International Development Studies focuses on the following issues:
- How to deal with climate change and ‘new scarcities’ (land, water and energy) and what are the implications for sustainable and equitable development?
- How to improve access to social services for the poor?
- How can international migration contribute to development against the background of globalization and restrictive migration policies?
- How to deal with rapid urbanization and megacities?
- What are the consequences of globalization for local economic development?
What's your focus?
- You are interested in the interrelated topics of development, mobility and access to natural resources.
- You want to understand how households, businesses and institutions in developing and transition countries are responding to climate change, migration, urbanization and economic globalisation.
- You are keen to look at the world through different lenses and from different disciplinary perspectives.
- You have a people-centred view of development
- You are attracted by an international learning environment, with students from different international backgrounds.
Development in a complex and highly differentiated world
The field of Development Studies has changed considerably over the past fifteen years. The scope and intensity of globalization have increased, but so, too, has the pace of other processes of change at both the local and regional levels.
The socio-economic state of the world has become more complex and highly differentiated. The shift towards economic and political integration is being counterbalanced by equally strong pressure in the opposite direction. The international economy is spreading and resulting in fragmentation and polarization at all levels. The rapidly increasing mobility of capital, labour and knowledge means production activities are becoming increasingly independent of location.
At the same time, signs of strong localization can be observed, accompanied by a renewed emphasis on regional identity, not only in an economic and social sense, but also in political and cultural affairs.
There is a growing disparity between regions in terms of their access to resources that determine development potential. Some regions are able to secure access to these resources, thereby improving their chances of benefiting from globalization. Other regions, however, become more marginalized.
Establishing an environment that is able to promote sustainable development is clearly a multi-player and multi level process, in which civil society and the private sector have crucial roles to play.
An integrated, comparative approach, typical for modern development geography, is indispensable in facilitating the problem-oriented analysis of such complex issues. This integrated approach is a key feature of the International Development Studies teaching programme. You will examine current development and poverty issues, acquiring conceptual, theoretical and empirical knowledge of the main trends and topics on the development agenda.
An experienced staff with an extensive network
Utrecht University has been teaching development studies for more than four decades. We have a good reputation in this field and very experienced staff, with a broad and varied background.
The IDS programme is embedded in an extensive network of partners and alumni working as development practitioners in development projects all over the world. We organize our internship programme through this network, and offer a wide range of research-oriented internships with local and international development organizations, the private sector and research institutes in all macroregions.
Interested in this programme?