Globalizations Special Issue Call for Papers

Critical Development Studies and the Study of Globalizations: Intersections, Fusions and Divergences


Expressions of Interest are sought for contributions to a proposed Special Issue of Globalizations on the topic of Critical Development Studies and the Study of Globalizations: Intersections, Fusions and Divergences to be Guest Edited by Professor Paul Bowles (University of Northern British Columbia, Canada) and Professor Henry Veltmeyer (Universidad Autόnoma de Zacatecas, Mexico). 

Background information on the content and format of the proposed Special Issue are provided below.

Critical development studies (CDS), as a field of enquiry, operates within the same timeframe as mainstream or orthodox development studies. The latter owed its origins to Truman’s famous 1944 doctrine in which the peoples of the newly termed ‘developing world’ were to escape from ‘underdevelopment’ by following the capitalist road to development. At each step of its evolution – from modernization theory, to neoliberalism and the Washington and post-Washington Consensuses – orthodox development approaches have been challenged by alternatives. These alternatives have varied in their critiques of capitalism – some more trenchant or radical than others –that called for its overthrow or as confronting the very notion of ‘development’ itself, replacing development in its capitalist form by socialism or some form of postdevelopment. Taken together, these critiques and proposed alternatives constitute the field of critical development studies (CDS), a field concerned with exposing the shortcomings, contradictions and failures of mainstream orthodoxy (See Veltmeyer and Bowles 2017). But analytical exposure in itself is not enough to define the field; it is also premised on the normative search for progressive alternatives that seek to identify and promote different paths towards human well-being and planetary sustainability.

As such CDS is a heterogeneous field with no common methodology and firm boundaries -- and with many debates within it. But, over the course of nearly six decades it has proven to be a rich field including approaches as diverse as dependency theory, the social and solidarity economy based on community based local development, the theory and practice of developmental states, peasant movement alternatives, various forms of Marxism, and various permutations of post-development praxis, including one (‘living well’ in social solidarity and harmony with nature) that incorporates an indigenous worldview.

As the field has evolved over time, it has had to respond to changes in orthodox thinking and practice, incorporate new (or perhaps even rediscover) actors, and analyse the changing material and ideological processes of capitalism. One of these processes is that of ‘globalization’, which has been conceptualized from diverse orthodox and critical alternative political economy perspectives. Globalization erupted in academic discourse in the 1990s (although its roots can be traced back further, see James and Steger 2014) and has held sway since. It too has a critical branch not enamoured with the workings of global capitalism along a number of axis –including political, social, economic and environmental – and has led to strong counter critiques.

Both of these terms, ‘development’ and ‘globalization’ including their critical branches, have an all-encompassing tendency, an ability to subsume within them other approaches and intellectual innovations, even while displaying trends towards fragmentation at the same time. In development studies this has become known as the ‘development plus’ syndrome where development is coupled with other concepts to provide fields such as ‘development and human rights’, ‘gender and development’, ‘environment and development’ -- and often ‘globalization and development’. (See Angeles 2004). But exactly how the coupled concepts are linked, and what is contained within the ‘and’, is often left open, a sign of intellectual exploration at best or laziness at worst.

The study of globalization has similarly colonised a variety of areas and has been incorporated into many disciplinary and interdisciplinary endeavours, its multiple facets and processes reflected in the title of the journal – Globalizations.  Some of the central concerns of students of globalizations, such as global-local interactions, hybridity, scales of action and resistance, inequalities of multiple kinds, and sites of power, are also central to critical development studies.

Relationships between critical development studies and the study of globalizations, however, remain underexplored despite their common interests. This Special Issue examines the connections more closely and we focus of three particular relationships.

The first we term intersections, that is, areas where critical development studies and critical globalization studies address the same issues and provide similar analyses even if they may do so from different starting points and using different terminologies. Intersections represent, therefore, areas of overlap where the ‘and’ in ‘globalization and development’ signifies that the two discourses can be seen as alternative but complementary approaches to studying the same phenomena and providing similar analytical insights. At the limit, the two terms might even be used interchangeably.

The second we term fusion, that is areas where critical development studies and critical globalization studies provide different analyses but which, when combined, both contribute to providing new insights into how the world works. Fusions represent, therefore, areas of complementarity where the ‘and’ in globalization signifies the addition of new insights from combining the two discourses.

The final relationship we term divergences, areas in which the analyses of critical development studies and critical globalization studies address different issues and/or use different analyses to derive different interpretations and results. The emphasis is on difference, of two intellectual traditions, born in different times and tooled to address different sets of issues and problems and providing distinctive analytical lenses. The ‘and’ in globalization and development therefore signifies that an issue is capable of being and approached from two alternative, largely non-complementary, and on occasion competing, angles.

We seek to bring together contributions from critical developments studies and invite expressions of interest. Each article is expected to show, firstly, the contribution of critical development studies to the analysis of a particular issue and explain the way(s) in which globalization has been understood and invoked in this analysis. Secondly, each contribution will then explicitly address the ways in which the analysis can be seen as intersecting with, providing an opportunity for fusing with, or diverging from critical approaches to the study of globalization.

Submissions in all areas of CDS are encouraged. These may include submissions on particular themes or on particular geographical areas.

The Special Issue will contain approximately ten substantive papers (maximum 8000 words per article).  

Works cited:

Angeles, Leonora, 2004, “New Perspectives, New Issues: Implications for International Development Studies”, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 25, 1, 61-80.

James, Paul and Manfred Steger, 2014, “A Genealogy of ‘Globalization’: The Career of a Concept”, Globalizations, 11, 4, 417-434.

Veltmeyer, Henry and Paul Bowles (eds), 2017, The Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies, London: Routledge.

How To Submit

Expressions of Interest should consist of a maximum 500 word Abstract to be submitted by March 31, 2018 to and

Timelines Guide:

Submission of Abstract (maximum 500 words):       March 31, 2018

Decision by Co-editors                                                  May 31, 2018

First Draft of Articles due to Co-editors                     September 30, 2018.

Revisions and Submission to Peer Reviewers           November 30, 2018

Submission of Final Revised Articles                          April 30, 2019

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor: Paul Bowles, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada (
  • Guest Editor: Henry Veltmeyer, Universidad Autόnoma de Zacatecas, Mexico (