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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What is development studies?

Development studies concerns the global challenge of combatting poverty, injustice, and environmental degradation

Sierra Leone, Annie Spratt

About development studies

At its most simplest, development studies is a social science which examines issues related to social and economic development.

Through development studies, we seek to bring a critical perspective to applied real world problems, and the policies, programmes and practices behind these. Historically, the focus was on poorer countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America but development studies now extends to development issues worldwide. We particularly aim to understand the interconnections between global, regional, national and local processes of change.

Because change requires inter-connected solutions, development studies brings together diverse disciplines. With roots in anthropology, economics, sociology, politics and geography, it may also combine with others such as psychology, law, management, natural science, history, agriculture or engineering.

Development research aims to build partnerships between the people most directly affected by social, economic, technological and environmental change, and academics, policy-makers and practitioners. Equitable collaboration between those based in the global South and global North is particularly important. Working in partnership leads to more insightful and creative theory and more sustainable and equitable practice.

Some of the ways the DSA is being part of the movement to modernise development studies include:


Decolonising development studies

The roots of development lie in colonialism. Development studies still bears the marks of this history. As such, the broader moves to decolonise the curriculum have a particular resonance for us. But it is not only our curriculum that needs to be decolonised, but our institutions, procedures, practices, and default ways of thinking and acting. The commitment to equitable research partnerships is one way we aim to move this agenda forward.

The DSA is actively committed to decolonising development studies. If you would like to get involved, contact DSA Council member, Rama Dieng.

Dhaka, Bangladesh by Adli Wahid