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Building Development Studies for the New Millennium

This book brings together multiple critical assessments of the current state and future visions of global development studies. It examines how the field engages with new paradigms and narratives, methodologies and scientific impact, and perspectives from the Global South. The authors focus on social and democratic transformation, inclusive development and global environmental issues, and implications for research practices. Leading academics provide an excellent overview of recent insights for post-graduate students and scholars in these research areas.

  • Contributes to debates on current state and future visions of international development studies (IDS)
  • Presents contributions of Anglophone, Francophone and Spanish-language social science traditions and academic communities in the global South by leading scholars in the field
  • Discusses recent epistemological and ontological discussions on knowledges and qualities of engaged research


Isa Baud is Emeritus Professor of International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Elisabetta Basile is Professor of Development Economics at the University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.

Tiina Kontinen is Senior Lecturer at the Master Degree Programme in Development and International Cooperation, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Susanne von Itter is Executive Director of EADI, Germany.

Read more on the publisher's website

Read our blog posts by chapter authors

Knowledge, Asymmetric Power Relations and Us

Henning Melber -
Rather than summarising my chapter on “Knowledge Production, Ownership and the Power of Definition: Perspectives on and from Sub-Saharan Africa” in Building Development Studies for the New Millennium, I’d like to offer some additional thoughts I am dealing with since I wrote the piece. These thoughts are motivated by the view that that such asymmetries are not a matter confined to North-South relations and/or promoted by a specific group of “dominators” alone.

Can we understand the prospects of development without understanding its environmental dimension?

Imme Scholz -
Development Studies aim to understand the root causes of poverty and its reproduction and how social inequalities emerge and are stabilized. This is a broad endeavour with a number of academic disciplines contributing, with quite a few success stories if we look at the economic and the social dimensions. However, while maintaining the focus on human wellbeing, we ought to change the mainstream understanding of this task and need to include the natural evnironment and its threats in the research on development.

Engaged Excellence in Development Studies

Development Studies Dilemmas
Melissa Leach -
In our current times, Development Studies is needed more than ever. As global challenges – from inequality, conflict and migration, to climate change and pandemics – intensify, the established hallmarks of Development Studies have much to offer and need to be nurtured and spread. These include interdisciplinarity, problem-focus, the addressing of connections between global and national processes and the realities of people’s lives and livelihoods, critical examination of institutions and power relations (including those of the aid industry), and the seeking of progressive change. Yet in our current political times, Development Studies is also facing new demands and dilemmas.

Watch our Virtual Dialogues with the contributors of the book

Our webinar series provides the unique opportunity to directly engage with the contributors of the book, to learn more about the research behind and to challenge and discuss!

#11 "Building Development Studies for the New Millennium"-  Isa Baud and Elisabetta Basile give an introduction to the book and outline how and why the field of development studies needs to engage with new paradigms and narratives, methodologies and perspectives from the Global South.

#13 "Engaged Excellence in Development Studies" - Melissa Leach and John Gaventa share their reflections and experiences in seeking to promote positive transformative change that is strategically informed by research and knowledge.

#15 "Knowledge Production, Ownership and the Power of Definition" - Henning Melber reflects on knowledge production (in development studies), countering power divides and using the power of privilege.