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Critical Debates With(In) Development: Power, Resilience and Change - IDS / Sussex University

February 19, 2013

The School of Global Studies, University of Sussex and the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), with support from the Development Studies Association (DSA) would like to extend a warm invitation to all postgraduate students to submit proposals to our First Annual Postgraduate Development Studies Conference. The theme of the two-day inaugural conference to be held on 13th and 14th June 2013 is:

Critical Debates With(in) Development: Power, Resilience and Change.

The aim of the conference is to share research that fosters original ideas, new narratives and alternative ways of thinking about the central concepts of Power, Resilience and Change within development. In the dominant development paradigm certain issues can be disregarded as peripheral and unimportant. Yet the potential of these issues to contribute to processes of knowledge production and transformative practice should not be overlooked. Questions we would like participants to consider
include: How can we begin to critically explore the “silences” in development discourse and practice? How can we explore these issues which are still seen as “external” to the dominant development discourse and practice? What power relationships are revealed when we explore these issues? How can we reclaim these alternative spaces, topics and narratives? How can the potential of marginalised issues be harnessed to become revolutionary? What is resilience in the development context? What does ‘not coping’ look like? How can we begin understanding agency in ways that enable development to better serve its transformative potential?

We are interested in papers and proposed panels that explore this theme through theoretical and/or practical perspectives. Sub-Themes include but are not limited to:

  • Reimagining Development: Theorising Development, The Changing Geography of Development
  • Redefining Aid and Development Economics
  • Methodology and Development Research: Reflexivity in Development Research
  • State and Development
  • Re-assessing Impact Measurement and Evaluation
  • Post-2015 Development Agenda
  • Alternative Modes of Scholarship and Communication: Knowledge and Power in Education and Pedagogy
  • Religion, Faith-Based Organisations and Development
  • Indigenous Politics/the Politics of ‘Indigeneity’ and Development
  • The Environment and Natural Resources: The Politics of Water, Climate Change and Disasters
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Inter-generational Dynamics and Development
  • Gender, Sexuality and Development
  • Inequality, Identity and Development
  • Movement of People, Migration of Ideas, Diasporas and Development
  • Conflict, Violence, and Development
  • Peacemaking Processes, Reconstruction and Resilience

We hope to encourage academic exchange between graduate students in different disciplines engaging with practical and/or theoretical debates in development. The conference casts a broad net and aims to bring together academic expertise not just from development studies but also from a variety of disciplines such as sociology, political science, anthropology, geography, economics, education, applied social science, public administration, management, law and other disciplines that are engaging with current debates in development.

Paper and Panel Submissions
We would like to invite students to make submissions on these and related themes in the form of paper presentations or pre-arranged panels. A prize will be awarded for the Best Conference Paper.
The deadline for submission is the 31 March 2013. Early submissions are recommended.
All paper submissions should include a short biography with contact information, institutional affiliation, position or year of study, and an abstract of no more than 250 - 300 words. We also welcome presentations in different forms, for example poster presentations, short documentaries and photo exhibitions.

Proposed panel submissions should include the above information for all members of the panel, a proposed theme and note explaining panel’s connection to the overall conference theme. Complete panels will be composed of 4 presenters. Panel proposals do not need to be for full panels. Proposals with two or three panellists will be considered. Efforts will then be made by the Conference Committee to complete the panels with paper proposals received from other applicants. Interdisciplinary panels are encouraged.

We strongly believe that our conference will provide an excellent opportunity to connect scholars across disciplines and for ideational creativity. We encourage you to attend, participate and engage.
All submissions should be sent to by the 31 March 2013.

Registration for the conference will be £5.00.

The second day of the Conference will consist of a series of workshops on Fieldwork Methods and Research Ethics. Further information about the Workshop series, registration procedures will be sent out in due course.

Enquiries about the conference can be sent to

Kind Regards,
2013 Organizing Committee
Post Graduate Development Studies C