ISS 15TH Development Dialogue

Localizing the ‘Global’: Global Development and Social Justice in Practice

October 11th to 13th, 2017

The Hague, Netherlands


The Development Dialogue is an annual academic conference organised by PhD researchers of the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.  The conference is held at the institute’s campus in The Hague, The Netherlands. The Development Dialogue seeks to attract doctoral candidates from around the world. The conference aims to promote the exchange of ideas and to facilitate a dialogue among doctoral candidates conducting their research within the diverse field of development studies.

Over the years, discourses and research on development and social justice tend to focus on broad ideals of development, whereas societies’ lived experiences in relation to development interventions has not been sufficiently engaged with. This sometimes conceals competing and conflicting local contexts of development interventions and the underlying conditions for which they are accepted, rejected or ignored. Moreover, dominant global discourses on ‘global development’ and ‘social justice’ arising from certain schools of thought are recognized as  increasingly problematic when placed alongside questions such as who benefits from ‘global development’, who decides how social justice is reached for whom and on what grounds, and related questions on the ‘best’ paths to reach social justice.

This year’s event is therefore an attempt to raise discussions on the vital issue of ‘praxis’, particularly referring to the experiences and responsibilities of PhD researchers in engaging with their research, when engaging with literature, discourses, and with fieldwork.

Some of the pertinent questions to be raised through this dialogue would be:

  • What has been the scope for scholar activism and the responsibilities of PhD researchers in contexts where social justice considerations are paramount?
  • How do we as researchers situate developmental discourses within the everyday lives of people from varying backgrounds?
  • How should researchers approach local knowledges and embodied experiences when conducting research?
  • How does the interaction of doctoral researchers’ expectations and assumptions with ground realities influence research outcomes?
  • How can doctoral researchers contribute to alternative narratives or discourses to dominant discourses on global development and social justice through their research?