IDSA01H3 Lecture 2: What is “Development” & What is “Development Studies”
DepartmentInternational Development Studies
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LEC 02 Sept. 12
What is “Development” & What is “Development Studies”
• Development pluralistic but contested notion
• Not always agreed upon
• Various consequences as result
• Attributing characteristics & assumptions w/ certain labels
• i.e. labelling countries as developed or developing
• Gender, race, ethnicity, etc.
• Should be mindful of what framing we use and who does framing
• Developing countries has negative connotation b/c assumes countries
solely characterized by GDP & economic value
• Usually opted to be referred to as “Global South”
• Signifies common history & degree of solidarity for countries
• Labels carry meanings & signifies person who uses said labels
• Uncovering assumptions of “conventional wisdoms” in development
What is “Development Studies”?
• Using multiple disciplinary lenses to understand common challenges
• Drawing ideas, conceptual frameworks & methodologies from history,
economics, anthropology, health, political sciences, environmental
sciences, geography, education, etc.
• Multifaceted, no set definition
• Development is study of “alternative processes & methods of socio-
—Development Studies Association, UK
• Development “emphasizes nuanced & critical approach that challenges
students to question conventional wisdoms, particularly the
established verities of development enterprise”
—Canadian Association of IDS
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