PhD Conference

PhD Conference

PhD Conference 2019

Call for Abstracts:

8 th PhD Conference on International Development
19 – 20 September 2019
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
University of Sussex, UK

The 8th PhD Conference on International Development is a student-led event organized by PhD students from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the School of Global studies at the University of Sussex (UK).

This PhD conference brings together current or recently-graduated doctoral researchers in development studies and related disciplines, but attendance is not limited to PhD students of the partner institutes. This conference is an opportunity for doctoral students to present to a larger audience to get critical and well-informed feedback. The conference will offer an international platform for exchange with fellow students, senior academics, and experts.

We invite abstracts for presentations (oral and poster) on topics that address or touch on, one or several of the following sub-themes from current or recently graduated doctoral students:

  1. Deconstructing frames of inequalities
  2. Sustainability in times of uncertainty
  3. Partnerships and collaborations in development
  4. Inclusivity and reflexivity in research methods

For more information and how to apply, please see the Call for Abstracts

PhD Conference 2018


7th PhD Conference on International Development

The IEE’s PhD students are organising the 7th PhD Conference on International Development, which is to take place 8-9 November 2018 in Bochum. This travelling event  is part of IEE's cooperation with the School of International Development (DEV), University of East Anglia, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, both UK, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University of Rotterdam, NL, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), as well as the Institute of Political Science (IfP), both University Duisburg-Essen.

Attendance is not limited to PhD students of the partner institutes. PhD candidates at all stages of their PhD project are welcome to attend the conference and present their work.

Conference Programme (pdf)

PhD Conference 2017

PhD Conference 2017 at the ISS

It’s that time of year again - the IEE’s PhD in International Development Studies and its partner programmes in the University Alliance Ruhr (UAR), at the University of East Anglia (School of International Development) and Erasmus University Rotterdam’s International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) will jointly organise an international PhD Conference in 2017. This year’s PhD conference will be integrated into the 15th Development Dialogue 2017, taking place from 11-13 October 2017 in The Hague, coinciding with the celebration of the 65th Anniversary of the ISS. As usual, PhD candidates at all stages of their doctorate are welcome to attend the conference and present their research projects. More information, including the call for papers, is available on the ISS website:

PhD Conference 2016

5th Annual International PhD Conference in International Development
September 5th & 6th, 2016, University of East Anglia

IMG 0700

On the 5th and 6th of September 2016, the 5th International Development Conference was held in Julian Study Center of the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, UK. This year, the UEA's School of International Development (DEV), together with its sponsor, European Association of Development Research Institute (EADI), hosted the annual conference in collaboration with the RUB's Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE) and their partners in the UA-Ruhr Graduate Centre for Development Studies, and the Erasmus University Rotterdam's International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague.

Dr. Benjamin Jones of UEA and Dr. Martina Shakya of RUB welcomed the participants. About thirty doctoral students and recent graduates delivered oral and poster presentations divided into four parallel sessions. The workshop topics include resource extraction and land acquisition, firms and financialisation, water security, social change, civil society organizations (CSO) and non-governmental organizations (NGO), global environmental justice, and social expenditure. Aside from the workshops, participants also attended keynote lectures. Ina Lehmann of UEA discussed the "Conservation Justice. Conceptual Foundations" while Professor Mark Zeitoun of UEA presented his team's research work on "Transsboundary Water Analysis - lessons for research from the Jordan River."

Three members of the IEE took the opportunity to present their research projects. Dr. Elkhan Richard Sadik-Zada, a postdoctoral research fellow, presented his research on "Hotelling Rule for the Low and High Income Countries and Differences in their Resource Depletion Strategies." PhD student Casper Agaton discussed the progress of his PhD project on "To Import Coal or Invest in Renewables? A Real Options Approach to Energy Investment in the Philippines." Another PhD student Maruf Lutfur participated in the poster session with his research on "Is Migrant a Catalyst for Social Change? Travel of Social Remittances and Transformation in Rural Bangladesh." The discussions from both poster and parallel sessions gave the presenters an excellent opportunity to receive feedback on methodological approaches, reflect research questions, and offer external input from other scholars and experienced researchers.

Text by Caspar Agaton

PhD Conference 2015

PhD IDS: 4th PhD Conference on International Development and Kick-Off of the German-Arab Joint PhD Programme

This year it was again time for the IEE to host the PhD Conference on International Development. The conference not only coincided with a conference on "The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences", but also marked the official launch of the German-Arab Joint PhD Programme.

4th PhD-Conference on International Development

On 24th and 25th September 2015, the IEE hosted the 4th annual PhD Conference on International Development. Together with the School of International Development (DEV), the University of East Anglia, UK, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Hague, NL, and our partners in the UA-Ruhr Graduate Centre, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) and the Institute of Political Science (IfP) at University Duisburg-Essen, the IEE first organised the annual PhD Conferences in 2012. At this year's conference, which coincided not only with the 50th anniversary of Ruhr-University but also with another conference at the RUB on "The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences", the IEE welcomed more than 100 participants from countries around the world, such as South Africa, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and Canada. Doctoral students and recent graduates delivered more than 35 presentations, split into five workshops, ranging from "Banking and Financing in Developing Countries" and "Education and Development" to "Struggles about Land and Space in Rural and Urban Areas".

PHD Conference GroupGroup picture of conference participants (photo: IEE)

In his opening address, Professor Wilhelm Löwenstein, Managing Director of the IEE and Speaker of the PhD IDS, welcomed the participants of the 2015 PhD Conference and emphasized the highly topical issue of "Responsibility to Protect" as the guiding theme behind our new "extension" of the PhD IDS in the framework of the DAAD-funded "German-Arab Research, Training, and Networking Programme". Later that day, Dr. Jürgen Wiemann, Vice President of the European Association of Development (EADI), delivered a keynote speech on "The New Middle Classes: Advocates for Good Governance, Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development?".

IEE Members Presenting on their Research Projects

Seven members of the IEE seized the opportunity to present their doctoral research projects and engage in a critical debate about their research design, theory-based approaches, and/or empirical results with a highly interested audience. Marc Hansen, IEE research fellow and PhD student, presented his co-authored paper, "Determining Minimum Compensation of Smallholder Farmers for Lost Agricultural Land Grabs." PhD student Amr Khafagy introduced his research project on "The Adverse Effect of Financial Sector Development on Kenyan Savings and Credit Cooperatives." Farah Asif, a recent graduate of the PhD IDS, spoke about the results of her research on "Linking Foreign Affiliation to the welfare status of low income rural households: A case study of Pakistan"." MADM coordinator, Tobias Thürer, discussed his recently finished doctoral project under the title "Does speculation with agricultural commodity futures cause price bubbles in the event of negative production shocks?" Jasmin Gerau, another PhD IDS candidate, talked about the topic, "From Regional to Global Leader? The perception of the European Union as a leading environmental actor in Jordan and Morocco". Michele Gonnelli, an associate member of the PhD IDS, delivered a presentation on the topic "Somali Development Agents as Development Communicators: A bottom-bottom Approach." Elkhan Sadik-Zada, also a recent graduate of the PhD IDS and IEE research fellow, discussed "Lewis' Dual Economy Model with Political Bargaining - A New Approach for the Explanation of the Resource Curse". Last but not least, Lungile Penxa from the University of the Western Cape, currently a visiting PhD student at the IEE, presented on "The Nature and Extent of Participation in Small Town Housing Projects, South Africa." Beyond these paper presentations, almost every other PhD IDS member, associate member and several student from abroad took advantage of presenting and discussing their doctoral research projects with the audience during a poster session on the second day of the PhD Conference.

PhD Conference MarcPhD IDS student Marc Hansen during his presentation (photo: IEE)

Conference on the Middle East and the Islamic World

As mentioned above, the PhD Conference coincided with another conference on "The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences" jointly organized by the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO) and the Islamic Studies Section of the German Oriental Society (DMG) on 24-26 September 2015 at the RUB. The efforts of the IEE and the RUB Department of Oriental and Islamic Studies in hosting the PhD and the Middle Eastern Studies Conferences simultaneously at the same venue paid off: Participants of the DAVO/DMG conference were able to join the keynote session and the workshops of the PhD Conference and vice versa. Moreover, all participants were invited to join the official opening and reception of the conferences on Thursday evening, including a panel discussion about the topic "Syria & Beyond: The Quest for Power and Survival", chaired by Anja Zorob.

PHD ConferencePanel Discussion on "Syria & Beyond" (photo: IEE)

On behalf of the IEE team, Raffael Beier and Anja Zorob delivered a joint presentation at the Middle Eastern Studies Conference on "European Migration Policy after the Arab Spring: Sticking to 'Securitization' or Rising to the Challenges in the Mediterranean?" while Raffael Beier offered another presentation on the topic "Shifting Spatial Policies after the Arab Spring – Urgent Reactions or Real Changes?".

Kick-Off of the German-Arab Joint PhD Programme

After an initial preparatory meeting in June 2015, the 4th PhD Conference marked the official launch of the new German-Arab Joint-PhD Programme "From Responsibility to Protect to Responsibility to Assist: Conflict, Reconstruction, and Sustainable Development in the Middle East". The project is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), as part of its Programme "Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World". From the IEE's new partner universities, Prof. Dr. Mahasen Al-Jaghoub, The University of Jordan (JU), and Prof. Dr. Sami Baroudi, Lebanese American University (LAU), attended the conference and chaired a workshop on "The Challenges of Domestic Politics". In addition, the professors took part in the second organizational meeting of the German-Arab Joint Research, Training and Networking Programme. The meeting was kindly hosted by the managing director of the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV), Professor Pierre Thielbörger, who is also a member of the German-Arab Programme. The meeting was chaired by Anja Zorob, the directing manager of the German-Arab Programme, and Jasmin Fritzsche, student member and administrative coordinator of the programme.

Projects of PhD Candidates of the German-Arab Programme

The first PhD candidates of the German-Arab Programme arrived at Bochum in September to take part in the 4th PhD Conference. In October and November, they are scheduled to attend a German language course before taking courses within the PhD IDS Programme. Assem Abi Ali from Lebanon will work on the situation of the Druze minority in Syria. Ihsan Madbooh from Palestine will focus on the enforcement of international humanitarian law. Salam Al Haj Hasan, Syria, will assess the impact of mass media on international humanitarian aid for Syria. Loubna Abi Khalil, Lebanon, will write about the linkage of relief and development in urban refugee contexts. Afsin Evren, Turkey, will focus on Syrian refugees living in non-camp situations in Turkey. Laura Hofmann from Germany and based at the IFHV will work on the protection of cultural property and Jasmin Fritzsche will concentrate on the secondary displacement of Palestinian refugees from Syria.

PhD Conference 2014

3rd PhD conference in The Hague

PhD IDS students participated in the 3rd PhD conference at the International Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) in The Hague.

The 3rd PhD conference took place at the International Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) in The Hague from 17 to 18 October 2014. This year the conference was combined with the 12th Development Dialogue at the ISS and featured panel discussions and a keynote speech concerning the overall topic of "Rethinking Democracy". In his keynote address Prof. Wil Hout (ISS) put up for discussion the concept of hybrid regimes dealing with the "grey zone" of stable state systems which are neither totally democratic nor totally authoritarian. The address was discussed – among others – by Prof. Christof Hartmann from IEE partner institution, the Institute of Political Sciences (IfP) of the University of Duisburg-Essen. Forty PhD students from almost all continents of the world presented their research work in nine different thematic panel sessions all dealing with the general theme of the conference "Rethinking Democracy" from quite a range of perspectives. Two IEE PhD students also contributed in the panel sessions. Sascha Rosenberger presented his paper entitled "Preventing Democracy through Education" in the panel session "Rethinking Governance & Democracy", whereas Raffael Beier presented his PhD project under the heading "Slum Clearance in Morocco – Welfare Gains for Whom?" in the panel session "Social Movements, Grassroots, Civil Society: Resistances and Alternatives." Anja Zorob acted as a discussant of the panel session "Global Governance and Development Cooperation." During the conference Prof. Löwenstein and Leo de Haan (Rector of the ISS) signed a partnership agreement between the two institutes for the purpose of establishing a joint PhD programme.

Text by Raffael Beier

PhD IDS: Contact

BeierDr. Raffael Beier

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