Global Development Studies

Global Development Studies (formerly known as Development Studies) examines development, poverty, inequality as well as social, political, environmental and cultural changes from a multidisciplinary perspective. At the University of Helsinki, Global Development Studies focuses on topics such as the theory of development, global extractivisms and transformative alternatives, decolonising struggles, political ecology of environment and development, development policy and interventions, justice, and the relationship between development and culture, gender and other intersecting inequalities, space and the environment as well as global political economy. It seeks to explain and understand complex social transformations first and foremost – although not solely – in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as in the Global South – North relations with the purpose of finding creative opportunities and alternatives for the future.
Description of the discipline

What is Global Development Studies?

The discipline of Global Development Studies examines development, inequality and justice especially in the global South. We explore social, political, environmental and cultural changes and continuities from a multidisciplinary perspective. Global Development Studies diverse South-North relations in the globalising world. In Finland, Global Development Studies exists as a separate discipline only at the University of Helsinki, where it is a highly popular, well-established social science discipline.

Multidisciplinary research

Global Development Studies scholars combine different theoretical, methodological, and analytical lenses. We interpret cultural, political, economic, environmental, and social change, with a view to understanding and explaining complex processes of global transformations. These are analysed from the perspectives of historical as well as contemporary contexts first and foremost – although not solely – in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The areas that Global Development Studies primarily studies were connected to the world economy through colonialism and to the global system as possessions of European colonial powers. The study of the global South entails historical and contemporary global connections (capitalism, colonialism, aid, trade, etc.), and the domination, hierarchies and inequalities attached to them. Global Development Studies is interested in the effects of globalisation, environmental change, and development policy on the opportunities of people in the global South to make choices about their lives.

Research profile

Global Development Studies is a dynamic, pluralist, and popular multidisciplinary and internationally oriented discipline at the University of Helsinki . Its current focus areas include the following:

  • Globalisation of development
  • State formation, development interventions, and social resistance
  • Political ecology of resource politics and governance
  • Justice, Disasters and global climate emergency
  • Global extractivisms and transformative alternatives
  • Urban inequalities in the global South
  • Feminist theorizing and decolonizing knowledges
  • Peace, conflicts, and sustainable development
  • Rising powers and South-South relations
Research projects
Degree programmes that offer teaching in development studies

Head of discipline: Professor Markus Kröger

For more information about grant researchers, please see the University of Helsinki Research Portal

Show less info
Show less info
Show less info
Show less info
Show less info
Show less info
Show less info
Show less info
Contact information

Postal and street address for Global Development Studies

PO Box 18 (Unioninkatu 35)
00014 University of Helsinki

Infor­mation for me­dia

Services for press and media