Department of Global Development Studies

DEPARTMENT OF

Global Development Studies

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Research Themes

Global Development Studies at Queen’s has a wide range of faculty expertise. Four themes stand out as key areas of specialisation within our programme:


The Political Economy of Development

The central question of political economy is how wealth is created and distributed and this concern stands as a cornerstone of development. To this end, our faculty interrogate the forces that shape contemporary production, trade and finance at various scales: from the level of cities through to global trade agreements and world financial crises.

Associated Faculty

  • Diana Cordoba – political ecology; critical agrarian studies; social justice; environmental sustainability; Latin America
  • Rebecca Hall – resource extraction; feminist political economy; decolonization; settler colonialism
  • Reena Kukreja – feminist political economy, migration, masculinities, postcolonial feminism, South Asia, Caste, community-based research
  • David McDonald – municipal governance; public versus private service delivery (water, electricity and health care); urbanization; migration
  • Bernadette P. Resurreccion – Feminist political ecology; Natural resource management, climate change and livelihoods; sustainability transitions
  • Scott Rutherford – Canadian history, social movements, settler-colonialism, cultural politics of development in North America
  • Susanne Soederberg – housing insecurity and urban displacement; finance and debt (public and private); corporate power in development
  • Marcus Taylor – labour and livelihoods; agriculture and development; anti-poverty programmes and microfinance
  • Kyla Tienhaara – globalisation; trade agreements; corporations and development

Three Recent MA Projects in This Field

  • M’Lisa Colbert – “Democratizing Energy Access in a Marketized World: The Cases of Costa Rica and Nicaragua” (2017).
  • Lisa Page – Deconstructing the Power of Global Trade Law: An Analysis of the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body” (2015)
  • Valerie Wagner – “Investigating ‘Decent Work’ and the ‘Care Chain’: A Case Study of Filipina Maids in Kuwait” (2015)

The Cultural Politics of Development

The foundational ideas of development – including the notions of progress and modernity – have been used and contested by diverse political and social movements in both the West and post-colonial countries. Critically examining these unsettled ideas of what development means and what purposes it is used for is a key element of our curriculum and an active research concern for many of our faculty.

Associated Faculty

  • Karen Dubinsky – global childhoods (adoption/migration history and the politics of childhood); Cuban musical cultures; Canadian/Third world relations; transnational historical perspectives
  • Marc Epprecht – social history in southern Africa; gender, sexuality and development; HIV/AIDS; pedagogies for development
  • Rebecca Hall – resource extraction; feminist political economy; decolonization; settler colonialism
  • Reena Kukreja – feminist political economy, migration, masculinities, postcolonial feminism, South Asia, Caste, community-based research
  • Paritosh Kumar – the politics of tradition and modernity; Hindu Right and religious revivalism in India; development ethics
  • Bernadette P. Resurreccion – feminist political ecology; natural resource management, climate change and livelihoods; sustainability transitions
  • Scott Rutherford – Canadian history, social movements, settler-colonialism, cultural politics of development in North America

Three Recent MA Projects in This Field

  • Noelle Bauman – "Stories of ‘Born-Again’ Women in Uganda: Epistemic Violence, Visceral Faith, and Subversive Performances of Subjectivity"
  • Lucy Mackrell – “The Vulnerability Paradigm: Problematizing the Development Industry’s Dominant Narrative Surrounding Heterosexual Transmission of HIV/AIS in Botswana” (2016)
  • Michelle Johnston – “A Critical Examination of the Disciplining of Street-Connected Girls in Mombasa, Kenya, within a charitable Children’s Institution” (2015)

Indigenous Studies

Global Development Studies at Queen’s has a longstanding indigenous studies component. Our faculty conduct participatory research on the history and politics of indigenous-settler relations in Canada and more widely, and keenly engage indigenous perspectives on the theme of development.

Associated Faculty

  • Rebecca Hall – resource extraction; feminist political economy; decolonization; settler colonialism
  • Robert Lovelace – aboriginal studies in Canada and North America
  • Celeste Pedri-Spade – visual anthropology and material culture; Indigenous art, photography and worldviews; Indigenous qualitative research; and colonialism / decolonization
  • Dylan Robinson – indigenous public art; the politics of indigenous languages; Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Scott Rutherford – Canadian history, social movements, settler-colonialism, cultural politics of development in North America

Three Recent MA Projects in This Field

  • Laura Myers – “Analyzing the Experiences of Indigenous Women's Organizations and Organizers in Canada” (2017)
  • Zabrina Whitman – “Finding Balance: Determining the Relationship Between Economic Development, Traditional Knowledge and Natural Resource Management in the context of the Nova Scotia Mik’maq (2013)
  • Leah James – “Food Sovereignty in the Canadian Arctic: Is it Possible?” (2013)

Environment, Development and Sustainability

In a world characterised by growing resource constraints and new environmental challenges such as climate change, research into sustainability marks an important feature of our programme. Our faculty engage in sustainability questions at a range of scales from contemporary urban environments to global agriculture and food systems.

Associated Faculty

  • Diana Cordoba – political ecology; critical agrarian studies; social justice; environmental sustainability; Latin America
  • Marc Epprecht – environment and health, especially in urban contexts in South Africa
  • Mark Hostetler – political ecology; sustainability research; livelihoods approaches
  • Paritosh Kumar – globalisation and agriculture; plant genetic resources
  • David McDonald – urbanisation and environmental justice; water politics
  • Bernadette P. Resurreccion – feminist political ecology; natural resource management, climate change and livelihoods; sustainability transitions
  • Susanne Soederberg – cities, housing and vulnerabilities; disaster management
  • Marcus Taylor – climate change; agriculture and agrarian change; political ecology
  • Kyla Tienhaara – clean energy; environmental regulation and trade policy

Three Recent MA Projects in This Field

  • Daniel Simonson – “The NAPA process: Negotiating accumulation in the context of climate change adaptation policy” (2015).
  • Joyce Yan – “The Political Ecology of Climate Change Adaptation and Environmental Governance in China” (2015)
  • Alexandra Wilson – “Environmental Degradation in the Yamuna Basin: A Holistic Approach to Understanding Water” (2015)