building Development Studies for the New Millennium, I’d like to offer some additional thoughts I am dealing with since I wrote the piece. These thoughts are motivated by the view that that such asymmetries are not a matter confined to North-South relations and/or promoted by a specific group of “dominators” alone. Continue reading “Knowledge, Asymmetric Power Relations and Us”

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”

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!”

Development Studies Matter! Framing an Evolving Field of Study in Changing Times

By Susanne von Itter

EADI has published a definition of Development Studies? Why yet another definition? Can such a broad field of studies be defined anyway? EADI finds: Yes!

“Development Studies (also known as ‘international development studies’ or ‘international development’) is a multi- and inter-disciplinary field of study rather than a single discipline. It seeks to understand the interplay between social, economic, political, technological, ecological, cultural and gendered aspects of societal change at the local, national, regional and global levels.”

Continue reading “Development Studies Matter! Framing an Evolving Field of Study in Changing Times”