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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Keynote speakers at DSA2024

DSA2024 will feature three compelling keynote speakers to address the themes of the conference – Social justice and development in a polarising world: rights and representation; redistribution and restoration; reproduction and production

Thanks to our three sponsors, Oxford Development Studies, the Journal of International Development and Journal of Development Studies for making these key notes possible. Find out when these keynotes are happening on the conference timetable.

Social Reproduction, Depletion and/in Crisis with Shirin M. Rai

Sponsored by Oxford Development Studies journal

Shirin M. Rai is a Distinguished Research Professor within the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, University of London. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Social Reproduction, Depletion and/in Crisis

Reproduction of life, which is theorised as social reproduction, doesn’t just happen—it is laboured over, in different contexts and with differential resources, unequally. The exploitation of this work of life-giving and maintenance depletes lives and generates crises of care that threatens not just livelihoods but lives. The denial of this work is institutionalised through our methodologies of accounting for work, through our ideological positioning of domestic work, through cultural and social gendered norms. In all countries, in all classes, races, religions, and cultures, women perform these labours more than men.

Building on her book, Depletion: the human costs of caring, Shirin will argue that this labour can and does lead to depletion – of individuals, households and communities. But as classed, raced, and located in deeply unequal ways, this depletion is experienced differently and intersectionally. Shirin will then address issues of how depletion can be reversed and how transformative politics requires the building of reflexive solidarities.

On not being poor with Naomi Hossain

Sponsored by the Journal of Development Studies

Naomi is a political sociologist with degrees in philosophy, politics, economics, social anthropology and development studies from the University of Oxford, London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Sussex.

On not being poor: bare life and Bangla-futurism in the aid lab

Becoming not-poor is supposed to be the point of development, but as students of the development process, our interest often seems to wane at precisely the point people stop being poor. We rarely reflect on how moving out of poverty changes people and our place in the world, or on the problem (for that is what it is) of new wealth. Perhaps this is due to our disciplinary blinkers, and the enduring marginalisation of the arts and humanities in the study of development. Yet these are issues we are grappling with in Bangladesh, former poster child for Third World misery, site of a thousand development studies theses.

This talk will examine the Bangladesh experience of leaving poverty behind. It will analyse some of the catastrophic moments in its history that memorably branded its poverty on the global imagination, mining them for their insights into the political philosophy of aid. Into the more affluent present, it will consider what imaginative new cultural productions and techno-utopian visions say about how Bangladeshis now view themselves and their place in the world. And it will reflect on how the political sovereignty that comes with no longer being poor – the power to do what needs to be done – is now being deployed to manage the effects of the climate crisis.

On Redistribution, Restoration and Development: with Jimi Adeṣina

Prof Jimi Adeṣina is a Professor and the South African Research Chair in Social Policy at the College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa.

Sponsored by the Journal of International Development

On Redistribution, Restoration and Development: Reflections on some old ideas and their current relevance

In the first part of Jimi’s presentation , he will explore the themes of redistributive and restorative justice discourses and claims broadly but more specifically as they relate to development discourse. He will also , explore the campaign for reparation as the intersection of redistributive and restorative justice claims. This ranges from the debates around racial capitalism and decolonisation to climate-related financing. Jimi will offer a reflection on aid, within the framework of redistributive and restorative justice, as international solidarity or “helping ‘distant strangers.’” and use the case of the policy take of the ‘donor community’ on ‘poverty alleviation’ to offer a reflection on the competing claims of this policy diffusion.

The deliberate linking of reparation claims to the ‘right to development’—within a framing of redistribution and restoration—offers the connection to the second part of this address. While for some, the COVID-19 pandemic offers a solid rationale for the shift of the focus of Development Studies to Global Development, in the African context, the pandemic unmasked the continent’s development crisis in the classical sense of development as the process of the structural transformation of economy and society, mastery of technology, a robust and nimble manufacturing capacity, and the enhancement of human wellbeing. Ranging from utter dependence on imports for equipment to the absence of any vaccine candidate, the pandemic highlights the enduring relevance of the classical conception of development. Further, the pandemic offers insights into the limit of aid as ‘help to distant strangers’—with its version of distributive and restorative justice.

It’s not too late to register to hear our keynote speakers and connect with hundreds of other development researchers either online or in person at SOAS, University of London. Register now.