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Development Studies
P.O. BOX 18 (Unioninkatu 35)
00014 University of Helsinki
Tel: +358 2941 24251

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TehostekuvaDevelopment Studies is a relatively small discipline within the Department of Political and Economic Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences. It has five permanent academic staff members: one Professor, two University Lecturers and two other teachers. In addition, about a dozen researchers with external funding are working at the discipline and form an integral part of its research community. In addition to carrying out research and teaching, the academic staff members are also involved in consultancies and participate actively in development debates in the media and other forums.

Development Studies deals with countries in Africa, Asia,
Middle East and Latin America and maintains wide networks with academic institutions in many of these areas. The discipline covers a broad range of social sciences. Within the Faculty, Development Studies is distinguished by its problem-orientation and multi-disciplinarity. It focuses on development problems and endeavours to produce and disseminate knowledge relevant to their solution. As development problems are complex and multidimensional, they cannot be tackled by the resources of a single conventional discipline but require approaches that combine expertise in several areas.

What is going on in Development Studies

Upcoming events in Development Studies >>

Events in UH >>


Doctoral Defense

Yliopiston logo, kuvituskuvaMaylin Meincke, M.Sc. defender her doctoral dissertation entitled "Public Health, Science and the Economy - The onto-politics of traditional medicine in Namibia" in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, on 22 January 2016 at 12:00.

Professor Henning Melber, University of Pretoria, served as the opponent, and Professor Barry Gills as the custos.

The dissertation was published in the series Publications of the Department of Political and Economic Studies 27.

The dissertation is also available in electronic form through the E-thesis service.


Master's Award in Development Studies 2015 to Tomi Lounio

Yliopiston logo, kuvituskuva

UniPID and the Finnish Society for Development Research awarded Tomi Lounio, an alumni of Development Studies in Helsinki for his thesis work. The thesis Population Dynamics and Livelihood Change on Ukara Island, Lake Victoria can be read in e-thesis service.

More information on the award is available at UniPIDs pages.

We wish to congratulate Tomi for this achievement!



Reflections on Successful Rural Development in Tanzania and a book launch

Marja-Liisa Swantz lecture

Doctor Colman Msoka, Deputy Director (Institute of Development Studies, University of Dar es Salaam), delivered a lecture in honour of Prof. Marja-Liisa Swantz: "Reflections on Successful Rural Development in Tanzania".


After the lecture, a book: "Contemporary Concerns in Development Studies: Perspectives from Tanzania and Zambia", edited by Dr Rehema Kilonzo and Dr Tiina Kontinen was launched. The book resulted from a long-term institutional collaboration between universities in Finland, Tanzania and Zambia.

The book is also available in electronic format in Helda.


Yliopiston logo, kuvituskuva

Recent Defence: Henri Onodera: Being a young activist in the late Mubarak era

Henri Onodera successfully defended his doctoral dissertation "Being a young activist in the late Mubarak era - An ethnography of political engagement in Egypt" at the Faculty of Social Sciences on June 5, 2015. The dissertation is available online:

Dissertation »»