Annual conference: Background to the conference

Background to the Conference

DSA Annual Conference 2014

Saturday 1st November 2014

Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

This year's Annual Conference returns to London and will again take the form of a one day Conference. We are now inviting proposals for panels and standalone papers.

This year we are maintaining our policy of an open call for panels and papers framed by an opening and closing plenary around a specific theme. This year, the theme of the plenaries, will be Development Post-2015.

The open call for papers has been a policy which we have been following in the last few years as we believe it reflects a more democratic process, bringing together the diversity of current research and thinking on development related issues. However, it is clear that the global discussions on post-2015 development agenda are taking place within a context in which there is social unrest and political instability in variety of emerging economies; there are major new global development challenges, particularly associated with environmental sustainability and climate change; there is increasing global economic differentiation and interdependence with mass poverty at the bottom related to massive inequality in the division of benefits and risks along global value chains. Moreover, there is declining confidence in mainstream international and national development practices. Business as usual is unacceptable.

Thus whilst the Conference is based on an open call for papers, we encourage DSA Colleagues and Panel Convenors to bring forward new ideas and research which may:

  • Analyse the changing global context of development - including the nature of global recovery, continuing differentiation of the South, new forms of international interdependence and patterns of vulnerability, new actors and development partnerships and blocked international multilateralism - and address its implications for international development cooperation and national development policy;
  • Link development thinking and practice with wider debates on economic crisis, climate change, sustainability transitions, inequality, human rights, social movements, democratization, security, technological change and new forms of governance;
  • Reflect on the significance, content and possible implications of the post-2015 global development agenda, including: assessing the process of formulating post-2015 goals; lessons from MDG implementation; global governance of poverty and inequality; and the nature of sustainable development goals.

A number of areas for exploration were also raised at the DSA Heads of Centres Meeting in January 2014. Two which could be ripe for further exploration within the context of the Conference are:

  • Defining Development Studies and the role of Higher Education for a post 2015 world: Whilst much of the evaluation infrastructure will have been set, the DSA Conference represents an ideal opportunity to reflect on how Development Studies needs to adapt to the forthcoming challenges
  • NGO - Academic relationships: There is increasing recognition of the value of these relationships in serving to strengthen the work of each community - evidence based decision making for NGOs and reality informed research for academics. There is a lot of interesting work being done in this area and we would welcome panels that address some of the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned from such collaborations. Panels comprising practitioner and academic presenters will be particularly welcomed under this workstream.

Annual conference registration is restricted to
DSA members only

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