DSA, 2019: DSA2019: Opening up Development
Open University, Milton Keynes, 19/06/2019 – 21/06/2019
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- Disrupting health research: The stream challenges framings of ‘global health’ initiatives that treat LMICs as recipients of in-bound knowledge and technologies. In doing so it seeks to learn from research with and on health practitioners in LMICs how changes to practice might be achieved at scale.
- Inclusive development?: Inclusive development promises a more encompassing framing of development that recognises multiple exclusions and the value of ‘non-economic’ factors. As inclusive development has been applied to different sectors and groups, this stream critically interrogates if and how innovation processes, women’s political struggles and new forms of economic activity actually achieve greater inclusion.
- Opening (up) Development Practice: Development practice has moved well beyond the traditional focus on donors and NGOs, to include the private sector, philanthropic foundations, and a range of Southern actors as well as seeing development as a global phenomenon. This broad stream seeks to understand the operationalisation and effectiveness of these new configurations of actors, and whether and how these relationships can be enacted ethically.
- Impactful development?: This stream examines some of the challenges surrounding impact, evaluation, collaboration and capacity strengthening for both ODA-funded research and development projects on the ground.
- Mobilities, Migration and Development: This stream combines theoretical, empirical and policy analysis of large-scale migration and development in both historical and contemporary contexts, focusing on micro and macro levels in both ‘home’ and ‘host’ countries.
- Teaching development: Young people are powerful agents of current and future development action, but we need to pay more attention to how development studies, broadly conceived, is taught in schools and higher education institutions. This stream examines the tensions and complementarities between student expectations and institutional pressures and the potential for truly transformative development studies programmes.
- Challenging Authoritarianism: In the face of growing authoritarianism, profound questions are raised about the political spaces open for critically engaging with development challenges. The stream explores the implications of political populism for development interventions in the Global South as well as contemporary challenges to NGO missions, action and advocacy.
- Transnational political economies of development: The changing global political economy reinforces some old patterns of exclusion, but also creates opportunities for new and often contested forms of integration and global connections. This stream unpacks these processes at a range of scales from state capacity, to African continental scales, and new transnational configurations such as the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Acting on Climate change and the environment: Tackling climate change requires new dialogues between an increasingly complex range of actors. This stream cuts into the climate change debates, policies and practices by interrogating the ways that different religions frame climate mitigation, how local governance plays into other scales of climate governance, and how value chains can be ‘greened’.
- Justice, peace and rights: Justice, rights and peace are all central to any understanding of inclusive development. The stream examines the practices of securing justice and inclusion in a range of settings and also through digital platforms.
- Cities and social justice: As cities in the global South grow rapidly, tensions around their governance intensify. The stream interrogates overlapping forms of governance that characterise African cities, as well as how capital cities are controlled and co-opted by governments, and the efforts of groups to resist this.
- Opening up the Market: Since the watershed of 1989 there have been many market transitions, but they are rarely analysed comparatively. At the same time new financial architectures based on ‘havens’ have emerged, which often marginalise lower-income countries, and raise calls for ‘de-linking’ from such economic structures. This stream will include empirical and theoretical contributions to assessing market transitions and assess patterns, drivers, and impacts of haven use, as well as the prospects for reforms or radical alternatives.
- The politics of state policies and social protection: Social protection, and social policy more broadly, is deeply political. This stream interrogates the politics of social protection from multiple angles including how the idea of universalism plays out nationally, and how ‘external’ and ‘domestic’ political spaces become defined and contested.
- New geographies of work: In recent years labour-intensive manufacturing has grown rapidly in parts of the global South but we know little about the workers whose labour drives this expansion. This stream investigates the working lives of Africans in the region's new manufacturing sectors as well as the wider socio-cultural life of work and 'non-work' in local contexts.
- Interrogating development through stories and experiences: Development research has tended to focus on human respondents as rational and transparent beings that we can understand through a narrow palate of scientific methods. Yet much human experience is not captured this way and the stream will explore how heritage and curation construct development, how psychosocial methods open up new insights, how objects have development effects, and to challenge our own stories of development.