In Search of a Revised Definition of Development Studies – The EADI Global Vision Paper (Academic Panel)

Development Studies (also known as ‘international development studies’ or ‘international development’) is a multi- and inter-disciplinary field of study rather than a single discipline. It seeks to understand the interplay between social, economic, political, technological, ecological, cultural and gendered aspects of societal change at the local, national, regional and global levels.
In the past two years, a “Vision Paper Process on International Development Studies” was initiated by four partners (ISS, Graduate Institute, NORRAG and EADI), and led to a thorough discussion which resulted in a revised definition of development studies, and various inputs from different disciplines which will be summarised in a book.
One essential question remains: The discourses are mainly oriented towards European and North American knowledge production and theories but engage far less with other schools of thought or proponents elsewhere from the continent or any other region in the world.
What different approaches and multiple schools of thought engage in academic discourses of relevance to development studies? How can other schools of thought be integrated in the knowledge production, especially recognizing the role that knowledge capture and sharing play in delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals?
This panel intends to present the new definition, and to invite reflections from various angles. This panel also constitutes the end of the discussion process within EADI, and opens the discussion to a wider public.
Paper available at:

Introduction to the results of vision paper process and “Building development studies for the new millennium”:

Presentation by Isa Baud, President of EADI and Elisabetta Basile, EADI Executive Committee member

Joost Mönks, NORRAG
Edith Phaswana, South African Development Studies Association
Tiina Kontinen, University of Jyvaskyla

Hans Dembowski, Development & Cooperation Journal