Global Development Studies (formerly known as Development Studies) examines development, poverty, inequality as well as social, political, environmental and cultural changes from a multidisciplinary perspective. At the University of Helsinki, Global Development Studies focuses on topics such as the theory of development, global extractivisms and transformative alternatives, decolonising struggles, political ecology of environment and development, development policy and interventions, justice, and the relationship between development and culture, gender and other intersecting inequalities, space and the environment as well as global political economy. It seeks to explain and understand complex social transformations first and foremost – although not solely – in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as in the Global South – North relations with the purpose of finding creative opportunities and alternatives for the future.
Global Development Studies
What is Global Development Studies?
The discipline of Global Development Studies examines development, inequality and justice especially in the global South. We explore social, political, environmental and cultural changes and continuities from a multidisciplinary perspective. Global Development Studies diverse South-North relations in the globalising world. In Finland, Global Development Studies exists as a separate discipline only at the University of Helsinki, where it is a highly popular, well-established social science discipline.
Read more in our statement about the discipline on our blog site. [To be updated in 2021] .
Global Development Studies scholars combine different theoretical, methodological, and analytical lenses. We interpret cultural, political, economic, environmental, and social change, with a view to understanding and explaining complex processes of global transformations. These are analysed from the perspectives of historical as well as contemporary contexts first and foremost – although not solely – in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The areas that Global Development Studies primarily studies were connected to the world economy through colonialism and to the global system as possessions of European colonial powers. The study of the global South entails historical and contemporary global connections (capitalism, colonialism, aid, trade, etc.), and the domination, hierarchies and inequalities attached to them. Global Development Studies is interested in the effects of globalisation, environmental change, and development policy on the opportunities of people in the global South to make choices about their lives.
Global Development Studies is a dynamic, pluralist, and popular multidisciplinary and internationally oriented discipline at the University of Helsinki. Its current focus areas include the following:
- Globalisation of development
- State formation, development interventions, and social resistance
- Political ecology of resource politics and governance
- Justice, Disasters and global climate emergency
- Global extractivisms and transformative alternatives
- Urban inequalities in the global South
- Feminist theorizing and decolonizing knowledges
- Peace, conflicts, and sustainable development
- Rising powers and South-South relations
Information about the events organised by Global Development Studies can be found in the 'events' section of the blog.
Also, you can browse other events organised by the Faculty or by other units via Event Calendar.
- CA19129 - Decolonising Development: Research, Teaching and Practice (DecolDEV) (2020 - 2023)
- Citizenship Utopias in the Global South: The Pursuit of Transformative Alternatives in Times of Civic Disillusionment
- CONVIVA: Convival Conservation
- FCITIES: Fragile cities in the global South: Societal security, environmental vulnerability and representative justice
- Gendered Political Violence and Urban Post-Disaster Reconstruction
- Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia (2018-2022)
- Platform tourism and urban justice
- Political economies of deforestation: The impact of regionally dominant resource sectors in the forest politics of Brazil, Peru, and Finland (2018 - 2023)
- Water and fire: Volatile ecologies and politics of vulnerabilization in the global South (2018-2022)
- Water and Vulnerability in Fragile Societies (WATVUL) (2018 - 2022)
Research projects involving the discipline are listed in the research portal.
Degree programmes that offer teaching in development studies
- Bachelor’s Programme in Society and Change (in Finnish)
- Master’s Programme in Society and Change (in Finnish)
- Master's Programme in Contemporary Societies
- Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Changes
More information on degrees: Degree finder of the University of Helsinki
- Finnish Society for Development Research
- Extractivisms and Alternatives (EXALT) Initiative
- European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI)
- Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC)
- Centre for Corporate Responsibility (CCR)
- World-Ecology Research Network
- ICCA Consortium