Section Awards


I am delighted to congratulate the winners of this year’s section awards. I also want to sincerely thank the members of each award committee listed below for their terrific work.

Sociology of Development Section Book Award

•             Co-winner: Ching Kwan Lee, The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa

•             Co-winner: Erin Beck,  How Development Projects Persist: Everyday Negotiations with Guatemalan NGOs

•             Book Award Committee: Rina Agarwala (Chair), Fauzia Ahmed, William J. Haller, Diana Mincyte, Enrique Pumar

Sociology of Development Section Faculty Article Award

•             Winner: McDonnell, Erin M. 2017.  “Patchwork Leviathan: How Pockets of Bureaucratic Governance Flourish within Institutionally Diverse Developing States.” American Sociological Review 82(3): 476-510.

•             Honorable Mention: Tuğal, Cihan. 2017. “The Uneven Neoliberalization of Good Works: Islamic Charitable Fields and Their Impact on Diffusion.” American Journal of Sociology 123(2): 426-464.

•             Article Award Committee: Poulami Roychowdhury (Chair), Maria Akchurin, Richard Lachmann, Michael Levien

Sociology of Development Section Graduate Student Paper Award

•             Winner: Joel S Herrera, UCLA, “Cultivating violence: trade liberalization, labor informality, and the Mexican drug trade”

•             Co-Honorable Mention: Alvin A Camba, Johns Hopkins, “The Contentious Politics of Capital: The Political Economy of Chinese Investments in the Philippines

•             Co-honorable Mention: Anjuli N. Fahlberg, Northeastern University, “Activism under Fire: Urban Governance and Citizenship in Rio de Janeiro’s Conflict Zones”

•             Graduate Student Paper Award Committee: Erin McDonnell (Chair), Yao Li, Laura Raynolds, Liam Swiss

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all those who nominated work for consideration.


Jennifer Bair
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Virginia

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Election Results


Congratulations to our new section officers:

Chair-Elect: Jennifer Keahey, Arizona State University

Secretary/Treasurer: Jennifer Hsu, University of Alberta

Council Members:  Margaret Frye, Princeton University and Joseph Harris, Boston University

Student Council Member: Karin Johnson, University of California, Riverside

Thanks to all the nominees who agreed to run for section office, and thanks for the nominations committee for their work in assembling a superlative slate of candidates:

Jocelyn Viterna (Chair), Erin McDonnell, Rina Agarwala, Ryan Nehring

I hope to see many of you in Philly in just a couple months.


Jennifer Bair
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Virginia

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New Issue of Sociological Insights for Development Policy

Dear Development Sociology Colleagues,

The Policy Brief Committee is pleased to announce the publication of another brief in our ”Sociological Insights for Development Policy” series.  This month our colleague Jennifer Keahey discusses the pros and cons of market-based sustainability using the example of Rooibos tea.

Click HERE to access the policy brief, or click on the Policy Brief Series tab at the top of this page.


Brian Dill

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Spring Sectors Newsletter

Dear development sociologists,

I am delighted to share with you the very substantial spring 2018 issue of Sectors, the Sociology of Development section newsletter. In it, you’ll find essays on the state of the field, interviews with section award winners, announcements, updates and reports of various kinds, and reminders of upcoming events of interest to development sociologists, including our ASA section schedule. It’s really worth a close look!

Thanks to the many section members who contributed to the issue, and a special thanks to our wonderful newsletter editors, Kelly Birch Maginot and Victoria Reyes.


Jenn Bair


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New Issue: Sociological Insights for Development Policy

Dear development sociologists,

I am delighted to share our latest Policy Brief, Sociological Insights for Development Policy. This issue is devoted to the very timely topic of the industrial sector. Specifically, Roshan Pandian (our section’s 2016 Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award recipient) discusses the declining developmental impact of manufacturing employment for less developed countries.

Thanks to Roshan for sharing her expertise, and as always, to our Policy Brief editor Brian Dill and his terrific team.

Jenn Bair

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CFP: Extended Deadline for Sociology of Development Conference

Obstacles to Development

7th Annual Sociology of Development Conference

19–21 October 2018

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

Development investments and interventions should ultimately lead to self-sustaining solutions that are supported by local governments, institutions, and stakeholders. There are many obstacles to such development efforts, however, that occur at multiple scales and extend over varying periods of time. Local actors, national inequalities, and regional policies may impede change, just as longstanding elements in the international economic system could also serve as significant obstacles to development.

The purpose of the Seventh Annual Sociology of Development Conference is to identify and explore some of the many obstacles to development present in the world today. We are seeking thought-provoking presentations and engaging conversations on numerous topics from a wide range of perspectives, approaches, scales, and disciplines. The University of Illinois is pleased to provide development scholars with an outstanding venue to exchange ideas and to explore the essential features of development’s underlying challenges.

Instructions for submissions of papers or sessions

Individuals wishing to present original research should send their paper abstracts or session proposals to

Paper abstracts should not exceed one page (approximately 250 words) and should include the title of the paper and the name, rank, institutional affiliation and email address of all authors.

Session proposals should include the name, rank, institutional affiliation, and email address of the session organizer(s). The proposal should include a title and a brief abstract (250 words maximum) that describes the session and ideally how the session fits into the conference theme. For pre-constituted sessions, please include the names, paper titles, ranks, and institutional affiliations of the presenters in the session.

The deadline for submissions is 1 June 2018. Acceptance/rejection notifications will be sent out by the middle of July.

Detailed information about the program, including the venue, accommodations, and registration information, is available on the conference website:

There is a small fee for registration: $50 for faculty and $25 for graduate students.

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Call for Submissions to Sectors

Please see the call for submissions below, and note the 15 April deadline!  Please send all materials to our fantastic newsletter editors at the email address below…

Dear Section Members,

The editors of the Sociology of Development section’s newsletter, Sectors, invite you to submit news, recent publications, calls for papers, and job market announcements for the Spring 2018 issue of Sectors. Job market candidates are especially encouraged to submit a spotlight as a way to introduce themselves and their work to the section in advance of the annual meetings.

In particular we welcome:

·       new book or journal publications, with citation and abstract (abstract is not required, but encouraged). Cover images for new book announcements and links to publications are welcome.
·       book reviews of texts with a development focus. Junior scholars are particularly encouraged to submit reviews, and faculty are welcome to recommend reviewers.
·       job market candidate spotlights, including (1) name, (2) affiliation/school, (3) email and website, (4) specializations, (5) dissertation title, and (6) short dissertation abstract (150-200 words)
·       calls for proposals and papers (with deadlines of June 1 or later)
·       job and fellowship/grant opportunities (with deadlines of June 1 or later)
·       upcoming conferences and workshops organized by section members
·       reports of development sociologists or scholarship in the news
·       commentary on recent news stories and events
·       news of completed dissertations, research grants and awards, and/or new positions and promotions
·       short descriptions of member research projects in process
·       photographs related to member research, with an accompanying description

Please send all materials to Sectors co-editors Kelly Birch Maginot and Victoria Reyes at by Sunday, April 15, 2018. The Spring 2018 edition of Sectors is scheduled for release in early May, so time-sensitive news items (such as calls for papers, job applications, etc.) should have deadlines in June or later.

Kelly Birch Maginot and Victoria Reyes
2017-2018 Sectors Co-editors

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