Thursday, 12 December 2013

What is Development Studies? : Intro to DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

 For those still perplexed by Development Studies here is a 'satisfying' description of what multi-disciplinary Development Studies covers.
"Development economics is mostly a hard-core, quantitative enterprise, and development studies is mostly a theoretical, soul-searching enterprise." - Tom O'Connor

[...] The field of development studies (aka international or comparative development studies) has, unfortunately, always been something of a stepchild as an academic discipline since its emergence in the late twentieth century.  It is perhaps best characterized as a multi-disciplinary field where one will find most scholarly contributions come from the fields of anthropology, criminology, demography, ecology, economics, geography, history, international relations, philosophy, political science, public management, and sociology.  Other interdisciplinary or emerging fields that have made their mark include area studies, cultural studies, epidemiology, ethnic studies, migration studies, pedagogy, postcolonialism, and women's studies.  Note: it may be an arcane piece of academic trivia, but a "multi-" disciplinary field denotes one where the practitioners never really depart from their "home" discipline, as opposed to "inter-" or "trans-" disciplinary efforts where a common base or synthesis is sought.  Therefore, it might be more accurate to refer to practitioners as belonging to a loosely-knit community rather than a "field."  While it would be nice to provide a crystal-clear definition of development studies, there is none that quality, so suffice it to say that development studies regards the study of change in developing countries.