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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Call for Panels

29 June – 2 July 2021

Unsettling Development

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

Call for Panels

DSA2021 will be held as a virtual, online conference, taking place 29th June – 2nd July. 

DSA2021 invites proposals for panels and workshops that engage critically with dimensions of Unsettling Development. We continue to encourage different types of sessions at this year’s conference. These might include debate, roundtable, ‘speed-dating’ and other non-conventional formats. A key aim is for all panels to attempt to combine academic and practitioners work within most panels. There will be the following different kinds of panels at the conference:

Paper panels: these panels will involve one or more sessions that are based around 3-4 papers, perhaps with a discussant. To promote the highest levels of intellectual exchange, we are looking for convenors who can commit to liaising closely with paper-givers in advance of the conference, with a view to securing high-quality papers. This may involve the submission of papers in advance, perhaps incentivised by a post-conference publication plan by panel convenors.

Roundtable panels: these panels can adopt various formats to achieve the purpose of fostering a high-quality exchange of ideas around Unsettling Development.

Experimental approaches to panels: these might fall outside regular academic paper panels or roundtables. Some possible formats or ideas might be debates, speed-dating, workshops, laboratories etc. It may be possible to go beyond the 90 minute session format if required. The format should be described within the long panel abstract.

You also have the option of choosing if your panel will be a synchronous, asynchronous or mixed type of panel in the online format. You can find out more about these panel formats here.

Decisions over the proposals will be made by the conference convenors and communicated to all proposing convenors in time for the opening of the call for papers.

While DSA encourages convenors (those proposing/organising a panel) to address the issues outlined in the theme, this is not a prerequisite for panel acceptance. In particular DSA welcomes panel proposals from its study groups, and encourages them to pursue the critical issues in their area, even if these are not strongly aligned to the conference theme.


  • Panel convenors may be graduate students.
  • Convenors may also present a paper during the conference, either in their own panel or another.
  • Due to the ‘competition for time’ within such a conference, colleagues are allowed to convene no more than one panel and present only one paper during the conference. This does not prevent you from making multiple proposals, but in the case of multiple acceptances we will ask you to make a choice.
  • The DSA requires all accepted panels to be open to paper proposals through the website; you may of course propose a panel with specific contributors in mind, but when the call for papers opens, you should be open to the possibility of other contributions arriving via the open call.
  • Panels convenors and paper presenters need not be members of the association. However, the DSA welcomes new members. Members of the association can register for the conference at a discounted fee.
  • All convenors, authors, chairs and discussants will be expected to register online in advance of the event and pay a registration fee to attend.
  • The DSA expects convenors of accepted panels to commit to the panel and conference: convenors will need to observe deadlines for action requested by the conference organisers, communicate with all those proposing papers to their panels to inform them of their decisions, and continue to communicate with the accepted presenters as the panel prepares for the event.
  • Panel convenors will need to select which papers they wish to accept to their panel during the period 8 – 24 February 2021. So it is important you are able to do this during that time period.

Conference format – online

Due to the ongoing pandemic and COVID-19 threat, the conference is taking place online and therefore it is crucial to make sure that panel convenors have a stable and fast enough internet access.

If panel convenors have experienced unstable connection with previous video calls and/or have been unable to share screen via Zoom (for example), please make sure to find a co-convenor with a strong internet connection. So, if the worst happens and the primary convenor is unable to lead the panel, the co-convenor can take over.

If you do not have previous experience and wish to make sure that your computer and internet connection are enough, please let us know ahead of time, so we can arrange a tech test during a preparation period.

Please ensure you have read the conference theme at the bottom of the conference homepage before proposing your panel via the link below.