Picto Article

Towards a renewed vision of development studies


This paper is intended as a contribution to the ongoing debate on the future of international development studies. It presents the outcome of a multi-site consultation process on the understanding and evolution of international development studies in Europe and emerging economies. Starting from a first 'Vision Paper on Development Studies', released in 2005, the authors examine how the global development landscape and the interdisciplinary field of development research and education have evolved. Based on an analysis of publications in the field of development studies, journal impact factors, and perceptions from scholars involved in research and teaching, the authors advance an updated 'Vision' that takes into account how the field is viewed and takes shape not only in the West, but also in China and in South Africa. While some of the basic tenets of development studies seem to hold firm, major shifts in global development and academic landscapes may give rise to important reconfigurations. On the one hand, the field of development studies is vibrant and growing. On the other, its expanding scope may end up challenging its very identity.