Global Development Institute Blog

Welcome from the Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester

We are very pleased and honoured to welcome you all to the 2018 Development Studies Association Annual Conference here at The University of Manchester. We are delighted to host this conference focused on global inequalities, a theme which is one of five research beacons of The University of Manchester. Development studies has a long tradition at Manchester, with 2018 marking our 60th anniversary as a university department. We have recently combined the strengths of our Institute for Development Policy and Management and Brooks World Poverty Institute to form the Global Development Institute as part of the university’s continued commitment to and promotion of development studies. We are pleased to continue our long and productive relationship with the Development Studies Association in a year in which it also celebrates an anniversary – 40 years.

DSA2018 involves panels and papers that engage critically with many dimensions of inequality, and the ways these reinforce or counteract each other. We have been very pleased to receive a wide range of contributions on global inequalities, as a subject of research, an issue for action and as a lens through which to approach the world. We have a total of 69 panels, and 360 papers, and would like to thank panel convenors for bringing together such an exciting range of papers and people.

We are honoured to have an exciting range of plenary speakers: Frances Stewart (University of Oxford) and Jan Nederveen Pieterse (University of California Santa Barbara) who will deliver the opening plenary (sponsored by the Journal of Development Studies); Gabriel Palma (University of Cambridge & University of Santiago) who will deliver the Development and Change annual lecture; and Anne-Marie Goetz (New York University) who will deliver the Oxford Development Studies annual lecture. The final plenary session of the conference is a ‘Policy and Practice’ panel on tackling inequalities, featuring Sakiko Fakuda-Parr (New School for Social Research, New York), Lidy Nacpil (Fight Inequality Alliance), and Alex Cobham (Tax Justice Network), which is sponsored by the Global Development Institute (University of Manchester).

A novel addition to the conference this year is an early career plenary speaker panel, sponsored by the DSA, showcasing emerging talent and involving Lipika Kamra (Georgetown University Qatar), Jackie Kauli (Queensland University of Technology), Oscar Garza (Universidad de las Américas Puebla) and Julia Schöneberg (Universität Kassel), with Alice Evans (Kings College London) as chair.

We would like to acknowledge the generous support of our key sponsors listed above. In addition, the Journal of Development Studies has also provided significant support to assist participants with registration costs, travel and accommodation, and the University of Manchester has sponsored the full costs of 22 participants who are based in the global South.

Thank you to all who helped organise the conference – NomadIT, the local organising committee, and the Global Development Institute Master’s students who are volunteering. We hope that the more informal approach to the conference dinner, involving food trucks and a band, will go down well with all.

We hope visitors to Manchester will also enjoy their time here – a place which for both better and worse has shaped global inequalities through the Industrial Revolution, through being a key formative site for Engels and Marx, through the cooperative and suffragette movement (which we celebrate the 100th anniversary of this year), to name but a few. Let’s make this a productive and enjoyable experience as we seek to tackle, in various ways, the considerable challenge of global inequalities.

Diana Mitlin, Managing Director, Global Development Institute
David Hulme, Executive Director, Global Development Institute
Sam Hickey and Rory Horner, Conference Co-Chairs