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Development studies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Development studies is a multidisciplinary branch of social science. Development studies is offered as a specialized master's degree in a number of reputed universities across the world, and, less commonly, as an undergraduate degree. It has grown in popularity as a subject of study since the early 1990s, and has been most widely taught and researched in the third world and in countries with a colonial history, such as the UK, where development studies originated.[1] Students of development studies often choose careers in international organisations such as the United Nations, World Bank, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), media and journalism houses, private sector development consultancy firms, corporate social responsibility (CSR) bodies and research centers.

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  • ✪ How to Develop a Good Research Topic
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In this video, you will learn how to develop a good research topic. To start out, let's first answer the question "Why it's important to know how to develop a good research topic." Think of it this way: during your time as a student, and perhaps even later, you will probably write a good number research papers. While some instructors may provide you with their list of research topics to choose from, others, like now, let you choose your own topic. So what can you write about? Well let's first answer the question "what makes a topic really good?" Three things worth to mention here. First, it's a topic that strongly interests you. This is very important. Make sure that the topic you pick, and the topic you will write is a topic that interests you, fascinates you as you want to talk about. Really, there's nothing worse than spending a lot of time writing about a topic that bores you. Second, make sure your topic is creative. What do we mean by that? Well, there are some topics that have just been written about over and over and over again. Can you come up with a topic that perhaps has been covered that much? Try to pick something that is creative and exciting to you and your peers. Writing about Shakespeare's dramas is great, but that topic in itself has been covered extensively. Try to find something that might be a little more creative than that. And third, speaking of Shakespeare's dramas, make sure you pick something that is not too broad. Look at your assignment prompt. How many pages are you supposed to write? If you get a five page paper as an assignment, well Shakespeare's dramas is just going to be a little bit too broad. So make sure that the topic you choose fits the scope of your paper. Sometimes, it can be really difficult to find a topic that is not too broad. Here are a couple of words of advice on what to do when your topic seems too broad. Let's say you are in an environmental science class. Your teacher gives you this assignment prompt. "Write a research paper on a topic dealing with the current environmental issue. Your paper should not exceed five pages and should be based on a topic that strongly interests you." Well, you say, that's no problem, I know exactly what to write about. I saw this show the other day on TV and it talked about the effects deforestation on Gorillas in Africa. I think that's a great topic. I know it interests me and it's creative, so let's write about it. Well, not so fast. Remember, your paper is only supposed to be five pages. How are you going to fit that topic into a five page paper? That's going to be difficult. So what could you do instead The key is to add more context. For example, you could add some geographical context your paper. Is there a geographic region or country in which gorillas are specifically affected by deforestation? Perhaps you want to focus more on a historical context. Is there a certain time aspect you want to write about? Perhaps the time when deforestation really started to affect gorillas? And third, with this topic, you could also add biological context. Perhaps there's a specific subspecies of the gorrilla that you're interested to write about. So when we combine all three contexts and incorporate them into the original topic, this is what we get: something like "Current effects up deforestation on the mountain gorilla in Southwest Gonda." We were able to incorporate the historical context, the biological context and the geographical context. Adding context really is a great way of narrowing your topic.


Professional bodies

Throughout the world, a number of professional bodies for development studies have been founded:[2]

  • Europe: European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI)
  • Latin America: Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO)
  • Asia: Asian Political and International Studies Association (APISA)
  • Africa: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA)
  • Arabic world: Arab Institutes and Centers for Economic and Social Development Research (AICARDES)

The common umbrella organisation of these association is the Inter-regional Coordinating Committee of Development Associations (ICCDA). In the UK and Ireland, the Development Studies Association is a major source of information for research on and studying in development studies. Its mission is to connect and promote those working on development research.

Disciplines of development studies

Development issues include:


The emergence of development studies as an academic discipline in the second half of the twentieth century is in large part due to increasing concern about economic prospects for the third world after decolonisation. In the immediate post-war period, development economics, a branch of economics, arose out of previous studies in colonial economics. By the 1960s, an increasing number of development economists felt that economics alone could not fully address issues such as political effectiveness and educational provision.[3] Development studies arose as a result of this, initially aiming to integrate ideas of politics and economics. Since then, it has become an increasingly inter- and multi-disciplinary subject, encompassing a variety of social scientific fields.[4] In recent years the use of political economy analysis- the application of the analytical techniques of economics- to try and assess and explain political and social factors that either enhance or limit development has become increasingly widespread as a way of explaining the success or failure of reform processes. The era of modern development is commonly deemed to have commenced with the inauguration speech of Harry S. Truman in 1949.[5] In Point Four of his speech, with reference to Latin America and other poor nations, he said:

More than half the people of the world are living in conditions approaching misery. Their food is inadequate. They are victims of disease. Their economic life is primitive and stagnant. Their poverty is a handicap and a threat both to them and to more prosperous areas. For the first time in history, humanity possesses the knowledge and the skill to relieve the suffering of these people.[6]

But development studies has since also taken an interest in lessons of past development experiences of Western countries. More recently, the emergence of human security – a new, people-oriented approach to understanding and addressing global security threats – has led to a growing recognition of a relationship between security and development. Human security argues that inequalities and insecurity in one state or region have consequences for global security and that it is thus in the interest of all states to address underlying development issues. This relationship with studies of human security is but one example of the interdisciplinary nature of development studies.

See also


  1. ^ Kothari, U. (ed), A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies – but see The Journal of Peasant Studies 34/1 (2007) for an alternative view.
  2. ^ About ICCDA
  3. ^ Kothari, U. (ed), A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies
  4. ^ Abbott, Lewis F. (2003) Theories of Industrial Modernization and Enterprise Development: A Review. ISR/Google Books, Second revised edition ISBN 978-0-906321-26-3
  5. ^ Rist, G., The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith
  6. ^ "Address by Harry S. Truman, 1949". Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Further reading

  • Breuer, Martin. "Development" (2015). University Bielefeld - Center for InterAmerican Studies.
  • Pradella, Lucia and Marois, Thomas, eds. (2015) Polarizing Development: Alternatives to Neoliberalism and the Crisis. Pluto Press.

External links

This page was last edited on 29 August 2019, at 02:55
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