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Tracking the evolution of publications in the field, we start by comparing the catalogues of six major English-language social science publishers between and We then look at the evolution of the impact factors of peer-reviewed journals in both DS and neighbouring fields between and Looking at these publications by discipline, field of study, topic and region on the basis of their titles and short synopses highlights the predominance of development economics or titles dealing with economic issues, in both and That said, an increasing number of titles deal with other disciplines, including political science, geography and anthropology.

The region most often referred to is Asia, followed by Africa. There is a proliferation of themes, with an increasing number of publications dealing with topics that were much less prevalent in as compared with This is, for instance, the case for global health, technological innovation, impact evaluation, water and sanitation, disaster, tourism, and religion. While the flourishing of DS literature can be interpreted as an indication of a thriving field of study, it can also be seen as a challenging sign that DS spreads out in a multiplicity of directions, begging the question as to what holds DS together and what its boundaries are as a specific field of research and education, as discussed in Sections 5 and 6.

Figure 1 shows that IFs are available for eight journals in compared to six in In both reference years, DS journals indicated by red bars represent about a quarter of the total, but there is a higher number of journals in as more of them had an impact factor.

Figure 2: Impact factors for selected journals in the DS and connected fields Figure 3: Impact factors for selected journals in the DS and connected fields Figure 4: Impact factor percentage increase between and —only for journals with data available for both years It is restricted to a few journals in English and should be complemented with an analysis of publications in other languages.

Informants were unanimous in reporting that DS has a large constituency—both in government and in society. Students easily find employment and are considered agents of social change. Typical DS students want to make a difference in the policy world and in practice, and take an activist stand when it comes to their contribution to society.


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An important ongoing debate on DS relates to the necessity of decolonising knowledge and giving space to African indigenous knowledge. In other words, many scholars and researchers involved in DS in South Africa—or South African DS—have started to question and criticise the geography of knowledge production and many concepts of modernity originating in the North.


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Instead, local knowledge and contexts are emphasised and new knowledge ecologies originating in the South are emerging. Chinese scholars highlighted that studying development is nothing new in the Chinese context. The origin of development economics in China can be traced back, according to some scholars, to as early as with the work of Professor Pei-Kan Chang as well as to area studies in the early s with the setting up of a series of institutes specialising in different developing regions in the world, such as the Afro-Asian Institute established at Peking University in In other words, the Chinese experience offers an alternative perspective to mainstream pathways to development that have been advocated by the West over the past decades.

It further helps support the view that there is no single recipe and that context matters. That said, DS-related curricula are being increasingly integrated into economics, history and cultural studies programmes in several Chinese universities. With China re- emerging as a major international development player, the demand for DS is likely to grow substantially in the near future, as can already be seen in mounting interest from students from other developing countries and from the West who apply to join DS programmes in China.

Several interviewees noted that DS programmes in Chinese universities still often emulate existing DS programmes from the West, which is not a surprise given that many of the Chinese faculty members involved have had training in the West. While the DS field is reportedly vibrant in several countries, which are witnessing an increase in the number of students applying to and enrolled in DS study programmes notably the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland , DS is emerging as a relatively new field in part of eastern Europe notably the Czech Republic and Poland while the trend is rather a relative decline in other countries, such as Italy, Spain and Norway.

Another bone of contention is how normative or policy relevant the DS field should be. More generally, interviewees report a general reduction in funding, which tends to be more clearly earmarked in line with political priorities e.

Publications

This does not however seem to lead to a narrowing down of the DS field. On the contrary — and echoing our inventory of emerging themes in DS publications—interviewees in Europe identified a number of relatively new and increasingly important teaching and research topics, as summarised in Table 1. Topics highlighted. New actors philanthropists, foundations and corporations, emerging aid donors. Stronger interest in professional skills, in policy planning, and management.

These are followed by migration, emerging economies and the need for acquiring or strengthening professional or applied skills. Many of these topics relate to global public goods that transcend the old divide between North and South, which had long been at the core of DS in Europe. Conversely, the survey underlines that inequality, social exclusion and marginalisation are global concerns of direct relevance to European societies as well.

This is, for instance, the case with international studies IS , which increasingly encompasses global issues that also lie at the core of DS, such as global health, South—South and South—North migration, gender or climate change. It came somewhat as a surprise that the vast majority of respondents in Europe, and many interviewees in China and South Africa, felt that this Vision Paper—released over ten years ago—remains not too far off the mark despite the radical changes in the global development landscape since That Vision Paper advanced a definition of DS that was generic and broad enough to capture the essence of the field without being made too quickly obsolete by changes in the global environment.

What remains relatively consensual relates to the multi- or interdisciplinary nature of DS as well as its context-specific and policy orientation. While still modest in China, the field is expected to grow strongly over the coming years and several new programmes and schools are opening e.

Second, at a normative level, there is a shared concern for social issues related to poverty, inequality, exclusion and, to varying degrees, environmental sustainability. Third, DS is recognised as being context sensitive. Fourth, DS looks not only at development policies, but also at processes and practice. Fifth, DS tends to be problem-oriented to the extent that the field is concerned with real world problems and how to address them.

As DS is indeed increasingly concerned with informing policy and influencing action, greater attention is devoted to measuring such relevance and outcomes, including in educational curricula and research methods. Traditional Western DS, which built on a fading dichotomy between the industrialised and developing worlds, is being increasingly questioned, with alternatives anchored in the recognition of diverse knowledge ecologies and South—South academic cooperation see e.

Giving greater space to domestically produced knowledge, new DS programmes in China draw for example on the recent Chinese development experience, which is seen as at least as relevant as that of industrialised countries decades or centuries ago. Indeed, research in this field includes a broad variety of social inquiry approaches embedded in positivist, interpretative, historical and critical social research.

Methodological approaches to development research range all the way from inductive methods grounded in the observation of field reality to hypothetico-deductive approaches aimed at testing empirically theory-based models. Towards Cohesion Policy 4. Changing Gear — is Localism the New Regionalism? Where Next for Local Enterprise Partnerships? Joining the dots- making healthcare work better for the local economy Britain for sale? Perspectives on the costs and benefits of foreign ownership Published by the Smith Institute, edited by Mike Raco. Community, impact, leadership — 50 years of the Regional Studies Association.

Online access is not available to University libraries. For more information on access to these publications, visit our membership page. Regions has been remodelled from a members only printed magazine to a fully online and open access digital format and is now named Regions e-Zine. By combining the best of the old with the excitement of the new, the editorial team strives to ensure the Regions e-Zine becomes a vital tool to showcase the excellent regional-based research carried out by all members and friends of the Regional Studies Association.

Syllabus for Development Studies A - Uppsala University, Sweden

The code to use is: BB Africa Day celebrations: offers on key resources. In celebration of Africa Day, we would like to share with you a collection of books from African authors, and a wealth of African perspectives on global development issues. Take advantage below of free resources and limited discounts on our books valid until the end of June ; discover beautiful children's stories from Africa in our bookshop; and learn about Practical Action's STEM activities for schools inspired by Africa.

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In this issue: an open access article on menstrual hygiene management, and one on innovations in rainwater harvesting; access to WASH in Palestinian schools; and ICT innovation in rural water supply. We are subject to politics wherever we go and in whatever we are doing. Development is always and everywhere political, and frequently occurs with the interests of the powerful at the forefront.

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How can we better understand the politics that shapes and controls our lives and dominates the lives of others around the globe? Sneyd shows how conflicts over ideas can entrench underdevelopment, and he conveys why we need better analyses of development politics to fight the status quo and expedite inclusive change. Buy a copy of the book here.

Attributing Development Impact: The qualitative impact protocol case book. How do you know whether, or how, you contributed to an observed social change? A very useful book indeed. Working with Men for Gender Equality. Drawing on diverse examples from initiatives around the world, the book highlights both the potential for and importance, or indeed necessity, of involving men and boys, alongside women and girls, in addressing gender inequalities and promoting and ultimately achieving gender equality, for the good of all. Look out for more exciting releases, and new additions to our bookshop collection in the coming weeks!

Sign up to receive our news and offers by email and follow us on social media:. Practical Action Publishing Knowledge eLibraries Online book collections available for institutional subscription purchase or perpetual sale. Read more about the collection or request a FREE institutional trial. This is an important contribution in this perspective. Stiglitz Come and visit us at our stand!

If you are interested in meeting our Development Studies editor Helena Hurd at the conference to discuss upcoming projects, contact her at helena. Meanwhile, several exciting new publications hot off the press to share with you this month:. McLean and Gargani first propose a set of four guiding principles for scaling social innovation, and then proceed to illustrate the relevance of these principles with the help of carefully selected and insightful case-studies.

The book will be of great value to scholars and practitioners alike. Scaling Impact: Innovation for the Public Good contributes a new, eminently useable analytical framework thoughtfully applied to specific case examples that will help the readers in finding their way through the complex challenge of scaling for impact.


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Wide ranging, well informed and deeply personal, Ragged Trousered NGOs deserves to be read by anyone interested in civil society and social change. For the academic audience including students, the book will offer a fresh perspective on civil society and development from the standpoint of civil society worker.