CFP: 2018 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 and more recent shifts in the Earth’s climate also potentially 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 March 2018. Acceptance/rejection notifications will be sent out by the middle of April.

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.

Organizing Committee
Kevin Leicht, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Phyllis Baker, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Brian Dill, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Soo Ah Kwon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Erin McDonnell, University of Notre Dame

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Renew Section Membership for 2018

Happy new year to all development sociologists!

We are working hard to make sure you get the maximum benefits from your section membership.  It looks like it will be another productive year in the upward trajectory of the section!  Please be a part of the group and the movement!

Three important requests:

1. Please renew your membership in the section for 2018.

Important: ASA will remove expired members from the listserv at the end of January.

Log into the member portal:

Navigate to the “Join/Renew” heading.  Make sure to select “Sociology of Development” when you are picking your section memberships!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2018 ASA Meeting Deadline

Dear development sociologists,

Just a reminder that the deadline to submit a paper for consideration for the 2018 ASA meeting in Philadelphia is 11:59 PM tomorrow, January 11. Please consider supporting our section by submitting your work to one of our three paper sessions, or our roundtables. I am posting the development sociology section program below. You can also find this information under the section listings in the ASA call for papers:

Good luck!

Jennifer Bair

1. Frontiers of Feminist Development

Organizers: Jennifer Keahey and Kristy Kelly

This panel invites papers analyzing emerging topics and issues in development theory and practice by drawing on feminist, intersectional, post-colonial, and/or indigenous perspectives. Potential topics may include (but are not limited to): socio-environmental impacts of extractive industry, megaprojects, GMOs, and/or climate change; alternative models of social, economic and environmental sustainability, innovations in community organizing, knowledge-production, and resistance; and, integration and translation of human rights paradigms in local contexts. Critical questions of interest include: What are the frontiers of feminist development theory, research and practice? How can the practices of local, national, and global development institutions be improved by integrating insights from feminist, post-colonial, and/or indigenous theories?

2. States, Parties, and Movements in the Global South: Rethinking the “State” in Development

Organizer:  Gowri Vijayakumar

Traditional theories of the state have tended to conceptualize it as a unitary entity, separate from political parties and social movements.  Development sociologists focusing on the global South have increasingly offered broader understandings of states, their role in development, their relation to political parties, and their engagement with civil society, including populist movements on the right and left, labor movements, feminist and LGBTQ movements, and movements of ethnic and racial minorities.  This panel invites papers that offer innovative approaches to states and state programs, global development institutions, political parties, and social movements in the global South.  Papers drawing on research from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, or offering comparative approaches, are particularly welcome.

3. Cities and Development

Organizer: Patrick Heller

Since the mid-20th century, poor countries have undergone accelerated processes of urbanization, and the majority of the world’s population now lives in cities. Varied theoretical approaches from the sociology of development, from modernization to dependency, have emphasized “over-urbanization” and “urbanization without industrialization”, while recent scholarship has turned to questions about  the effects of neoliberal restructuring. The degree to which newer urban contexts are defined by the politics of a “reserve army of the unemployed”, clientelism and populism, has been subject to considerable debate, as has the relationship between governing institutions and social inequalities in such contexts. This panel invites contributions that address how and why cities are increasingly central for rethinking the politics of development and state-building.

4. Sociology of Development Roundtables

Organizer: Benjamin Bradlow

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CFP: Ethnographies of Interconnection in Africa

We invite mid- and late-stage graduate students conducting ethnographic research on African contexts (broadly defined) to submit abstracts for a paper workshop focused on “Ethnographies of Interconnection,” to be held April 19-21, 2018 at Cornell University. This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss key theoretical and methodological issues with students and faculty, and to receive feedback on work-in-progress. Funds are available to cover participants’ travel and lodging. Apologies for cross-posting.

* Ethnographies of interconnection in contemporary Africa: A writing workshop for graduate students *
April 19-21, 2018 – Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Organizers: Ewan Robinson, Janet Smith (Cornell Development Sociology)
Faculty facilitator: Hannah Appel (UCLA Anthropology)

In his 2014 book “Emerging Africa,” Nigerian Central Bank Governor Kingsley Moghalu argues that the African Continent is the “Global Economy’s Last Frontier.” His claim is perplexing: how can a world region that played a central role in the constitution of modern states and trade systems be said to be a 21st century frontier? While historically inaccurate, this and other narratives that portray Africa as disconnected and non-global have important political effects, including rendering people, resources, and knowledge available for powerful global projects of resource extraction and/or humanitarianism. Responding to these narratives and to lacunae in conventional research methodologies, a burgeoning literature in has employed historical and ethnographic approaches to trace the ways that both Africa and “the global” have been and continue to be formed precisely through processes of interaction and co-constitution in multiple social domains, including capitalist exchange, inter-state relations, and the production of (social) scientific knowledge. In a critical methodological move, key analytics such as Anna Tsing’s “friction” (2005) show that projects become global precisely by connecting particular places, people, and rationale. Studying these articulations of difference in ethnographic and historical detail is a vital agenda for critical research on contemporary economic, cultural, and political forms in and of Africa.

This paper workshop – facilitated by Prof. Hannah Appel (UCLA Anthropology) and Lori Leonard (Cornell Development Sociology) – will bring together graduate students researching global projects using ethnographic, historical, and/or relational approaches. Through inter-disciplinary discussions and in-depth engagement with one another’s work, participants will seek to advance theoretical and methodological insights into the ethnographic study of global interconnections. Workshop sessions will focus on exchanging feedback, rather than lengthy presentations. Two weeks prior to the workshop, all participants will be required to submit an article or dissertation chapter, and all will prepare brief commentaries on one of their peer’s papers. In the second part of the workshop, we aim to work collectively to develop synthetic and comparative insights, with guidance from the faculty facilitators. We welcome applications from mid- and late-stage graduate students in any field of social inquiry, particularly those engaging with innovative methodological approaches to interconnection, including multi-sited ethnography, critical feminist methods, techno-ethnographies, studying up, etc.

* Faculty facilitators *
The workshop will be led and facilitated by Hannah Appel (Anthropology UCLA) as well as Lori Leonard (Development Sociology, Cornell).

* Funding *
The workshop will provide meals and lodging for all participants, and will pay for flights/travel up to $450.

* Potential Topics *
By no means an exhaustive list, we anticipate this workshop would be valuable to graduate students researching some of the following topics:
–           Diasporas and migration
–           Entrepreneurship in discourse and practice
–           Finance, banking, and microfinance
–           Social movements
–           Religious networks
–           Investments in land, water, and infrastructure
–           Commodity/value chains
–           Mobile technology and IT platforms
–           Global governance mechanisms
–           Multilateral lending institutions
–           South-South cooperation

* Submitting abstracts *
Please submit an abstract of 250 words to Ewan Robinson at by Monday, January 22, 2018. All applicants will be notified of their participation status by February 2. Please include “CFP Global Ethnographies” in the subject line of the email. Feel free to get in touch with questions.

* References *
Appel, H. 2017. “Toward an Ethnography of the National Economy.” Cultural Anthropology 32(2):294–322.
Bear, L., K. Ho, A.L. Tsing & S. Yanagisako. 2015. “Gens: A Feminist Manifesto for the Study of Capitalism”. Fieldsights: Theorizing the Contemporary.
Ferguson, J. 2006. Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order. Durham, London: Duke University Press.
Gupta, A, and J. Ferguson. 1992. “Beyond ‘Culture’: Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference.” Cultural Anthropology 7(1): 6–23.
Moghalu, Kingsley Chiedu. 2014. Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter. London: Penguin Books.
Tsing, A.L. 2005. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CFP: Special Issue on “Resistance”


Co-Editors: Tola Olu Pearce and Richard M. Hessler, University of Missouri

Resistance challenges the power of some to impose their will upon others. This is a call for papers on the topic for a special issue of the International Journal of Conflict and Reconciliation (IJCR). The journal is sponsored by the Peace Studies Program of the University of Missouri, Columbia, under the auspices of the College of Arts and Science.  Papers on any aspect of the topic are welcome, as resistance is ubiquitous and exists at all levels of society including the household, community, national and international levels. It occurs at the state level and among non-state actors. It exists among the powerful and less powerful alike, is exhibited by those who attempt to hinder change and as well as by those seeking change. Of particular interest are articles that advance theoretical discourses on resistance, as well as in research-based material. A focus on gender, age, race, sexuality, and disabilities would be appreciated, but article contents need not be limited to these.  IJCR is a peer reviewed interdisciplinary online journal. The ISSN is 2157-0620. Manuscript guidelines can be located at the website:  The issue is slated for publication in the fall of 2018. Deadline for paper submission is March 31st 2018.  Send papers to Tola Olu Pearce at

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CFP: Research in Political Sociology

1. Call for papers: Research in Political Sociology, vol. 26:  The Politics of Land
Volume editor:  Tim Bartley, Department of Sociology, Washington University in St. Louis

Submission deadline:  February 12, 2018
The politics of land are vital.  Within the U.S., they stretch from fights over fracking, pipelines, and public land to dynamics of residential segregation, gentrification, and neighborhood succession.  In many other parts of the world, land grabs, dispossession, transformations of agriculture, sovereignty struggles, and border conflicts have repeatedly put land at the center of both electoral and contentious politics.  And yet, political sociologists rarely analyze land explicitly.
This volume of Research in Political Sociology seeks to carve out space for a political sociology of land.  The study of land has the potential to bring together a variety of topics in political sociology, including nationalism, violent conflict, state-building, policy development and implementation, social movements/contentious politics, local growth machines, community mobilization, populism, political culture, regulation, neoliberalism, transnational governance, and the cross-cutting influence of categorical inequalities of race, ethnicity, gender, and beyond.  In addition, the study of land can bring political sociology into greater dialogue with research on urban inequality, rural restructuring, environmental change, land tenure, indigeneity, migration, development, global dispossession, finance, and taxation.
The volume editor seeks well-crafted research covering a variety of topics, locations, theories/research programs, and methods.  This might, for example, include case studies of particular struggles over land; quantitative analyses of variation in the control, use, or political ramifications of land; historical inquiries into land distribution or partitioning; and ethnographic or interview-based studies of the intertwining of land, politics, and citizenship.  This list is meant be suggestive but not restrictive.  While topically diverse, the contributions should speak in some fashion to core issues in political sociology pertaining to power, institutions, mobilization, and/or governance.
Research in Political Sociology, a yearly series published by Emerald Press, seeks to publish original, high quality, peer-reviewed manuscripts to increase our understanding of political structures and processes.  As one of the few journals devoted to political sociology, Research in Political Sociology holds an important place in the discipline for both elaborating existing research programs and charting new agendas.  To see the editorial advisory board and contents of recent volumes, see
Research in Political Sociology is indexed by Scopus, SocINDEX, Sociological Abstracts, and Political Science Complete, and Emerald’s guidelines allow authors to post the accepted version of their manuscript (along with a DOI for the official published version) in an institutional repository or personal website upon publication.
Logistics and timeline:
The volume editor intends to make this an efficient peer-reviewed publication process.  Submissions are due by February 12, 2018, or sooner if authors have a relevant paper ready.  Following an initial screening by the editor, papers will be sent for peer review, with the intention of having reviews and decisions completed by mid-April.  The final versions of accepted papers will be due over the summer, and the volume will be published in late 2018 or early 2019.
Please submit your paper as a Word document by email to Tim Bartley at (please note the T in the email address).  Papers should be no more than 14,000 words (including all text, references, tables, and footnotes), and include an abstract of 100-150 words.  In your email, please suggest two (but no more than two) relevant and appropriate reviewers.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fall 2017 Sectors Newsletter

The fall 2017 issue of Sectors, the Sociology of Development section newsletter, is hot off the presses!

Please click HERE to access this and other issues or click on the Sectors Newsletters tab on this website.

Thank you to newsletter editors, Victoria Reyes and Kelly Birch Maginot, for their work in putting together this terrific issue.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment