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 "Just sustainable futures in an urbanising and mobile 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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6-8 July 2022: Online Conference at University College London

Just sustainable futures in an urbanising and mobile world

Justice and equity, just futures in an urbanising and mobile world, facing a climate and ecological crisis in a pandemic or post-pandemic context

DSA2022 will examine the following over-arching themes and questions:

1. Urbanising futures, climate change and sustainability

    • How can infrastructure and environmental interventions be developed to be adaptive and inclusive and just for all in both formal and informal settings?
    • Are there new configurations in the relationship between rural, peri-urban and urban areas? How do we understand the challenges of rural development and climate emergency through an urban lens?
    • What kinds of transitions – in relation to energy, infrastructure and transport – are required to ensure that urbanisation becomes more environmentally sustainable? How might these be achieved?

2. Urbanising futures, governance and social movements

    • How do politics and multiple scales of governance affect just urban-rural linkages? How do cities collaborate with each other?
    • How are cities in the global south becoming integrated into new flows of capital and new super-power struggles, including around investments in infrastructure and real estate, and with what implications for development?
    • What political claims are poor rural and urban communities making, including migrant and displaced residents, and what forms of political participation and planning help bring about just sustainable futures?
    • How are movements for urban and rural justice, especially regarding the housing and land rights, linked across the global north and global south?

3. Mobility, migration and diversity in an urbanising future

    • How is the mobility of capital implicated in promoting or undermining moves towards more just, sustainable, and prosperous futures, in the global north as well as the global south?
    • How is the climate and ecological crisis triggering new forms of mobility, and what are the social, political and environmental consequences of this? What new forms of policy, practice, and social action are emerging in response?
    • What roles do digital technologies and innovation play in achieving just sustainable futures?
    • How are ideas of space and place themselves re-drawn as people move across countries and continents, and how do these ideas connect with those of entitlement and belonging?
    • What are the processes at work that (re)produce diversities, as well as inequalities and socio-spatial segregation, in urban and rural areas as a result of the processes of urbanisation, mobility, and climate and ecological crisis?

4. Future urban living

    • How can urban informality be conceptualised and how does it relate to just development and pathways to inclusive and sustainable prosperity?
    • What is the role of formal and informal infrastructures in promoting well-being?
    • How can health systems and health policies respond to new challenges posed by rapid urbanisation, mobility, and the climate and ecological crisis?
    • What are the implications for future education of an urbanising and mobile world facing a climate and ecological crisis?
    • Modes of transport, driven by and enabling both social and geographical mobility, are significant users of planetary resources. What technological and other solutions are being proposed to address this, and what are their implications for equity across social and geographical axes of difference?

5. Urbanising futures and knowledge production

    • How can just, sustainable, and prosperous futures be conceptualised, imagined, researched in the context of mobility and urbanisation?
    • What knowledges and learning are needed for just futures? Who are the actors and what are the possible forms of producing knowledge for a just future? What role can academia play and what partnerships are necessary to enhance legitimacy and effectiveness?
    • What is the role of research in addressing future challenges through new research methodologies and measures?
    • How does an intersectional lens help us to understand the multiple injustices faced by urban and rural populations as a result of urbanisation, mobility and climate and ecological crisis, as well as the range of policy approaches necessary to address them?
    • What epistemologies and methodologies do we need if we are to make a justice-oriented approach integral to development? What new tools are emerging or need to be developed to measure urban poverty and inequality and work towards more just futures?

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

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