DSA Annual Conference, 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Description of Activity

Development Studies Post-2015: Which Way Now? Development Studies Association annual conference Abstract In his Presidential Address to the Development Studies Association in 1982, Amartya Sen posed the question “Which Way Now?” for the field of Development Studies. With the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) now approaching and discussions around what should replace them entering their final stages, this theme of “where next” is once again in the foreground for those involved in teaching Development Studies in Higher Education (HE). This paper takes up this theme by drawing on a decade of experiences teaching Development Studies programmes in HE that have been heavily structured around the MDGs, and offers some thoughts on what a post-2015 agenda for Development Studies might look like. It begins by briefly considering some of the current debates around the direction that Development Studies might take, and situating these in the context of broader and longer running discussions and anxieties around the shape and direction of the discipline. It then draws on a series of discussions and experiences based on contact with over 200 undergraduate students in Development Studies at a number of HE institutions over the last decade in the UK, addressing in particular the issue of how to strike a balance between the “reflective” and the “practical” as students become increasingly demanding of vocational and voluntary opportunities and modes of study. The paper then goes on to offer some tentative suggestions towards the direction that Development Studies in HE might take post-2015, but it is equally keen to open up discussions around these broad themes with colleagues who are currently engaged with similar questions regarding the future design and delivery of HE programmes in Development Studies.
Period1 Nov 2014
Event typeConference


  • Development Studies
  • Millennium Development Goals
  • Sustainable Development Goals