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Development geography

The development geography group within the human geography unit has its origins in the early 1990s when the late Dr Anders Närman together with three PhD candidates started group activities on joint readings and discussing ongoing research. The three PhD candidates’ respective projects focused on development and livelihoods in Africa: Johan Dahl’s A Cry for Water in Zimbabwe, Margareta Espling’s Women’s Livelihood Strategies in Mozambique and Per Assmo’s Livelihood Strategies and Development in Tanzania.

The shared research interests of the current members concern poverty and justice in the global South. Livelihoods has continued as a central concern, and our recent readings and discussions have reflected on the strengths and weaknesses of a livelihood approach as a framework for research and analysis. For us, the strength of a livelihood approach is that it enables issues to be localised and understood at an individual and household scale, which we take as vital for human geographers approaching development issues. However, it is also clear that development processes cannot be analysed in isolated contexts. We study global transformation processes and how these interact with and influence what takes place within poor countries at national level, as well as in local contexts and in people's everyday lives.

While we have as a common interest these global-national-local dynamics and the way that they play out in different ways in different terrains, we also focus on different themes or sectors. Among our current research interests are; non-farm diversification and regional development; the politics of development assistance; land issues and policy; geographies of education; urban space and planning;; tourism and poverty; ageing and livelihoods, and; social entrepreneurship in different geographical contexts.

For more details of our current projects see "Research projects".


Jonas Lindberg

Robin Biddulph

Visiting Professor Regina Scheyvens

Regina Scheyvens is Professor of Development Studies at Massey University, where she has led this programme since 2007. She is also co-Director of the Pacific Research and Policy Centre. Regina combines a passion for teaching about international development with research on tourism, sustainability and poverty alleviation. This research is advanced by theory and discourse on sustainable livelihoods, international development and empowerment. She is currently conducting collaborative research which critically examines claims of corporate social responsibility in the tourism and resource extraction fields, based on case studies in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. This research will extend conceptualisation of the private sector's roles in community development.

Devres 2018 22-23 August

The Development Geography research group was very active at the Development Research Conference hosted by the University of Gothenburg. Jonas Lindberg was a member of the organizing committee, Sara Falkensjö was on the organizing team, Margareta Espling and Robin Biddulph hosted a double session on New Frontiers in Tenure Research (with Dr. Lasse Kranz and Professor Marie Stenseke as discussants), and Robin Biddulph provided mentoring to three doctoral candidates at a junior researchers’ session.

Visit by Professor Regina Scheyvens

In March 2017 Professor Regina Scheyvens came for her third and final visit under the School’s Visiting Professor Programme (VPP). She co-hosted a symposium on research ethics with Dr Robin Biddulph, and they also co-arranged a panel on the same theme at the Association of American Geographers’ conference in April 2017.

Regina’s involvement with the group continues as she and Robin co-edit a special issue of Tourism Geographies on Inclusive Tourism Development. A grant from the VPP will enable us to fund a transition activity in collaboration with Regina as she ceases to be a salaried member of faculty, but continues as part of our international network of collaborators.

NOS-HS National Turn project funded

7th November 2017. Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (NOS-HS) awards a grant of 445 000 Swedish kronor for the project “A national turn contesting globalization? New resource encounters in Africa” in which Robin Biddulph is a participating researcher.

Read more.

Visit by Professor Sylvia Chant

In June 2015, Adlerbertska Guest Professor of Sustainable Development, Sylvia Chant came for the last of her three annual visits to the School.

Special issue on "Corruption in the aftermath of war"

Jonas Lindberg and Camilla Orjuela are guest editors for the issue of Third World Quarterly: ”Corruption in the aftermath of war” (30 July 2014)

Page Manager: Kajsa Folmeus Strandberg|Last update: 1/14/2019

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