Global Development Institute Blog

The Call for Papers is now open for DSA2019: Opening up Development, the annual conference of the Development Studies Association taking place at the Open University, Milton Keynes, 19-21st June. The conference theme draws attention to shifts in the global political economy; new forms of development intervention and activism; and the call to ‘de-colonise’ the teaching and learning of development studies. The DSA website hosts the lists of the panels included in this year’s conference. Panels hosted by researchers from the GDI include:

Digital Development

Conceptualises, analyses and evidences the emergence of “digital development” as new digital technologies – platforms, data, industry 4.0, etc – change the development landscape: opening up social, economic, political opportunities; but also reinforcing old inequalities.


  • Richard Heeks (The University of Manchester)
  • Jaco Renken (The University of Manchester)
  • Negar Monazam Tabrizi (The University of Manchester)
  • Shamel Azmeh (The University of Manchester)
  • Richard Duncombe (University of Manchester)
  • Christopher Foster (University of Manchester)
  • Kavita Dattani (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Philippa Williams (Queen Mary University Of London)

Propose a paper

Global value chains, the state and the political economy of development

Flows of goods and services in the global economy are increasingly structured through global value chains. These sessions focus on the role of the state in shaping engagements with global value chains and the associated development outcomes.


  • Rory Horner (The University of Manchester)
  • Khalid Nadvi (The University of Manchester)
  • Pritish Behuria (The University of Manchester)

Propose a paper

State capacity and the politics of development in Africa

‘Pockets of effectiveness’ have helped countries achieve growth, avoid the resource curse and deliver services. We welcome papers that locate PoEs in their political context, including with reference to wider strategies of state-building and regime survival, and also to transnational influences.


  • Sam Hickey (The University of Manchester)
  • Giles Mohan (The Open University)

Propose a paper

Dams, Development & Decision-making

Brings together biophysical and social scientific research to analyse the global phenomenon of hydro-infrastructure expansion and examine how it can be made more environmentally, socially and economically just and sustainable.


  • Pon Souvannaseng (The University of Manchester)
  • David Hulme (The University of Manchester)

Propose a paper

Environmental upgrading, trade and globalisation: implications for sustainable development

Trade through global and regional value chains is increasingly focusing on the need to support sustainable development. It is important to unpack the drivers and relationships between environmental upgrading, with the economic and social to comprehend sustainable upgrading trajectories


  • Aarti Krishnan (The University of Manchester)
  • Judith Krauss (The University of Manchester)

Propose a paper

The politics of implementing social protection programmes: Political competition, state capacity and policy feedback

This panel aims to bring together research on the politics of implementation and the political impacts of social protection programmes, highlighting drivers of variation within and between countries, as well as examining the impacts of social protection on state-society relations more broadly.

  • Tom Lavers (The University of Manchester)
  • Kate Pruce (The University of Manchester)
  • Edward Ampratwum (The The Ghana Center for Democratic Development)
  • Mohammed Ibrahim (The University of Manchester)

Propose a paper:

Deadline for paper proposals is 16th January. Full information on how to submit a paper. This year’s conference also features a call for early career plenary panel speakers which closes on 4th January.