CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Views on the EU as a development actor in conversation with postdevelopment

We are calling on scholars of EU Studies, Development Studies, International Relations and related fields.

We would like to invite you to submit your abstracts for our panel session on “Views on the EU as a development actor in conversation with postdevelopment”, which will take place at the upcoming EADI ISS 2020 Conference in The Hague (29 June – 2 July 2020):

Session details and below.

The extended deadline for submission of abstracts is 6 January.

We are organising an inclusive and interactive session. For this reason, we are not so much interested in full academic papers, but rather innovative and progressive think and opinion pieces that will further the debate and potentially bridge the two fields of EU Studies and Critical Development Theory.

Departing from the claim that development has failed and a different form of engagement is necessary, the postdevelopment school has gained prominence in academic discussions since the early 1990s. Reaching further than previous critiques of ‘development’, postdevelopment theorists unveil continuations of (post-)colonial power within the dominant development paradigm that is legitimized by European modernity claims and takes Europe as a yardstick. Critical, deconstructing approaches to the paradigms underlying ‘development’ that face up to the colonial past and present continue to play a marginalized (if at all) role in institutions of international development cooperation.

As such, given the increased emphasis on the severe challenges that face EU development policy, this seed panel seeks to take up the argument that those challenges of EU policy-making cannot be fully understood without accounting for the existential crisis of the notion of ‘development’ itself. More specifically, through a cooperation between two EADI working groups – The European Union as a Development Actor” Working Group and the “Post- and Decolonial Perspectives on Development” Working Group – this panel aims to explore how alternative conceptions of development, solidarity and social justice matter in the practice of development cooperation and policy making. Also, in bridging EU studies literature with the decolonial turn in development studies, we seek to establish useful toeholds for unearthing the entanglements and interconnections that will help us break down, and move on from, the determinism of North-South divides.

Interested participants are asked to submit an abstract of not more than 300 words in which they provide their perspective on one or more of three recent opinion pieces on the issue: “new EU commissioner of International Partnerships” (; “Abolish EU commissioner for development” (; “Challenges to EU Development Policy” ( Selected candidates will then be asked to formulate a more elaborate response of no more than 1500 words.

Convened by: Nathan Vandeputte (Ghent University, Belgium), Julia Schöneberg (Kassel University, Germany) and Sarah Delputte (Ghent University, Belgium)