Sociology of Development at ASA 2019

The ASA Annual Meeting is 3 months away (August 10-13, 2019) in New York! The early registration deadline is July 10, 2019. For registration info, please see here: 

Our Section’s day is on August 12, 2019. Below is a handy list of our Section’s events. Come along to as many of the activities as possible, including the business meeting and the reception. Our reception will be co-hosted by three other sections, so come along and make new connections! 

Sociology of Development’s Activities at the 2019 ASA Annual Meeting, New York: 

Section on Sociology of Development Refereed Roundtables (1 hour)

Mon, August 12, 8:30 to 9:30am, Sheraton New York, Third Floor, Riverside Ballroom

Section on the Sociology of Development Business Meeting

Mon, August 12, 9:30 to 10:10am, Sheraton New York, Third Floor, Riverside Ballroom

Paper Session: Open Topic on Sociology of Development

Mon, August 12, 10:30am to 12:10pm, Sheraton New York, Lower Level, Madison Square

Paper Session: New Directions in the Political Economy of Development

Mon, August 12, 2:30 to 4:10pm, Sheraton New York, Lower Level, Madison Square

Paper Session: Development and Global Environmental Change: Challenges and Opportunities

Mon, August 12, 4:30 to 6:10pm, Sheraton New York, Lower Level, Union Square

Joint Reception: Section on Global & Transnational Sociology; Peace, War & Social Conflict; Political Economy of the World System; Sociology of Development

Mon, August 12, 6:30 to 8:00pm, Sheraton New York, Third Floor, New York Ballroom West

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2019 ASA-Wide and Section Elections

The 2019 ASA elections are now open! Details are located here.

Voting will close at 5 p.m. eastern on Friday, May 31, 2019.

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Sociology of Development Research4Life Partnership

Due to efforts of UC Press, Sociology of Development content is now freely accessible to scholars not living in high-income nations. 
Details from UC Press:
For the developing world, access to Sociology of Development content is free through Research4Life, a public-private partnership with the goal of reducing the knowledge gap between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries by providing affordable access to critical scientific research.
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Call for Papers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Corruption Workshop

Corruption has been a major concern for contemporary state-building and development,
and is currently at the front of major political changes in several countries and regions.
However, there is still very little space for debates on academic work on corruption from an interdisciplinary point of view. This workshop invites scholars from a range of disciplines – including anthropologists, economists, political scientists, and sociologists – to discuss their work and advance a common research agenda on corruption as a social problem. Furthermore, this workshop is conceived as a potential stepping stone for the creation of a network of researchers interested in corruption from different perspectives, which can spark vibrant discussions and future meetings to debate on this polemic and important topic.

We invite faculty, practitioners, and graduate students to present their work at the
workshop. We are currently accepting abstracts (approximately 500 words) to present works related to three broad areas:

  • Social mobilization and contentious activism: We have witnessed in the last decades massive protests that included corruption as one of the grievances in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. We invite studies that seek to address, but are not limited to, some of the following questions: How does corruption appear in contentious episodes? What drives anti-corruption mobilization? How can this type of protest impact the behavior of other political actors?
  • Judiciary power, prosecutors, and institutionally embedded activism: Impeachments and corruption scandals always entail the actions of judges, prosecutors, and other actors involved in the judiciary power. How do they affect (or not) these processes? How do they relate to the state and external civil actors? Under which conditions are they more or less successful in promoting anti-corruption reform?
  • Clientelism, policy implementations, and elections: There is a burgeoning literature on how clientelism can affect other areas of political action. How can clientelism be understood in different social and cultural settings? Are there different types of clientelism? What are the consequences of different accounts of clientelism for our understanding of development and democracy?

Because we will have room for three consecutive panels, and want to assure substantial
time to discuss each paper, acceptance will be limited; however, based on the number of
submissions, we might increase the number of participants. Meals will be provided during the workshop.

Also, the workshop will be held the day before the Sociology of Development
Conference, also located at the University of Notre Dame, and workshop participants are
encouraged to participate in the main conference as well.


Please submit your paper using this form. Please see the Corruption Preconference Workshop CFP for more details.

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2019 Sociology of Development Conference Call for Papers

The University of Notre Dame will host the 8th annual conference of the Sociology of Development section of the American Sociological Association. The conference will be held October 17-19th, 2019, at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. The theme of the conference is “Development in Dialogue: Engaging Practitioners and Other Disciplines.”

The conference will explore points of connection as well as tension between sociologists of development, scholars of other disciplines, and development practitioners. In the public eye, the development field has been largely dominated by economists, policy analysts, donors, and practitioners. Recently, however, there has been a surge in research that that uses the unique tools of sociology to understand the problems and dilemmas of development. This conference will generate  deeper dialogue between sociological research and other perspectives in the field of development. We will consider opportunities for (and barriers to) broader communication and exchange across disciplines, and address the challenges involved in connecting the insights of systematic sociological research with the experiences of practitioners.

We are seeking thought-provoking presentations and engaging conversations on numerous topics, spanning a wide range of perspectives, approaches, scales, regions, and disciplines. The University of Notre Dame is pleased to provide development scholars with an outstanding venue in which to exchange ideas and engage in dialogue that bridges disciplinary and practice boundaries.  We will draw on numerous units and centers of expertise at Notre Dame in the areas of development, democracy, peacebuilding, health, education, religion, environment, engineering and other fields, while engaging the insights of sociologists and other disciplinary scholars from around the world.

A series of plenary sessions and invited keynote speakers will focus on selected conference themes, but other sessions will be organized entirely based on papers that are accepted through this open call. We encourage all scholars with interest in development, including scholars from fields other than sociology, to consider attending. The conference is open to all, whether you are presenting or not.


Please go to here to complete the application form and submit a 500 word abstract.

More information can be found here or at the Development Conference Website.

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Call for 2019 Section Awards

The Sociology of Development section of the American Sociological Association invites nominations for three awards recognizing outstanding scholarship in the area of the sociology of development: Book Award, Faculty Article Award, and Graduate Student Paper Award. The Awards section of the website also contains details about each award.


All books published in 2017 or 2018 are eligible. A brief letter of nomination (self-nominations are welcome) and a copy of the nominated book should be sent to EACH of the committee members listed below by March 1, 2019. In accordance with ASA policy, all award nominees must be current members of the association in order to be considered.

Chair: Victoria Reyes, UC Riverside <>
1334 Watkins Drive
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521

Committee Member: Erin Beck, University of Oregon <>
University of Oregon
934 W Broadway
Eugene, OR 97402

Committee Member: Zachary Levenson, UNC Greensboro, <>
UNC Greensboro
108 Berkshire St
Greensboro, NC 27403

Committee Member: Craig Van Pelt, Sandhills Community College, <>
Sandhills Community College
Van Dusen Hall 226
3395 Airport Road
Pinehurst, NC 28374

Committee Member: Marilyn Grell-Brisk, UC Riverside <>
Institute for Research on World Systems
Olmsted Hall 1218
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521


Please send a letter of nomination and an electronic version of the article to EACH of the committee members listed below by March 1, 2019. If the article has been published, the copyright date must be 2017 or 2018. However, unpublished articles are also welcome and self-nominations are encouraged. In accordance with ASA policy, all award nominees must be current members of the association in order to be considered.

Chair: Maggie Frye, University of Michigan, <>

Committee Member: Tim Gill, UNC Wilmington, <>

Committee Member: Steven Samford, University of Michigan, <>

Committee Member: Alessandra L. González, University of Chicago,
< >

Committee Member: Firuzeh Shokooh Valle, Franklin & Marshall College <>


Please send a letter of nomination and an electronic version of the article to EACH of the committee members listed below by March 1, 2019. If the article has been published, the copyright date must be 2017 or 2018. However, unpublished articles are also welcome and self-nominations are encouraged. The author must be a graduate student who has not received the PhD by March 1, 2019. For co-authored papers, all authors must be graduate students. In accordance with ASA policy, all award nominees must be current members of the association in order to be considered.

Chair: Joseph A. Harris, Boston University <>

Committee Member: Joel Herrera, UCLA <>

Committee Member: Jason Mueller, UC Irvine <>

Committee Member: Rachel Sullivan Robinson, American University, <>

Committee Member: Annabel Ipsen, Colorado State University, <>

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Call for papers for Effective States and Inclusive Development conference on ‘rethinking the politics of development’

The University of Manchester’s Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre is holding a conference in Manchester in September 2019. Here is a link to the call for papers:

Key issues and questions to be explored will include:

1. Rethinking the politics of development

The move beyond  ‘institutions matter’ to ‘politics matters’ has brought forth new conceptual approaches – ‘political settlements’, ‘limited access orders’, ‘elite bargaining’ – that have shed new light on how trajectories of development unfold, over both the long and short term. However, important theoretical questions have been left unexplored: What is the relationship between long-run institutional legacies and contemporary configurations of power? Does the configuration of power amongst elites offer a better predictor of development progress than regime type? Can governance become effective and inclusive at the same time? And if ‘power’ constitutes the new frontier of politics and development thinking, which understandings of power can help capture the complex interplay of ideas, interests and institutions?

2. State capacity, competitive politics and Twenty-First Century developmental states

Processes of state building, democratisation and citizenship-formation in developing countries remain highly contested. The interactions of these political processes with persistent inequalities are generating new problems and responses in developing countries, including the rise of authoritarian forms of populism and new efforts to control unruly urban populations. Old debates around the potential trade-offs between political and socio-economic rights have re-emerged, alongside a resurgence of interest in state capacity and performance. As different varieties of capitalism unfold in the Global South what new types of political order are emerging to sustain them, based on which ideologies of development? What types of development trajectories are possible for different types of countries at the current juncture, and what forms of politics might be required to support these? What kinds of deals are required to achieve and sustain growth? Does the renewed attention to industrial policy suggest a need to focus on state-business relations, or should the focus shift to building the broader coalitions capable of promoting more sustainable and alternative development trajectories?

3. Taking the transnational politics of development seriously

In a globalised world, how can governments regulate global value chains in a range of policy domains, in ways that protect the national interest and promote inclusive forms of development? How is the global political economy of major infrastructure investments playing out, and with what implications for national governance and the local politics of social justice? What are the implications for state sovereignty and democracy of rising levels of indebtedness, including to China? How do global policy agendas travel to and become translated within different political contexts? How can new theories of politics and development join with transnational forms of political economy analysis to provide clearer insights into these processes?

4. New sites of progressive politics?

The changing nature of politics within developing countries is strongly shaped by rising inequalities, nascent processes of class formation, urbanization and demographic shifts. New sites of citizenship and progressive politics may be opening within the realm of distribution, involving collective bargaining and co-production around service delivery and the local politics of social protection. We now know more about how national politics shapes social provisioning, but how does this play out at sub-national level and how are new forms of redistribution themselves reshaping the politics of citizenship and state-society relations? What can be learned from the emergence of hybrid forms of governance in urban areas, often centred on contestations and negotiations over land, housing and service delivery?

The politics of recognition has opened-up space for minority and marginal groups but moving from inclusion to influence remains a challenge. We need to know more about the strategies that marginal groups such as women can deploy to gain substantive forms of representation. Contradictory concerns abound: how can the advances made for women and minority groups be protected from patriarchal and populist backlashes whilst ensuring that a politics of difference doesn’t undermine the universal values required for the public realm to flourish?

5. From thinking to working politically?

What the turn to politics means for development policy and practice remains unclear. For example, we now know a lot more about the politics of local governance, including from randomised control trials on issues of corruption and accountability, and there is widespread acceptance of the need to adopt iterative, problem-driven approaches to solving governance problems. However, we know very little about how these relate to or work within different types of political context: how these might different types of context shape the success or failure of particular approaches to governance or ‘doing development differently’?

Given the institutional and ideological constraints within aid agencies, does it make sense to encourage the ‘anti-politics machine’ to ‘think and work politically’? Unsure as to how to promote ‘good enough governance’, and driven by concerns with authoritarian forms of populism closer to home, there is a temptation to double down on liberal values around ‘inclusive governance’ rather than seek an accommodation with alternative trajectories (e.g. China, South Korea) that emphasis the role of strong states. Is there a choice between building capacity or promoting inclusive forms of governance? How can these dual goals of SDG 16 be attained? Does the now flourishing agenda on taxation and domestic resource mobilisation offer a means through which both state capacity and more progressive social contracts can be built?  What role can bureaucratic pockets of effectiveness play in securing developmental forms of governance?

If you are interested, please submit your abstract by 15 March 2019.

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