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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Call for papers: How to write about platformisation from Africa

Call for applications to attend an intimate three-day writing workshop, hosted at the University of Cape Town and funded by Edinburgh University through the Africa-Edinburgh Catalytic Partnership Fund 2023/24. Application deadline: 25 April 2024 

University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, 15-17 July 2024 

The Rationale

From short-term rentals to last-mile logistics, in the last decade scholars have charted the wide-ranging impacts of digital platforms and platformisation processes. However, just like in other fields of inquiry, platform research has been bedevilled by deep asymmetries in knowledge production and circulation, often privileging the voices of scholars based in well-resourced Western universities. 

Despite this, scholarship on digital platforms is increasingly diverse, with many contributions coming from Latin America, China, India and South-East Asia more broadly. With very few exceptions, however, African and Africa-based scholars have remained “off the map” of international debates. Since 2008, there have been 2410 publications on platforms according to the Web of Science database. Yet, only 38 publications refer to Africa either in the abstract, keywords or the text, with the vast majority of these publications by authors based outside the continent. 

Nevertheless, African cities and African economies are experiencing rapid and deep transformations engendered by the ubiquity of platformisation processes, including some, such as mobile finance, that are almost exclusively unique to the African context. In fact, several multi-site study research projects based in European and North American universities have included examples and case studies in the African continent, illustrating the pervasiveness and transformative impacts of digital platforms. Many early-career researchers in Africa have had the chance to collaborate on and participate in platform-research projects, gathering data, conducting interviews, and performing ethnographic fieldwork, but their voices in the global publishing machine have been limited to being listed as co-authors, as research partners, or as field assistants.

While rejecting the extractive and often exclusive nature of the academic-journal complex, we recognise the importance of writing and publishing for Africa-based scholars. The intention of this workshop is therefore to engage in creative and generative ways with platform writing; connect interested scholars with publishing opportunities; strengthen the network of platform scholars working on and in Africa; and fill the gaps in the geographies of knowledge that are currently represented in the scholarly debate. A total of about 15 people will be selected for “How to write about platformisation from Africa”, a workshop whose title riffs off Binyavanga Wainaina’s famous satirical essay “how to write about Africa”. 

How to Apply

Only applications submitted through the online portal will be considered. 

The application form can be downloaded from the same online portal.