A discipline in search of boundaries – Report from The Broker

Development Studies is no longer solely about studying the poor in underdeveloped countries, but about analysing the development perspectives of socioeconomically, culturally and politically marginalized people in both low- and middle-income countries. The focus has shifted towards analysing the unequal distribution of global public goods, and the disproportional impact that environmental degradation and climate change are having on the most vulnerable groups. The global power dynamics have shifted, and traditional development themes have become intersected by a broad range of global issues. While these changes are certainly not new, the field of development studies has, according to the session’s participants, been insufficiently able to respond to them. Now, more than ever, it needs to redefine its identity and set clear boundaries for what it should and should not do.

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