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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SOAS showcases DSA2024

Pics from top left: Delegates at DSA2024 network in the Senate Building, at SOAS, University of London; a packed lecture hall in the Brunei Building, as Mike Jennings welcomes delegates; Laura Hammond and Mike Jennings open DSA2024; volunteers from SOAS student programmes greet a delegate. Read the full story below.

DSA2024 at SOAS, University of London

Delegates network at DSA2024 at SOAS
A packed lecture hall listens to Mike Jennings open DSA2024 at SOAS
Laura Hammond opens DSA2024 at SOAS
Volunteers great a delegate at DSA2024 at SOAS

535 participants joined us in person at SOAS (with a further 208 joining in online) for DSA2024 – this year themed on social justice and development in a polarising world. 

Convenor Mike Jennings, Professor from the Department of Development Studies explains the rationale behind the theme  “When we started thinking about this theme about 18 months ago, we wanted something that both reflected the work done at SOAS – not just in our hosting departments, but across the institution as a whole – and which also highlighted some of the critical issues for discussion and challenges facing the world.” 

Within the conference’s overall theme were three strands: rights and representation; redistribution and restoration; and reproduction and production.  

Laura Hammond, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Knowledge Exchange as well as Professor of Development Studies at SOAS, talked about the importance of having this conference at this point in time 

“In a year in which more countries in the world will be going through general elections than at any other time in history, there’s massive potential for political change. I think that gives us a moment and an opportunity to think from our own disciplinary areas about the kinds of challenges and opportunities that presents. We have a possibility of contributing to and potentially changing and shaping the narratives on things such as the rising populist narratives that promote exclusion and discrimination; the opportunities to shape the trajectory of work;  to respond to the climate emergency; to shine a light on inequalities that emerge from unequal and misguided development, the opportunities to comment on the horrific examples of war and genocide that are going on, not just in Gaza, but also in other places in the world,” Laura said in her opening remarks to the conference. 

The conference would not have been possible without the help of volunteers – many who came from SOAS MAsters and PhD programmes in the Development and Economics departments. “This  was an opportunity to connect with academics whose work I had only cited before!” said SOAS student Wynn Aung Myint, a Fulbright grantee who is doing a Masters in  Violence, Conflict and Development to deepen his knowledge after working in the development sector in the UnIted States. 

The conference location in London resulted in a record number of attendees. The SOAS venue was praised for keeping the conference compact, with activities taking place in adjacent buildings there was limited travel between sessions; and both the space for meetings (despite the sudden outbreak of a long awaited English summer) and the catering team’s rich cookies received positive feedback! To find out more about SOAS, read our spotlight on development studies at SOAS.

Next year’s conference will  be at the University of Bath, save the date and sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know. We will be sharing further conference updates in coming weeks – keep an eye on our social media channels.