Call for papers

DSA Ireland Annual Conference 2017: "Development through Rights: Theory, Policy and Practice in a Changing International Context”

Date: 23-24 November 2017

Venue: Education & Research Centre, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6W

Final deadline extension: All abstracts must be submitted by e-mail to: by Wednesday 11th October

The Development Studies Association Ireland (DSA Ireland) is pleased to announce the call for abstracts/papers for our annual conference, to take place on 23-24 November 2017. The last two years have been a pivotal time in the field of international development. The Sustainable Development Goals have been adopted, while the Brexit vote and the emergence of Trumpism in the United States will have substantial impacts on the international development context. At a time when xenophobia and anti-migrant populism are in the ascendant and support for multilateralism and non-discrimination are in decline, how can we protect and sustain the long struggle for rights based approaches to development? What guidance can the concept of human rights offer international development practitioners, policy makers and theorists in this new, more challenging, environment? The 2017 Development Studies Association of Ireland annual conference will address these issues. In particular it will focus on:

  • What are the possibilities of using human rights treaties, agreements and other instruments to combat discriminatory practices, policies, attitudes and processes?
  • How can rights based approach tackle the root causes of poverty and support a more equitable distribution of wealth and power?
  • How can rights based approach contribute to humanitarian and conflict affected states to improve safety of populations and sustainability of interventions?
  • How can the international development community globally mobilise to forward a progressive human rights agenda?
  • What are the appropriate roles of different types of rights in promoting human flourishing? Examples of these might include the relative role of land and property rights versus rights to subsistence.
  • What new social conditions are emerging such as internet access that threaten the protection of rights such as freedom of information, expression and assembly, and how should these be addressed?
  • What are the political, economic, and social blockages to the realisation and actualisation of rights and how do the concepts of political, economic and social rights play a role in the realisation of human rights?
  • What is the evidence from the field of rights based programming to promote development?
  • Are rights an appropriate framework through which to view global developmental challenges or are they a potentially colonizing world view which may occlude indigenous perspectives and practices?

We are calling for abstracts/papers from established researchers, early career researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, and post-graduate students addressing these and related topics. Submissions may take the form of research findings, evaluations of programmes and projects, lessons from the field, or other forms of systematic learning on development issues. Submissions are most welcome from both researchers based in institutions of higher education and/or other research institutes and development practitioners working in the sector. The conference will include plenary sessions with panels of invited international and national speakers. Abstracts will be considered for oral presentations, as part of conference panels.

Abstracts must not exceed 300 words and should conform to the guidelines. Please view the abstract guidelines here. All abstracts must be submitted by e-mail to: by Wednesday 11th October 2017.  This is the final date for submission of abstracts.

Authors will be informed of the outcome of the selection process by 20 October 2017. If selected for presentation, authors will be invited to submit their presentation/full paper no later than 10 November 2017. Please view the paper guidelines here.

All papers submitted by the ‘Call for Papers’ deadline, will be considered for ‘The Robert Chambers Award’, which was launched at the DSA Ireland Annual Conference 2014. This award will be given to the most innovative paper presented at the annual DSA Ireland Conference 2016 that has the potential to make a significant contribution to strengthening the empowerment of the world’s poor to achieve just and sustainable development.

There will also be a 'Best Student Paper Award`, which will be given on the basis of a written paper (minimum 3000 words) and the presentation of a paper by a post-graduate student at the DSA Ireland annual conference. This prize will be to the value of €300 and additionally two faculty members, drawn from the DSA Ireland membership or steering committee, will work with the student to develop the paper for publication/further dissemination. 

Further information about the programme, registration and speakers will be posted on the website: