Global Development Institute Blog

Scholars across the Global Development Institute are convening or co-convening a range of exciting panels at this year’s Development Studies Association Conference, taking place at SOAS between 26th and 28th June 2024. The event theme is ‘Social justice and development in a polarising world’, allowing attendees to explore issues surrounding rights and representation, redistribution and restoration, and reproduction and production.

If you’re interested in submitting a paper to present at this year’s conference, please view the full programme here. You’ll also find more information about DSA2024, including key dates and practical information, on the DSA’s website.

Panels convened by at least one GDI academic include:


Data justice and development

Convenors: Rose Pritchard (GDI), Richard Heeks (GDI), Smith Ouma (GDI), Gianluca Iazzolino (GDI), Marina Requena Mora (Universitat Jaume I)

Abstract: Data are playing an increasingly important role in shaping development. Our panel will explore issues of data justice in development, including cases where data have led to social (in)justice, and practical strategies by which data can contribute to socially just development.


The colonial roots of commodity dependence

Convenors: Sophie van Huellen (GDI), Victoria Stadheim (University of Hertfordshire), Helena Perez Nino (ISS Erasmus University Rotterdam), Sara Stevano (SOAS University of London)

Abstract: The rootedness of commodity dependence in colonialism has been theorised in dependency scholarship and documented in recent empirical studies. Yet, the mechanisms through which colonial structures persist are not well understood. This panel invites papers that explore these mechanisms over time.


The extractive politics of Africa’s energy transition: A new dawn or more of the same?

Convenors: Gerald Arhin (GDI), Aidan Barlow (University of Bath)

Abstract: The panel aims to explore the ‘new’ politics that define extraction of critical minerals in Africa. Central to this are questions around power dynamics, continuities, and changes for local communities, and shifting policy directions that accompany mining for the energy transition.


Leaving no one behind: Citizen participation and access to services in an era of declining public trust in the state

Convenors: Mohammed Ibrahim (GDI), Vidhya Unnikrishnan (GDI), Sandra Obiri-Yeboah (University of Ghana)

Abstract: The panel aims to assemble research on vulnerable groups’ rights, representation and exclusion. Encroaching on minority rights and limited access to services for the vulnerable affect public trust and general wellbeing, with implications for SDG aspirations on poverty, inequality and climate change.


Investigating the politics of social (in)justice in African cities

Convenors: Patience Adzande (GDI), Smith Ouma (GDI), Sam Hickey (GDI)

Abstract: African cities offer numerous opportunities, but they are also key sites of social injustice. This panel will explore the nature of this problem with a focus on how residents are navigating the dominant structures and processes of politics and power that drive social (in)justice in African cities.


State provisioning in crisis? Social policy financing and distributional outcomes in the Global South

Convenors: Mohammed Ibrahim (GDI), Ruby Kodom (University of South Africa), Virgi Sari (LSE)

Abstract: This panel aims to assemble research that investigate sustainable social policy financing in the Global South. It highlights limited fiscal capacity, political economy drivers of social spending, alternative avenues of financing and implications for poverty, inequality and vulnerability.


Community knowledge in academic research: In pursuit of epistemic justice

Convenors: Daniela C Beltrame (SDI Slum Dwellers International), Diana Mitlin (GDI), Smith Ouma (GDI), Beth Chitekwe-Biti (SDI Slum Dwellers International)

Abstract: This panel will concentrate on collaborative research and knowledge co-production seeking epistemic justice. We welcome submissions in various mediums that explore emancipatory research practices that meaningfully engage low-income and marginalised communities.


European Association of Research and Training Development Institutes (EADI) 50th-anniversary roundtable on ‘The future of Development Studies’ [Politics & Political Economy SG]

Convenors: Andy Sumner (King’s College London), Pritish Behuria (GDI)

Abstract: The roundtable will debate the future of development studies. Specifically, the framing of development studies around a set of fundamental questions. The roundtable is organised as part of the 50th anniversary of the European Association of Research and Training Development Institutes (EADI).


Roundtable: Global development politics

Convenors: Sam Hickey (GDI), Indrajit Roy (University of York)

Abstract: This Roundtable will introduce and discuss a new textbook for postgraduate students, forthcoming with Routledge titled Global Development Politics. Co-authored by Indrajit Roy and Sam Hickey, the textbook deepens and furthers a “global” approach to development.


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