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Development Research Conference 2018

22–23 of August, the University of Gothenburg together with the Swedish Research Council and Sida, organizes a conference on Development Research – Development Research Conference, DevRes. This year's conference theme is "Rethinking development". Sven Stafström, the Director General of the Swedish Research Council, is the introductory speaker.


22 - 23 August 2018


University of Gothenburg and Wallenberg Conference Centre

The conference aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for researchers working on development issues of relevance to low income countries and lower middle income countries. The conference also serves as a platform for dialogue between researchers, public authorities, organisations and practitioners regarding development issues.

Rethinking development

What kind of ‘development’ is wanted for today’s world? The idea, study, and policy field of ‘development’ emerged in the 1940s, in a time of decolonization, the Cold War, and Euro-centric high modernism. Seventy years later the scene is one of new emerging economies, migration crises, multiculturalism, climate change, and new patterns of infectious and chronic diseases. Given such profound transformations, do we need, again, to rethink ‘development’?

Development can be rethought in terms of concepts, issues, methods and policies. For example, does it still make sense to speak of a ‘North’ and a ‘South’? Do the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) go far enough in redefining the research and policy agenda? Do we need to redirect research attention to new and re-emerging issues such as diasporas, digitization, food security, religion, intellectual property, and health surveillance; or is an older agenda of trade, democracy and conflict resolution as vital as ever? Do we need to ‘rethink’ the migration-development nexus in global development research and policymaking? What place, if any, remains for ‘aid’ in today’s altered development landscape? What new relationships can be forged between developing country scientists and international research partners when setting local research priorities and government policies? Has the moment arrived to construct a truly transdisciplinary development studies – and what does such a methodology entail more precisely? How does development research handle the question of scale in the face of trends towards localization, regionalization and globalization, along with resurgent nationalism? Do we need renewed debate on ethics and positionality in global development research and practice? Indeed, are ecological and other critics right to question the very notion of ‘development’ – and, if so, what takes its place?



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