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The Congress will be structured around 14 thematic lines:

1. Perspectives and critical thinking on development

Fulya Apaydin (IBEI)

Recent global challenges such as climate change, global warming, and the disruption of ecological systems present new questions for the students of development studies. These events open new areas of research for scholars who have long focused on economic growth, and put this at the center of policy proposals even when developing new measures such as the human development index. More recently, the significance of economic growth for development is challenged by those who highlight the negative environmental externalities who call for a radical degrowth agenda. At the same time, environmental challenges are coupled with new health shocks that aggrandize existing gaps across a broader spectrum including income, race and gender, which further consolidates uneven development paths as most recently exemplified by the Covid-19 crisis. Tellingly, while most of the population in the Global North had access to vaccines, a vast majority in the Global South had no such protection against the virus and the rising costs of privately supplied medicine further worsened the problem. All of this is taking place in the shadow of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis that negatively affected the political and economic development trajectories in many countries. In the backdrop of these rather grim events, we invite papers that critically engage with pressing issues that ask theoretically and empirically relevant questions and potentially open up new research agendas. Possible topics include but are not limited to: economic growth/degrowth, climate change, sustainable development, green finance, financialization, health inequalities as well as studies that highlight racial inequalities and gendered perspectives. Manuscripts that adopt a historical and/or comparative lens are especially welcome.

2. The politics and practice of humanitarianism

Miriam Bradley (IBEI)

This line seeks to analyse the policies and practices of international humanitarianism. Humanitarian action is an important dimension of international cooperation, encompassing responses to crises provoked by events such as earthquakes, famines, armed conflicts and epidemics. Although many humanitarian actors want to separate their work from the political domain, all types of humanitarian crises, their aftermath and needs, and the UN and NGO response to them, are politically influenced and sometimes even seek to have political effects. In this respect, we are as interested in the politics of humanitarianism at the international and local levels as we are in the day-to-day work of the different actors in the humanitarian system. We therefore invite researchers and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and fields (universities, research centres, third sector organisations, social movements, etc.) to submit papers, both theoretical and empirical, on topics such as: the “triple nexus” (humanitarian action-development-peace); stabilisation initiatives; the Grand Bargain; humanitarian responses to migration; localisation; and cash-based programming.

3. Political violence, armed conflict and development

Martin Shaw (IBEI - University of Sussex) & Lesley-Ann Daniels (IBEI)

Political violence and armed conflict are still widespread around the world and represent some of the most persistent threats to development. A sudden onset of conflict can reverse decades of progress, as we saw in Ethiopia in 2021. On the other hand, long-term violence prevents development and investment, as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and many others. Physical security is essential for development to happen. This theme explores the nexus between violence and development, and is open to questions such as how a lack of development can make violence more likely, how violence impacts on the participation of affected groups in development, how the international community intervenes or not, how local communities can create peace havens, and many more.

We invite papers (complete or in progress) on different aspects of the following topics: armed conflict, political violence, state reprisals, human security, civil resistance and how these affect development positively or negatively.

4. Political economy of development: contemporary, historical, and institutional dimensions
of poverty and inequality in the Global South

Frank Borge Wietzke (IBEI) & Pablo Astorga (IBEI)

This thematic line includes studies within the field of development problems, with particular emphasis on the impact of socio-economic and institutional change on poverty and inequalities. Papers that address new questions on key issues such as the persistence of the legacy of institutions, international market insertion (periods of globalization and de-globalization), the implications of structural change, the role of commodity cycles and the dynamics of the political economy of income distribution are particularly welcome. Papers may focus on country (and sub-regional) studies, as well as comparative or regional analysis. Priority is given to those contributions that provide quantitative evidence and/or novel methodological approaches to inequality and poverty both in recent times and in the long term in their various dimensions (income, wealth, educational level/skills, ethnicity, gender, geography, etc.) and their link with the development process.

5. Global and regional governance challenges: development, security and human rights in
a (post) pandemic world

Andrea C. Bianculli (IBEI) & Juan Carlos Triviño-Salazar (IBEI)

The COVID-19 pandemic, natural or man-made disasters, migratory flows, climate change, rising inequality or financial crises are some of the challenges faced by the contemporary world. Given their strong cross-border implications, these transnational challenges require multilateral cooperation and policy coherence as mechanisms at both regional and global levels. However, the crisis of multilateralism and the difficulties in building regional and global strategies are risks to be taken into account.

This thematic line aims to answer the following question: To what extent and in what ways are global challenges reshaping the political response of the state and the state sphere? Furthermore, and to the extent that transnational governance leads to a fragmentation of power and control between states and constellations of non-state actors and networks, it seeks to explore which actors and networks underlie the articulation and implementation of these transnational responses. In fact, what place do regions and regional powers occupy in these processes, and do they seek to complement, challenge or contest the frameworks of global governance? In this vein, both theoretical and empirical research that addresses these questions, from a quantitative and/or qualitative perspective, and that analyses individual or comparative case studies (across time, regions and/or policy agendas), is of interest.

6. Natural resources and development

Martijn Vlaskamp (IBEI)

Many studies have been produced on the relationship between the presence of natural resources and economic development. There are many cases in which natural wealth appears to have been a hindrance to a country, contributing to increased corruption, poverty and violence. However, there are also countries whose prosperity and stability are largely based on their natural resources. This line invites contributions that study the relationship between natural resources and socio-economic development. In particular, studies that analyse why natural resources can be both a curse and a blessing for a place (country, region, municipality, etc.). The call for papers on this subject is open to both quantitative and qualitative studies that address specific cases.

7. Migration, ethnicity and development

Matthias vom Hau (IBEI) & Blanca Garcés (CIDOB)

This panel explores the intersection between migration flows (and policies aimed at regulating them), development policies and the politicization of ethnic categories and identities. Key questions are: How do financial inclusion initiatives affect rural-urban mobility and ethnic diversity? When do green development programs provoke forced dislocations and ethnic competition? And how do policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic affect human mobility and ethnic conflict, for example through strict border controls or increased food insecurity?

8. Ecological sustainability and (post)development

Esteve Corbera (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona - IBEI)

The global environmental and planetary crisis, which manifests itself through complex socio-ecological phenomena such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution of biophysical systems, invites us to rethink human development in a radical way. This line welcomes contributions from the point of view of post-development, decolonization or degrowth, which bring forward new ways of living and relating to nature and its resources. By way of example, some of the research topics under this line include alternative visions and experiences of development and/or nature conservation, empirical studies on degrowth and/or socio-ecological transitions, and biodiversity governance instruments.

9. International cooperation system: actors, instruments, financing and alternative views
of cooperation

Íñigo Macías (OXFAM Intermón - IBEI) & Anna Ayuso (CIDOB - IBEI)

The winds do not seem to be blowing favourably for international development cooperation. After more than 60 years, to the growing debate and scrutiny on its capacity to transform the lives of people in developing countries, we must add profound changes in its architecture, with new actors, new rules and new financing modalities, in addition to the growing number of voices from the global South that speak of the need to "decolonise" the international cooperation system and advance in other policies beyond official development aid. This line includes papers that analyse (1) changes in the governance of the international development agenda, (2) changes in the architecture of the international cooperation system, considering the complexity of the interrelations between the growing number of actors involved and their impact on the countries of the South, (3) the coherence and coordination of cooperation policies with others beyond official development aid, (4) the role of financing beyond aid in the context of the pandemic, and (5) alternative visions and practical proposals for decolonizing the cooperation system.

10. South-South cooperation for development: its new geopolitical and geoeconomic configuration

Giuseppe Lo Brutto (ICSyH, Universidad Autónoma de Puebla)

So far in the 21st century, the political and economic dynamics of global power have changed significantly, making the world increasingly complex and heterogeneous. The countries of the global South, most of them traditionally considered "underdeveloped", have become increasingly important political actors in a scenario in which they have also become the engine of the world economy, especially after the economic downturn suffered by the more developed countries of the North since the economic crisis of 2008. All this has led to a series of tensions in the international development cooperation system, where the orthodoxy of traditional aid has been challenged by new forms of cooperation that reveal important changes in the North-South relationship. In particular, as the world economy has become more focused on East Asia, China has increased its international dynamics, becoming a strategic partner for the development and structural transformation of many countries in the global South. In this way, China has also been reconfiguring the ways of cooperating, with new structures and more vertical alternative institutions, which question the traditional international cooperation for development, which maintains and reproduces the horizontal logics, sustained by the United States and its Western allies. Therefore, the objective of this session is to study the geopolitical and geoeconomic implications of the new configuration of South-South cooperation from a historical and critical perspective, unveiling new empirical material to discuss the following issues to be explored:

  1. The geopolitical and geo-economic aspects in South-South cooperation processes;
  2. Theoretical-critical approaches to South-South cooperation;
  3. Approaches to South-South cooperation from the study of national, regional, sub-regional, sectoral and/or thematic cases;
  4. The implications of South-South cooperation in the processes of hegemonic transition at global, regional and sectoral levels, with their different theoretical approaches;
  5. The political and economic impact of South-South cooperation on regional integration processes.

11. Urban development

Agustí Fernández de Losada (CIDOB - IBEI)

Cities play a critical role in sustainable development. They are laboratories for some of the main challenges linked to globalization. A reality that will be accelerated in a context of multiple crises – economic, social and environmental – and post-pandemic recovery. More or less aligned with global agendas, the policies they promote and their capacity to innovate and offer solutions in sensitive areas -such as the double transition, ecological and digital, or social cohesion- are key to advancing towards a fair, sustainable and resilient recovery. They operate, however, in contexts of limited resources and unclear competencies that put on the table the need to recover the decentralization agenda. Likewise, it is necessary to move towards governance schemes based on concepts such as collaboration, co-creation and co-responsibility. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a reference framework, and decentralized cooperation is a relevant practice to advance towards more transformative public policies oriented towards local realities.

12. Education policy, globalisation and sustainable development

Antoni Verger (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) & Mauro Moschetti (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

This line deals with the study of educational policies and their contribution to sustainable development and social change in an increasingly interdependent world. Specifically, it will address issues related to the role of different international organizations, international development agencies and other agents in the field of educational policy production, the configuration of global educational agendas -with special emphasis on the development, monitoring and evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the field of education-, and the dissemination, recontextualization and impact of global educational policies and programs.

Proposals that analyse these issues in an interdisciplinary way, from a multiscale perspective and from different theoretical and epistemological approaches to the study of public policies will be particularly welcome.

13. Feminism and development

Itziar Mujika Chao (Instituto Hegoa - IBEI) & Marta Íñiguez de Heredia (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

This line proposes to bring together those studies that address issues at the intersection of gender, security and development, in alignment with the goal of "ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls worldwide" (SDG, 5.1). Specifically, it seeks to explore the reasons, characteristics and dynamics behind the persistence and even increase of gender-based violence, both direct and structural, and the continuum that reproduces such violence in times of peace and conflict. These are issues of concern in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 5) and, likewise, in this line of the congress.

Of interest are scientific papers that, using a diversity of methodological approaches, not only offer a global and/or local overview of existing gender inequalities and violence, but also propose solutions (interventions, programmes, strategies, policies…) based on evidence, as well as those that theorize the security-development-gender nexus. The papers included in this line should reflect the very diverse options and realities of women at the international level, thus bearing witness to their diversity in cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, religious and familiar terms.

14. Social and solidarity economy

Juan Carlos Pérez de Mendiguren (Instituto Hegoa)

The current context, characterized by multiple interrelated and multidimensional systemic crises, presents our discipline with the challenge and the need to put forward ideas and logics of action that open up the possibility of socio-ecological transitions towards an alternative social and economic model. From this perspective, the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) offers theoretical categories and practical experiences not only about other ways of doing business, but also about how to move towards the construction of "another economy". In this line we encourage to present contributions that reflect on the forms and/or experiences of SSE that contribute to facilitate these transitions in different contexts and from multiple perspectives among which are:

  1. Proposals and experiences on the role of SSE in conflict and post-conflict contexts;
  2. Proposals and experiences of interaction between SSE and feminist Economics in the construction of non-patriarchal economic logics;
  3. Proposals and experiences that articulate SSE and Ecological Economics at local, regional, national or international level;
  4. Proposals and experiences that from SSE promote processes of dematerialization and/or decommodification;
  5. SSE proposals and experiences around agroecological transitions/food sovereignty;
  6. SSE proposals and experiences around energy transitions/energy sovereignty;
  7. Proposals and experiences around business models and economic/entrepreneurial intervention strategies coherent with a transformative agenda;
  8. Proposals and experiences around scalability and growth logics compatible with eco-social transitions.