Our Aims and Objectives

We are the UK association for all those who research, study and teach global development issues

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What is Development Studies

What is development studies and decolonising development.

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Our Members

We have around 1,000 members, made up of individuals and around 40 institutions

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Find out about our constitution, how we are run and meet our Council

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Meet our Council members and other staff who support the running of DSA

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The DSA Conference is an annual event which brings together the development studies community

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Our conference this year is themed "Social justice and development in a polarising world"

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Past Conferences

Find out about our previous conferences

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Study Groups

Our Study Groups offer a chance to connect with others who share your areas of interest

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Students and ECRs

Students and early career researchers are an important part of our community

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Our book series with OUP and our relationship with other publishers

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North-South Research

A series of workshops exploring North-South interdisciplinary research with key messages and reports

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Membership Directory

Find out who our members are, where they are based and the issues they work on

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CDS, University of Bath, February


In this public lecture, Lead Social Scientist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank Michael Woolcock, discusses his book International Development: Navigating Humanity’s Greatest Challenge.


7 February, at the Centre for Development Studies, Bath (in-person only). A talk by Rajesh Venugopal, Associate Professor at the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Professor Venugopal will present a paper examining a central problem in development studies: why is development so depoliticised? The paper asks a series of fundamental problems: what is meant by making development more political, and why is this so elusive in practice? Why is the technocratic impulse so resilient? How is politics as a category of explanation deployed in development and what work is it made to do? These questions are addressed through a theoretical/conceptual framework of the way that the ‘political’ and the ‘technical’ are constructed as a cognitive gap in the inner frame of the development planner.

Drawing on Scott, Schmitt, Weber, Horkheimer & Adorno, and the critical development literature, it argues that politics presents itself to the planner as a sphere of uncertainty that can disrupt project outcomes. Knowledge production about politics is thus a method to render the unknown/uncertain legible and thus, to govern it by either technocratising it into implementable interventions, or by containing it as a calculable risk. Viewing it in this way creates the possibility of evaluating the newfound optimism among many in the sector that they are ‘finally’ putting politics back into development. The implications of this framework are that the anti-politics machine will perpetually regenerate itself. The work of mitigating technocratic excess is productive, but it is a Sisyphian labour that will not have a clean or satisfying end-date.