SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Development Studies Events

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  • Revolution Then and Now
  • Dr Stathis Kouvelakis (King’s College London), Kate Evans (cartoonist, artist, and activist), John Rees (writer and activist)
  • The revolutionary tradition has a long history, and revolutionaries have inspired subsequent generations in fighting for a world free of exploitation, oppression and class distinctions.



  • The Crisis of Social Reproduction and the End of Work
  • Dr Nick Srnicek (King's College London)
  • There has been much discussion in recent years about the “crisis of work”, with academics and journalists alike pointing to potentially concerning trends in the labour market.

  • The Struggle for Development
  • Professor Mark Duffield (University of Bristol), Dr Zoe Marriage (SOAS, University of London), Professor Benjamin Selwyn (University of Sussex)
  • Most development thought is based upon the assumption that the uplifting of the world’s poor is to be carried out by elite actors (states, corporations, NGOs) rather than the poor themselves.


  • South-South Development Cooperation 3.0? Changes in the Decade Ahead
  • Dr Emma Mawdsley (University of Cambridge)
  • The last decade or so has been a period of remarkable success for the actors, ideas and practices of South-South Cooperation. First, the number of Southern development partners has grown, and collectively they have significantly increased their development finances and programmes. Second, they have consolidated and defended the claim to doing development differently. Third, they have achieved recognition as essential partners within the international development community.

  • Drugs and (dis)order: Building sustainable peacetime economies in the aftermath of war
  • German Espejo, Deputy Colombian Ambassador to Great Britain; Bianca Jinga, Head, Governance Security and Poverty Pillar, DFID; Jonathan Goodhand, Professor in Conflict and Development Studies, SOAS
  • Please join researchers in three of the world’s largest drug-producing countries –
    Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar – as part of our launch event for a new GCRF project
    “Drugs and (dis)order: Building sustainable peacetime economies in the aftermath of war.”


  • The state, sexual violence, and women’s activism in Nepal
  • Seira Tamang
  • While post-2006 Nepal has seen a large increase in reports of sexual violence and widespread impunity for perpetrators, it is clear that the pre-existing grid of inequalities and power relations have enabled everyday impunity to become entrenched. Historical exclusion by the state, a largely inaccessible criminal justice system, and a legal system enforced by high-caste, Hindu, male elites are key to this entrenchment. 

  • Hot Topics in Humanitarian Response
  • Mark Lowcock, Head of OCHA
  • Mark Lowcock is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator and the Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).




  • "The Political Economy of China's Transformation" Workshop & Dialogue with Marxist scholars from China
  • This half-day workshop aims to bring progressive scholars and students together to discuss China’s economic transformation and its impact on world development in relation to neoliberalism, capitalism and imperialism. There will also have a forum for productive dialogue between workshop participants and a delegation of Marxist scholars
    from China, on the state of intellectual Marxism in China amid global political-economic upheavals ".





  • "Elite bargains and political deals": Launch of UK Government Stabilisation
  • Professor Jonathan Goodhand (SOAS), Dr Christine Cheng (King’s College Lomdon), Dr Patrick Meehan (SOAS)
  • Approximately two billion people live in parts of the world affected by violent conflict and fragility. By 2030 the World Bank estimates that 50% of the world’s population will live in
    countries affected by violence and instability. Since the end of the Cold War, conflict resolution and peace building have been essential components of international interventions
    in conflict-affected states. However, understanding of what works is still limited and partial.

  • Neoliberalism, Populism, Fascism: The Implosion of Democracy in Brazil
  • PANEL: Professor Alfredo Saad-Filho, Professor Anthony Pereira, Dr Marieke Reithof, Dr Pedro Loureiro , Dr Francisco Dominguez
  • Brazil is in turmoil. The country is going through its deepest economic crisis in recorded history, and an unprecedented political crisis, which has led to the removal of President Dilma Rousseff and the imprisonment of former President Lula.

  • Malian women shuttle traders in neoliberal Dakar: autonomy, (mis)trust and the need to travel
  • Gunvor Jonsson, SOAS
  • Recent infrastructural developments in Senegal have severely impacted on the livelihoods of female bana-banas from Mali, a group of mobile traders operating in the Mali-Dakar corridor: transportation costs have significantly increased, travelling has become a more exhausting experience, and fatal accidents have become more frequent during journeys.

  • Beyond Neoliberalism or Capitalism? The Latin American Experience
  • Professor Henry Veltmeyer (Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, México)
  • Latin America is currently caught up in a vortex of forces of social change generated in the process of capitalist development. This seminar will explore the diverse forms taken by the resistance to the advance of capital in the region over the course of the neoliberal era. It is argued that Latin America is a virtual laboratory of diverse experiments in the search for an alternative pathway and different models of post-development.



  • Black Revolution: The Global Politics of Black Radicalism
  • Dr Kehinde Andrews (Birmingham City University)
  • Black radicalism is one of the most misunderstood political philosophies that exist. Conflated with extremism, narrow versions of nationalism and misogynistic organisations, it has largely been dismissed or overlooked as the ‘evil twin on the civil rights movement’.

  • The Wild East: India’s Criminal Economy and Politics
  • Professor Barbara Harriss-White (University of Oxford)
  • In the 21st century, many parts of the South Asian subcontinent are being conquered not by settler-migrants (as was the case in the Wild West) but by unruly and illegal forms of capital.



  • Power, Politics, and Profit: The History of Food Aid in Conflict and Protracted Crisis
  • PANEL: Dr Susanne Jaspars (SOAS University of London), Professor Laura Hammond (SOAS University of London), Professor David Keen (LSE)
  • Food aid, and its withdrawal, has been used for a range of objectives: to support or undermine states or political movements, to save lives and support livelihoods, and to encourage self-reliance and – presently – resilience. In situations of conflict, states and leaders have diverted food aid to gain resources and authority or restricted it as part of counter-insurgency tactics. In the longer term, it becomes part of a country’s political economy.