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The UA Ruhr Graduate Centre for Development Studies is a collaboration project between the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE), Ruhr-University Bochum, the Institute of Political Science (IfP), University Duisburg-Essen and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), University Duisburg-Essen.

Major features of the Centre are the interdisciplinary approach to development issues and the international focus. Complementary specializations in political science, economics, sociology and law benefit cooperation activities in research and postgraduate teaching. Joint cooperation links with international partners have been established for the PhD Conference on International Development and the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project EUSA_ID.


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  • 14-02-2022

    First Annual Meeting of the ADAPTED Network 6 – 12 February 2022 in Bochum

    First Annual Meeting of the ADAPTED Network 6 – 12 February 2022 in Bochum

    Notwithstanding the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IEE team took the challenge and organised the long-anticipated in-person first annual meeting of the ADAPTED network. Alongside ensuring that participants observed the SoPs for preventing COVID infection, the team delivered a high-quality virtual mode of participation by supervisors and partners who could not attend the physical meeting. The meeting brought together 15 Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs), their supervisors, key staff of the ADAPTED research network and a representative from the EU. 

    The IEE is home to four of the 15 ESRs, and below, they share their reflections on the event.

    The forum allowed us to present our initial research designs, gather feedback from supervisors, and shape our thinking for the respective projects.  We also gained an insight into the coordination of the ADAPTED network. We learnt about the progress, key milestones achieved and plans aimed at helping us to excel at our projects and contribute towards achieving the objectives of the ADAPTED programme.

    Before the forum, the ADAPTED network organised a two-day presentation workshop for all the ESRs. We learnt how to make persuasive presentations and presented our initial research ideas to our peers. We gathered invaluable presentation and visualisation skills to be used during the forum. In addition, we in Bochum practised presentations amongst the four of us to ensure clarity of message and time management.

    The three-day ADAPTED forum helped us interact with research directors and representatives of the partner organisations. The exchange of ideas also enabled us to shape our research agenda and find possible partnership platforms within the ADAPTED network for our PhD projects. 

    Following the forum, we attended lecture sessions on politics and governance delivered by Prof. Wil Hout of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and on growth and development by Prof. Wilhelm Löwenstein of the Ruhr Universität Bochum. Both lectures were thought-provoking. Among the many nuggets from Prof. Hout, we learnt that “where you stand depends on where you sit.” Meaning that one’s position in society shapes their ideas and interests. We were challenged to think about how politics and governance relate to our work and the nuances behind “who gets what, when, and how.” From Prof. Lowenstein, we learnt that alleviating absolute poverty does not eliminate income inequality. Still food for thought for the non-economists among us! Both professors emphasised the need to think beyond the “conventional” in interpreting the commonly-agreed perspectives in our respective research fields.

    The annual meeting was closed with a career development workshop, which allowed the participants to reflect on their career paths through discussions with peers and the instructors. The activities included presentations, biographical overviews, and appreciative interviews. We had a chance to share our thoughts about our past and future in “safe spaces” through drawings, narration, and walks in picturesque parks near the institute. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to work with the instructors to clarify our career paths.

    It wasn’t all work, however! The evenings were well spent with the other ESRs - networking over dinner and enjoying great conversation spanning sports, music, travel and a range of other exciting topics. 

    We left charged with knowledge, networks and energy to embark on our research projects!

  • 08-03-2022

    Call for Papers: 18th Development Dialogue Conference at Erasmus University Rotterdam

    Call for Papers: 18th Development Dialogue Conference at Erasmus University Rotterdam

    The 18th Development Dialogue (DD) conference “Doing Development Differently” will be organized virtually on the 17th and 18th, October 2022. ADAPTED Early Stage Researchers Ahmed El Assal and Petronilla Wandeto who are based at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) are part of the conference organizing committee.

    The DD conference is an annual academic conference organized by Ph.D. researchers of the ISS at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The dialogue aims to stimulate multi-disciplinary, reflective, and collaborative discussions that bring together researchers worldwide. The conference provides a platform for doctoral candidates and early career researchers engaged in different fields of development studies to share their work, exchange ideas, and discuss how their research relates to global development struggles.

    Interested PhD candidates are required to fill out this online application and submit their abstracts by Monday, May 2, 2022. For more information about the past Development Dialogue conferences, please visit the official conference website.  For any queries, feel free to contact the organizing committee at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Call for Abstracts

  • 01-03-2021

    15 PhD positions for Early Stage Researchers as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network "ADAPTED" - Eradicating Poverty: Pathways towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

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    The European Joint Doctorate ADAPTED is a consortium of European Universities, important internationally active European development organisations and think tanks and six African partner universities. Recruiting partners are Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany (coordinator), Erasmus University Rotterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands, Boğaziçi University, Turkey, and Centre National de Recherche Scientifique in partnership with Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France. More information about the network and open positions is available at www.adapted-eu.org.

    Within ADAPTED 15 PhD positions for Early Stage Researchers linked to the research programme of ADAPTED are now open for applications:
    ESR 1: The Effect of Foreign Direct Investment and Official Development Assistance on Job Creation and Poverty Reduction
    ESR 2: Mining and Poverty – A focus on artisanal mining and on CSR in industrial mining
    ESR 3: Effectiveness of social protection in fighting poverty
    ESR 4: Labour regulation and economic performance in SSA
    ESR 5: Universal health coverage in West Africa
    ESR 6: A political ecology approach in evaluating the development agenda: The cases of Ghana and Kenya
    ESR 7: Costs/benefits of climate policies in the context of informal economies
    ESR 8: An analysis of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of African countries under the Paris climate agreement and how these NDCs relate to SDG1
    ESR 9: Mobilising international law for cross-border tax justice
    ESR 10: The effects of governmentally enforced minimum wages on formal sector employment
    ESR 11: Rights-based social assistance schemes
    ESR 12: Building coherent social protection systems
    ESR 13: Demand for good governance and policy access for the poor
    ESR 14: Neopatrimonialism, pockets of effectiveness and policy making for the poor
    ESR 15: Coalition-building and pro-poor governance reform

    ESRs will work full-time on their research projects. They will be involved in the ADAPTED research network and benefit from local and network wide training opportunities. They will be hosted at the recruiting university and spend a minimum period of 6 months at the partner university for the award of a joint PhD degree. In addition they will spend scondments for field research supervised by African partner universities and / or secondments with development practice partners (see individual ESR descriptions on the ADAPTED website for details)

    For further details regarding individual ESR projects, eligibility criteria, requirements and the application procedure please refer to the ADAPTED website.

    Application deadline is 31 March 2021.

  • 08-05-2019

    Alumni Conference 2019: Call for Abstracts

    We are happy to announce the upcoming alumni conference, titled

    "Evaluation of Development Interventions - Current Debates, Methods, and Best Practices", taking place 04-08 November 2019 in Bochum / Germany.


    The conference is hosted by the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE) in Bochum (Germany) and organised in collaboration with its partner programmes from HTW Berlin, University of Leipzig, and University of Duisburg-Essen.

    Alumni of the MA programme in Development Management (MADM; IEE), the MA programme in International and Development Economics (MIDE; HTW Berlin), the Small Enterprise Promotion and Training Programme (SEPT; University of Leipzig), the MA programme in Development and Governance (Institute of Political Science (IfP); University of Duisburg-Essen), and the MA programme in International Relations and Development Policy (Institute for Development and Peace (INEF); University of Duisburg-Essen) are highly welcomed to submit proposals for participating at the conference.

    Selected participants who are international alumni of the cooperating institutions will receive funding for their flight and accommodation. Please find more information here.

    For further questions, please refer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We are looking forward to your proposal submission until the 23rd of June 2019.

  • 08-05-2019

    8th PhD Conference on International Development - Call for Abstracts

    The 8th PhD Conference on International Development is a student-led event organized by PhD students from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the School of Global studies at the University of Sussex (UK).

    This PhD conference brings together current or recently-graduated doctoral researchers in development studies and related disciplines, but attendance is not limited to PhD students of the partner institutes. This conference is an opportunity for doctoral students to present to a larger audience to get critical and well-informed feedback. The conference will offer an international platform for exchange with fellow students, senior academics, and experts.

    We invite abstracts for presentations (oral and poster) on topics that address or touch on, one or several of the following sub-themes from current or recently graduated doctoral students:

    1. Deconstructing frames of inequalities

    2. Sustainability in times of uncertainty

    3. Partnerships and collaborations in development

    4. Inclusivity and reflexivity in research methods


    For more information and how to apply, please see the Call for Abstracts

  • 18-04-2018

    Final EUSA_ID Meeting took place in Gordons Bay, South Africa

    From 18-21 March the final EUSA_ID Meeting took place in Gordons Bay, South Africa.

    All South African and European partners of the consortium took part in the meeting in order to discuss the results and the sustainability of the programme, challenges during the implementation phase and best practice examples. Several scholarship holders of the programme were invited to talk about their experiences at their respective host institutions. Alumni work and networking were as well part of the agenda and the selection committee selected some final staff grantees.

    2018 04 EUSA IDAlltogether it was a successful meeting with promising ideas for future collaborations.

  • 04-08-2022

    Mariana Vilmondes (2022): Accountability Relations in Social Housing Programs. A comparative legal analysis of Brazilian and Chilean case studies

    uar-studies-75 cover 75. Mariana Vilmondes (2022):
    Accountability Relations in Social Housing Programs. A comparative legal analysis of Brazilian and Chilean case studies. - Berlin: Logos Verl. - 529 S.
    ISBN 978-3-8325-5488-0 (€ 52,50) [more info]

    Institutional crises the Latin America are seldom not rooted in the lack of accountability. uman rights’ violations both increase and are increased by those institutional weaknesses. This research evidenced that vicious cycle: despite impressive social housing programs in size and goals, the lack of adequate housing particularly affects the most-poor because of weak legal and institutional structures. The comparison of legal accountability relations in the urban social housing ownership models Minha Casa, Minha Vida, from Brazil, and D.S. 49, D.S. 1, and D.S. 19, from Chile, revealed several of those inconsistencies, but also advised on concrete solutions to their accountability relations inspired by the rights-based approach. Policies fall short on the delegation of responsibilities to duty-bearers, whose weak obligations to inform, justify or respond neutralizes concrete chances of enforcing redress or grievance. Victims of discrimination and without access to the minimum existencial, the most-vulnerable remain marginalized by the system that oughts to care for them. The solution is obvious: the respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights must be used as means and goals of those or any other policies and institutional structures. Mariana Vilmondes first studied and practiced law in Brasília, Brazil, before coming to Germany in 2011 to take a Master degree in political sciences, sociology and history in the University of Siegen. She then pursued her Ph.D in international development studies at the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy, Ruhr-University of Bochum (IEE-RUB). During that time, she went on field research in Brazil and, among other events, participated in the UN-Habitat PrepCom2, in Nairobi, Kenya, supported by the International Realization Budget of RUB’s Research School. Since March 2021, she works as an underwriter for Deutsche Rückversicherung AG, in Düsseldorf, Germany.

  • 04-08-2022

    Christina Seeger (2021): Trust and Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Safe and Certified Safe Vegetables in West African Cities: a Comparative Analysis of Tamale, Ouagadougou, Bamenda and Bamako

    uar-studies-74 cover 74. Christina Seeger (2021):
    Trust and Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Safe and Certified Safe Vegetables in West African Cities: a Comparative Analysis of Tamale, Ouagadougou, Bamenda and Bamako. - Berlin: Logos Verl. - 213 S., ISBN 978-3-8325-5308-1 (€ 43,50) [more info]

    Smallholder farmers cultivating in West African cities often lack access to irrigation water and may use wastewater to irrigate their fields, particularly in the dry season. Wastewater contaminates vegetables with pathogens so that local consumers are likely to be exposed to health risks. Market data on consumers' actual payments for safety improved (= pathogen reduced) vegetables are not available in West Africa as vegetables differing in safety levels are sold, due to an information deficit on the consumers' side, at a uniform market price. Certification and repeated purchase experience may reduce these information deficits.
    For both market signals to be effective, trust is required. This book analyses the role of trust in explaining consumers' maximum willingness to pay (WTP) for safe and certified safe food in a Hicksian framework. This theory is tested using household data (n = 2,662) generated from contingent valuation surveys undertaken in Tamale, Ouagadougou, Bamenda and Bamako. The findings show that local consumers are willing to pay substantially higher prices (+40% to +160%) for certified safe vegetables. They further suggest that trust in farmers and traders reduces WTP and trust in certifying institutions increases WTP for certified safe vegetables. Most WTPs were found to be construct valid. They are therefore taken as trustworthy expressions of consumers' preferences for safety improved vegetables. These results stress the need to introduce vegetable certification in West African cities.

  • 04-08-2022

    Jurek Seifert (2020): Power and Horizontality in South-South Development Cooperation. The Case of Brazil and Mozambique

    uar-studies-73 cover 73. Jurek Seifert (2020):
    Power and Horizontality in South-South Development Cooperation. The Case of Brazil and Mozambique - Berlin: Logos Verl. - 366 S., ISBN 978-3-8325-5070-7 (€ 54,00) [more info]

    The growing importance of new actors in the global political landscape is envisaged as a phenomenon that has led to shifts in international power relations. This is reflected in development cooperation. Countries like China, Brazil, India and South Africa have enhanced their cooperation programs and present their development cooperation as South-South Development cooperation (SSDC) which takes place between countries of the 'Global South'. Both practitioners and scholars ascribe a notion of solidarity and horizontality to South-South cooperation that allegedly distinguishes it from the relationship patterns commonly associated with North-South relations. However, power constellations between the emerging powers and most of their cooperation partners are often asymmetrical.
    This book asks whether the claim that South-South cooperation is conducted in a horizontal manner holds in practice in spite of these asymmetries. It revises the concept of South-South cooperation and identifies the central characteristics that are claimed to distinguish the Southern modality from Northern cooperation. It then investigates the relationship between Brazil and Mozambique during the period 2003-2014 to shed some light on the question whether South-South cooperation is different from 'traditional' development cooperation regarding the relations between cooperation partners.

  • 15-11-2016

    Raffael Beier (2019): From the City to the Desert - Analysing Shantytown Resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from Residents' Perspectives

    uar-studies-72 cover 72. Raffael Beier (2019):
    From the City to the Desert – Analysing Shantytown Resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from Residents' Perspectives. - Berlin: Logos Verl. - 335 S. ISBN 978-3-8325-4951-0 (€ 48,50) [more info]

    In recent years, large-scale housing and resettlement projects have experienced a renaissance in many developing countries and are increasingly shaping new urban peripheries. One prominent example is Morocco's Villes Sans Bidonville (cities without shantytowns) programme that aims at eradicating all shantytowns in Morocco by resettling its population to apartment blocks at the urban peripheries. Analysing the specific resettlement project of Karyan Central, a 90-year-old shantytown in Casablanca, this book sheds light on both process and outcome of resettlement from the perspective of affected people. It draws on rich empirical data from a structure household survey (n=871), qualitative interviews with different stakeholder, document analysis, and non-participant observation gathered during four months of field research. The author emphasises that the VSB programme, although formally part of anti-poverty and urban inclusion policies, puts primary focus on the clearance of the shantytown. Largely based on ill-informed policy assumptions, stigmatisation, rent-seeking, and opaque implementation practices, the VSB programme interpreted adequate housing in a narrow sense. By showing how social interactions, employment patterns, and access to urban functions have changed because of resettlement, the book provides sound empirical evidence that housing means more than four walls and a roof.

  • 02-05-2018

    Christian Tischmeyer (2018): The Strong Nation-State and Violence.


    cover wp16 tischmeyer 16. Christian Tischmeyer (2018):
    The Strong Nation-State and Violence. - 78 S.

    Our world is still massively violent. This is in harsh contrast to Elias' civilisation process, implying ever more peaceful conduct as modernity manifests. The very organisation he designates for pacifying society, the modern state, is itself central cause for ongoing violence. In fact, most of modernity's notorious massacres, genocides, and ethnic cleansings could not have been committed by lesser organisations than strong states. I seek to explicate this connection, using an historical-institutionalist approach, from a perspective critical of established orders. Modern statehood will be conceptualised as ascribed status, depending on external demands f rom an ‘international community’. This ascription is based on existence of five sets of institutions, or dimensions of state activity. A state is considered strong when perceived to perform effectively in the dimensions of monopolising the military draft, direct taxation, bureaucratic organisation, promotion of formal economy, and keeping internal order. As meeting these conditions depends on direct rule, strong modern states are necessarily nations. Using an actor-centred concept of violence, I assess the violence necessary in creating and maintaining such orders. I conclude that nation-states have an institutional disposition towards mass-violence. Thus one has to think beyond this political order when seeking less violence.




The UA Ruhr Graduate Centre is part of the University Alliance Ruhr.

Steering Board


Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein


Dr. Gabriele Bäcker


Prof. Dr. sc. pol. Tobias Debiel

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Prof. Dr. Christof Hartmann

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy Institute of Political Science Institute for Development and Peace