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, why it matters, how you can study and career prospects

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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 and how we are run

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Meet our Council members and other stuff 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 "Unsettling Development"

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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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28 June – 2 July 2021: Online Conference at UEA

Unsettling Development

COVID19, climate change, populism, demands for racial justice and the rise of new powers are among the themes that will be explored.

DSA Conference 2021

Unsettling Development

The DSA’s annual conference in 2021 took place online, organised and hosted by the University of East Anglia. The conference was focusing centrally on “Unsettling Development”, while also encompassing the broad range of development studies interests.

See here for the programme page where you can browse the events and recorded panels.

Please notice that in order to see the recorded panels you should be logged in to DSA website. Some event recording are visible also without logging in.


Conference convenors

Laura Camfield & Ben Jones, School of International Development, UEA

Photos taken for UEA during a shoot in Kibera on July 26th, 2019. PHOTO/BRIAN OTIENO

Theme — Unsettling Development

DSA 2021 focused on the theme of unsettling development. By this we mean the multiple pressures that are reshaping how we think, study and effect progressive social change.  COVID19, climate change, populism, demands for racial justice and the rise of new powers were among the themes that were explored.  The conference created a space to do this by bringing in new forms of knowledge and generating new centres of debate. The proposed conversation between the social sciences and the humanities enables a powerful reimagining of the future, while continuing to critically reflect on ongoing practices of marginalisation and adverse incorporation. We are committed to using the possibilities of new technologies throughout the conference to open sites of interaction, participation and engagement.

A central theme of the conference was to explore how the work of those outside our field, including novelists and social historians, can help us unsettle our assumptions. For this reason DSA 2021 was in partnership with colleagues in the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Art and the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. Series of conversations was organised with unsettling voices, including award-winning writers, activists and thinkers. Alongside paper presentations there were a series of workshops, bookclubs, and panel discussions, using new methodologies to create imaginative spaces across different time zones.

Recognising the challenges described above, and the importance of bringing decolonial and anti-racist analyses to bear on these, DSA 2021 was looking at creative responses to:

  1. Global environmental justice How do inequalities and historic discrimination produce social and ecological harm, even in the pursuit of renewable energy transitions?How can understandings of justice and the natural environment be expanded through a conversation with the humanities and creative arts?
  2. Global inequalities How has COVID19 influenced existing socio-economic inequalities and democratic deficits, while creating new forms of exploitative relationships?How can popular and academic thinking about inequality be unsettled by fiction and non-fiction writing?
  3. Global methodologies How are development debates, and the ways in which development knowledge is produced, being unsettled by COVID19?How can creatively engaging the social sciences with the humanities advance our efforts to think, study and effect progressive social change?

The organising committee prioritised submissions for panels on these themes whilst also welcoming panels on the broad range of subjects of interest to DSA members.