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 Papers

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.

Call for Papers

DSA2021 will be held as a virtual, online conference, taking place 28th June – 2nd July. 

Proposing a paper

All proposals must be made via the online form, not by email. Proposals must be made to a specific panel. There is a ‘Propose paper’ button in the title section of each open panel. Navigate to the panel you are interested in and click on this button to propose directly to that panel. If you then decide you’d like to propose to another panel, first click ‘Cancel’ on the proposal form, before returning to the panel explorer (otherwise you’ll remain locked into that panel).

Paper proposals must consist of:

  • a paper title
  • the name/s and email address/es of author/s
  • a short abstract of fewer than 300 characters
  • a long abstract of fewer than 250 words

While papers directly addressing the conference theme and panel abstracts are particularly encouraged, proposals on any issue relevant to the understanding of international development are welcomed. All “paper” panels are open to paper proposals through the website. Some “roundtable” and “experimental” panels are open to paper or other format proposals and some are not open to proposals (there will be no link for proposing a paper on a closed panel’s title section or page). Please read carefully the panel abstracts as often key information about the panel or what type of presentation will take place at the panel or how to submit a proposal is included within the short or long abstract. If in doubt of what is expected of you, email the panel convenors from the panel page. You can search for panels on the panels webpage by format of the panel (paper, experimental or roundtable) or by stream (themes) or by convenor or by title.

On submission of the proposal, the proposing author will receive an automated email confirming receipt. If you do not receive this email, please first Login to see if your proposal is there. If it is, it simply means your confirmation email got spammed/lost; if it is not, you will need to re-submit, as for some reason the process was not completed. Co-authors will receive an automated email to confirm their role as co-authors on the paper. Co-authors cannot be added/removed nor can papers be withdrawn by the proposers themselves – for that, please email us (address in the footer).


Proposals will be marked as pending until the end of the call for papers (08/02/2021). Convenors will then be asked to make their decisions over the papers proposed to their panel by late February and to communicate those to the proposers, marking them up within the login environment. Papers which are neither accepted nor rejected, but marked for ‘transfer’, will be given the possibility of finding a place in another panel, when and where possible. The successful transfer of all papers cannot be guaranteed but this process will be completed by 21st March.


  • Paper-presenters may be 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 year it is not allowed to make multiple paper proposals, so please only submit your best paper proposal for the one you intend to present at the conference. However, you can be a co-author on other papers but not as lead/ presenting author.
  • In brief, each participant may convene one panel, present one paper, chair one panel and be discussant in one panel.
  • 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.

Useful information for later in the process

Funding opportunity
Conference participants who have papers accepted for presentation at the DSA conference may apply for support to cover some or all of the registration fee to attend the conference. Funding from the Journal of Development Studies and the DSA will be allocated to accepted paper presenters with priority to researchers from AND based at institutions in the global South and to early career academics and students from other parts of the world. A call for applications will open once the call for papers has closed and paper panel convenors have accepted papers for their sessions. See key dates page on the website.

Editing your paper
Paper authors can use the login link in the toolbar above (the head icon) to edit their proposals.

Pre-circulation of papers
The DSA has no rule about this but many convenors are keen to pre-circulate completed papers. To facilitate this and save on loads of email traffic, authors can upload a PDF of their paper within Cocoa (online environment), and it will then show as a downloadable file beneath their abstract on the public panel page on this site. It is your choice whether you instruct your presenters to make use of this.

Length of panels
Panels may run over one or two 90-minute panel sessions, each of which may hold up to four papers. After the call for papers is over, the conference administrator will contact convenors, to agree how many sessions can be allotted to specific panels. This will be based on the number of paper proposals received, and the desires of the convenors. Some compromise may be required due to the overwhelming response to this conference call and the time constraints thus faced. We ask that convenors do not accept any papers before the call for papers ends.

Timing of presentations
How time is allocated in panel sessions is largely up to the convenors. The DSA norm is to allot each presenter a maximum of 20 minutes (15 mins for presentation and 5 mins for questions/discussion per speaker). The key is to respect the fact that many presenters have done a lot of work and effort to be able to contribute and clearly need time to set out their argument.

This said, the conference convenors are keen to involve the wider community of colleagues working in the realm of policy and practice, and so welcome sessions arranged in other formats that would generate exciting discussion and exchange of ideas. These other formats should be described in the long abstract of the panels.

We are unable to represent specific intra-panel timings in our programme. Delegates reading the conference timetable will have to work on the assumption that papers will be evenly distributed through the panel. Clearly you may wish to amalgamate discussion time, but where possible please try to stick to this even distribution.

Communication between authors/convenors
Convenor/author email addresses are not shown on the panel pages for anti-spam and privacy reasons. However, there is an in-built secure messaging system to contact convenors of all the panels. If you cannot work that, please email us to obtain the relevant email addresses.

Any queries with the above, please email conference(at)devstud.org.uk.