Home/Events/Past events/NFU conference 2011

NFU conference 2011: Joint with Nordic sister associations

In 2011 NFU co-organised the conference 'Future of Development Research: Exploring the Nordic perspective(s)?' with sister Nordic Development Research Associations, institutions and organisations. Date: 24-25 November 2011. Venue: Copenhagen Business School.


Programme and conference related material is availabe from FAU's conference website

Conference background and rationale

The Nordic countries have in different ways impacted on Development Policy, Aid and Research. The Nordic model(s) emphasising social policies, the key role of public governance and the fight against poverty and inequalities are by some seen as prominent perspectives alongside e.g. the Washington Consensus. Nevertheless, the foot prints on global agenda have been modest. Additionally, the complexity and challenges of development issues keep growing, including financial crises, climate and growing inequalities. The need for timely, relevant, critical and stimulating research is as big as ever. What can the Nordic perspective(s) contribute with? First, there is need to take a step back and investigate the Nordic approach(es) more closely. What are the similarities - and what are the differences? Second, there is a need to discuss the Nordic Development Research vis-a-vis global Development Research. What are the trends? Who are setting the directions? Where is the renewal needed to respond to the present challenges?

On the one hand, the field of Development Research has been able to respond continuously to the new challenges over the last 50 years, producing stimulating and thought provoking research (new approaches, new methodologies, new theories, extending both mono- and cross/inter disciplinary areas of study and innovate ways of publication and dissemination). On the other hand, as the field of Development Studies is becoming increasing broader - and more fragmented - (e.g. including studies of youth, climate change and fragile states to mention a few issues) and as funding agencies and publics at large increase their demands for 'relevance' of Development Research, the future is by no means certain. Renewal is pertinent and needed. We would like to encourage Nordic Development Researchers to engage with each other and with colleagues, practitioners and policy makers.

Emphasis should be on exploring what was/is/will be

  • (a) Nordic perspective(s), what common research approaches (whether theoretical, methodological, epistemological, or ethical etc) do exist - if they exist?
  • And do we have common perspectives on development policy and aid - or not?
  • And whether (increased) joint Nordic initiatives have merit in relation to emphasis on EU and Global research environments?
  • How do our Southern research partners perceive the Nordic perspective(s)?

We encourage all disciplines whether economic, political, social, geographic, cultural address pertinent topics whether migration, economic development, political culture, labour geography, youth, health, private sector development, poverty reduction etc, etc.

The conference seeks to make the 'case' for joint Nordic research in terms of substance areas, methodology, theory, relevance etc and hereby contribute to further expansion of such collaboration. Accordingly, proposals for joint Nordic panels and workshops are invited. Moreover engagement with colleagues from around the world and in particular the Global South is equally encouraged.


Organising committee: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Uppsala, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, the Finnish Society for Development Research (FSDR), the Norwegian Association of Development Researchers (NFU), and the Association of Development Researchers in Denmark (FAU)

Key institutions: School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University; Gothenburg Centre for Globalization and Development, Gothenburg University; Institute for Development Studies, University of Helsinki; Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä; Noragric (Norwegian University of Life Sciences); University of Bergen; Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo; Department for Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University; Department of History and Area Studies, Aarhus University; Department of Political Science, Aarhus University; Department for Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University; Centre for Business and Development Studies, Copenhagen Business School.

Time & Place: 24-25 November, at Copenhagen Business School (www.cbs.dk - the Dalgas Have Branch), Copenhagen Further information: www.fau.dk - Nordic conference

(Photo: Ctd 2005, Flickr Creative commons).