States, Markets and Society - IDS 50th Anniversary Conference, July 2016

10th August 2016
Join IDS for a high profile, two day conference in July that will bring cutting-edge thinking, experience and reflection on ‘States, markets and society in a reconfigured world: Defining a new era for development’.

The Institute of Development Studies, based at Sussex University in the UK, turns 50 years old this year.  As development moves into a new era, leading scholars, policymakers and practitioners are invited to join in a serious intellectual debate about the challenges and implications of development in the future.

Large and critical questions will be asked, including:
  • How are new interconnections and configurations of global and local power recasting the roles and relationships of states, markets and society in development?
  • How in this context can a more equal, sustainable, inclusive and secure world be achieved?
  • How are flows of knowledge created and mobilised in this new context – and how should development studies, and the roles and relationships of institutions such as IDS, transform?
  • What has changed in the last 50 years?
  • What will a new era of development look like, and how will it be realised?



Development has always involved states, markets and societies interacting to define and shape progressive change. The period since IDS was founded in 1966 has seen the rise and fall of state-led, market-led and society-focused approaches, accompanied by critique and counter-critique, and shifts in development's meanings and practices.

But today, the categories and axes of power that have been central to development appear more unsettled than ever. Intensifying global interconnections and multi-polar politics are fundamentally challenging old north-south distinctions. A growing array of political-economic, social and environmental shocks and stresses is emerging, demanding novel forms of action and response. Instead of a simple state-market-society triad, we are seeing hybrids of many kinds, in different parts of the world.

Conference speakers include:

How to take part

The conference takes place 5 July - 6 July. Download the full IDS 50th Anniversary conference programme and register now and follow conference updates via #IDS_50