11th Development Dialogue

Bridging Voices

11th Development Dialogue to be held at ISS on 10 and 11 October 2013.


There are many voices in the field of Development; each is working towards ‘development’ from different angles thereby gaining different knowledge, experiences and perspectives. Often the holders of these diverse epistemologies tend to discuss within their own niches.

And yet, the phenomenon that we coin ‘development’ does not exist in isolated niches. It demands not only that the different voices speak to its multifaceted existence, but it also needs these voices to penetrate through each other’s boundaries with the goal of reaching the epistemological and experiential hybrid vigour that can sustain ‘development’.

This year, the Development Dialogue conference at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) aims to take a step towards exactly this goal, by bridging voices that speak to development.

The conference provides a space for young scholars and PhD students to exchange recent and on-going research in the broad field of development studies. We hope that the participants and audience will offer their diverse experiences to the discussions in order to espouse an engagement with Development that transcends the boundaries of geography and academia.

Keynote speakers

  • Dr. John Cameron

    John Cameron began puzzling about global differences sixty years ago, when people arrived in his street having crossed the ‘bridge’ of the Atlantic from the Caribbean. Economic poverty, cultural distinctiveness, and institutional racism were given a holistic, dynamic experiential meaning in the day to day life of an educationally upwardly mobile, white boy whose parents left school aged 14. That experience of people crossing bridges metaphorically, and the concrete reality of bridges over the ships on the river in London, was the prelude to a wandering life of bridge building and crossing.

    A bridge can be seen as a human construct that purposively links two differing places across a gap in a new way. The places that have been linked and given voices in John’s writing and teaching have included differing cultural values, economic livelihoods, governance systems, and physical ecologies, plus the disciplinary camps and epistemological pillars in academic development research. The bridged gaps have involved curiosity and amazement, but also reflections on ignorance, misrecognition, fear and hostility. Development Dialogue 2013 gives John the opportunity to reflect on a lifetime of bridge creation and criss-crossing over the wide, turbulent river of international development thought and action. 

  • Dr. Catherine Walsh

    Catherine Walsh is an activist-intellectual long engaged in the struggles for social justice, first in the United States and in the last 20 years in Ecuador and Latin America where she has worked collaboratively with Indigenous and Afrodescendant social movements. She was an unofficial advisor to Ecuador’s 2008 Constitutional Assembly, and has been involved in initiatives and debates throughout the Andes and the Americas on decolonization and transformation, including of the models of knowledge, development, society, and state.  

    Catherine’s present work is focused on the political, epistemic and ethical project of critical interculturality, on concerns of decoloniality, particularly with regard to the interrelated themes of race, gender, knowledge, and nature, and on sociopolitical pedagogies of resistance, insurgency, and existence “otherwise”. Her extensive list of books and articles published in Latin America, North America, and Europe cross the fields of critical development studies, social and human sciences, cultural studies, education, and law. Catherine is presently senior professor and director of the Doctoral Program in Latin American Cultural Studies, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Ecuador and Visiting Professor in Romance Studies at Duke University.


Papers have being grouped in 12 thematic panels all related with different dimensions of development studies:

  1. Innovation and value chains
  2. Corporate responsibility and natural resource management
  3. Globalization and International Developments
  4. Labour markets and migration
  5. Food Security and Poverty
  6. Conflict and post-conflict studies
  7. Community based development
  8. Activism and political participation
  9. Social inclusion of minority groups
  10. Health and market failures
  11. Social movements and social transformations
  12. Land grabbing

Read the abstracts

The event hosted more than 30 international speakers and aimed to open both formal and informal spaces for all to contribute to the debate of bridging voices in development.

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