It gives me great pleasure to present this first edition of published term papers authored by IDS graduates (2016/17) from across our suite of master’s degrees.
At IDS, our vision is of equal and sustainable societies, locally and globally, where everyone can live secure, fulfilling lives free from poverty and injustice. Cutting-edge research, knowledge, and evidence is critical to realising this vision and shaping, informing, and navigating change.These papers make an essential contribution to this body of knowledge and current development debates. Each year, in September, IDS welcomes a new cohort of development scholars and practitioners who come to read and study for a master’s degree. They bring their experience and enthusiasm, their commitment to international development, and their ideas. We expect a lot from these scholars and practitioners during their time at IDS. We expect them to demonstrate, in their thinking and in their assignments, considerations of how to make a difference in the world. We ask them to help us extend our commitment to engaged excellence, to go beyond academic knowledge for its own sake and to use knowledge to help reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability, and build more inclusive and secure societies.
As illustrated in this issue, each year, our expectations are met and surpassed with papers which show creative reasoning and learning, and which in turn inform and shape our thinking at IDS, providing new perspectives, ideas, and applications. In the course of a year, over 1,200 pieces of work are written and marked at IDS, much of it of fantastic quality. Obviously we cannot publish all of it, yet in producing this edition, we celebrate both these specific papers and the buzz generated by shared intellectual endeavours and from both individual and collective desires to bring about positive change.
Term paper themes
This issue makes an important contribution to major development challenges and deserves to be read. Some of the papers contribute to the theme of reducing inequalities. Lucy Heyderman (MA Gender and Development) has investigated the degree to which genderbased violence initiatives, designed to prevent or respond to gender-based violence, might instead maintain or challenge gender inequalities. Rhea John (MA Development Studies) uses a power analysis to understand India’s initiative to capture citizens’ demographic and biometric information in a Unique Identification Project. Finally, in this reducing inequalities theme, Liam Kennedy (MA Poverty and Development) examines graduation from social protection programmes in Haiti.
Two papers address the accelerating sustainability theme, yet they explore very different visions of sustainability, both of which are necessary for making a difference and bringing about positive change. Samuel Leistner (MA Globalisation, Business and Development) examines recent technological innovations in relation to developing countries’ manufacturing competitiveness and asks about the implications for industrial policy, whereas Alexander Vougioukas (MSc Climate Change, Development and Policy) explores the relationship between climate change and disaster risk.
Most papers emphasise opportunities for building more inclusive and secure societies. Both C. Neu (MA Participation, Power and Social Change) and Aisha Modibo (MA Poverty and Development) focus on relationships, with Aisha examining the conceptualisation of citizen– state engagement and C. Neu emphasising collaborative relationships. Luke Stannard (MA Development Studies) and Elena Wason (MA Governance, Development and Public Policy) focus on unruly politics in the UK, Luke in relation to education and Elena in relation to populism.
Collectively, an incredible amount of learning went into the 2016/17 academic year, all of it collaborative, most of it now embedded in individuals, networks, and relationships. This issue captures a small proportion of our learning yet celebrates everyone’s contributions and looks forward to seeing IDS graduates making their mark on the world.