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The Global Economic Crisis and Beyond: What Possible Future(s) for Development Studies?


  • Andy Sumner

    () (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton.)


The context for ‘development’ – however defined – is changing, not only because of the global economic crisis, but also in light of broader changes. If the context for development is changing, then the study of this ‘development’ will also need to adapt to these changing circumstances. This article seeks to contribute to debates on the future of development studies (DS), and consider what the changing context for ‘development’ might mean for a new ‘operating system’ within DS. The article outlines two possible stylised futures to trigger debate, respectively based on a widening or a narrowing of the scope of DS: A future DS with a broader scope via global perspectives on inter-connected development (a ‘one-world’ DS); and a future DS with a narrower scope via attention to the needs of the poorest countries or the poorest people (a ‘bottom billion’ DS).Le contexte du ‘développement’ – quelqu′en soit la définition – est actuellement en mutation. Ceci est vrai non seulement à la lumière de la crise économique mondiale, mais aussi à cause d’autres changements plus généraux de grande envergure. Si le contexte du développement évolue, il est clair que l’étude de ce ‘développement’ devra, d′une manière ou d′une autre, s′adapter à ces changements. Cet article cherche à contribuer à la réflexion sur l′avenir des études du développement et à examiner les implications des évolutions du contexte du développement pour l′émergence d′un nouveau ‘système d′exploitation’ pour la recherche sur le développement. Nous présentons deux possibles scénarios stylisés afin de provoquer un débat, basé respectivement sur un élargissement et un rétrécissement du champ de la recherche sur le développement : Une recherche dont le champ d′analyse est élargi à travers des perspectives globales sur un développement interdépendant (une recherche sur le développement d’un monde ‘dans son ensemble’) vis-à-vis d′une recherche dont le champ est plus étroit, davantage centrée sur les besoins des pays ou populations les plus pauvres (les études du développement focalisées sur ‘le milliard du bas’).

Suggested Citation

  • Andy Sumner, 2011. "The Global Economic Crisis and Beyond: What Possible Future(s) for Development Studies?," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 23(1), pages 43-58, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:23:y:2011:i:1:p:43-58

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Susanna Kinnman & Magnus Lodefalk, 2007. "What is at Stake in the Doha Round?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(8), pages 1305-1325, August.
    2. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
    3. Antoine Bouët & Simon Mevel & David Orden, 2007. "More or Less Ambition in the Doha Round: Winners and Losers from Trade Liberalisation with a Development Perspective," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(8), pages 1253-1280, August.
    4. Shafaeddin, Mehdi, 2006. "Is The Industrial Policy Relevant In The 21st Century?," MPRA Paper 6643, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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