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.


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

Call for Papers is now closed

During the call 420 paper proposals were received across all 53 panels. Now the panel convenors will review the proposals and make their decisions. We aim to notify all authors via email about the results by the 24 February.

While papers directly addressing the conference theme and panel abstracts were particularly encouraged, proposals on any issue relevant to the understanding of international development were welcomed. All “paper” panels were open to paper proposals through the website. Some “roundtable” and “experimental” panels were open to paper or other format proposals and some were not open to proposals. 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 received an automated email confirming receipt. If you did 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).


Convenors will now 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. Until decisions are made by the convenors, papers will be listed as pending.


  • 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

Acceptance letters
Formal acceptance letters (signed pdfs on headed paper) can be downloaded from the login environment (top right corner of the DSA website). Log in, proceed past your contact details with the “Proceed” button (located under the contact fields) and when the website reloads click “Logged in” where “Log in” was in the top right corner. A menu appears, click “Conferences” and on the next screen, Cocoa appears – our online environment for papers and panels.  Scroll down to your panel/paper for DSA2021. There will be an encircled A at the end of the panel/paper title line. Click on this, download the pdf and print your letter. Please note that we do not send such letters by post.

Editing your paper
Paper authors can use the login link in the toolbar above (the head icon) to edit their own details or their own proposals. Make sure your contact details are the way you’d like them to be presented, particularly name, title and institution as these are visible on panel pages and will eventually appear in the online platform as well.

Controlling/editing your panel
Panel convenors can use the login link (top right corner of website) to edit their proposals. Convenors are requested to administer their panels via this login environment. Convenors should log in to state any specific timing requests for their panel (when directed to do so by the conference administrator), to add the names of chairs/discussants, and to manage the paper proposals. Co-convenors cannot be added/removed nor can panels be withdrawn through this environment – please email us to do this at conference(at)devstud.org.uk

Chairs and discussants
The names of any chairs or discussants can be added through the login environment. Please use the convention of Firstname Lastname (Institution). If these roles are to be taken by convenors, then please do not enter your own names there as it is implicit that this will be the case where other names are not listed.

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, two or three 105-minute panel sessions, each of which may hold up to four papers. Now the call for papers is over, the conference administrators have contacted convenors, to inform them how many sessions have been allotted to specific panels. This was based on the number of paper proposals received, and the desires of the convenors. Some compromise may be required due to the high response to this conference call and the time constraints thus faced. We asked that convenors did not accept any papers before the call for papers ended.

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.

The panel timetable will be established just before registration opens on 24 March.

This year we should be able to represent specific paper (intra-panel) timings in our programme. Delegates should be able to see when, if good tie-keeping is enforced, each paper should begin and end. Otherwise 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.

Convenor responsibilities
It is the convenors’ responsibility to ensure that all panel participants are well briefed and that the panel continues to meet DSA2021 requirements. To that end, convenors should not only communicate their decisions over proposals to paper proposers, but also later in the process, email the panelists to:

  • inform them of the speaking order (albeit this is displayed on the public panel page)
  • inform them as to how much time they have been allocated
  • remind them to register (the registration status can be seen in the login environment)
  • inform them of any late changes or additional chairs/discussants, and give any other information related to the panel.
  • if panelists withdraw, convenors should mark these withdrawals in the login environment to inform the organisers.

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