The Department of Global and Development Studies Has Been Established at ELTE

The Department of Global and Development Studies Has Been Established at ELTE HU
The new department established in the Institute of Political and International Studies at the ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences is the first university department in Hungary to focus on development studies with a global scope also bearing development studies in its name. The department is headed by assistant professor Béla Soltész.

This multi- or interdisciplinary scientific field is highly popular worldwide, as it focuses on the currently most pressing global issues (social inequality, climate change, migration, sustainability, economic interdependencies, the processes of democratisation and de-democratisation), certain “developing” regions (Africa, South/East Asia, Middle East, Latin America), and marginalised groups living in “developed” regions.

In addition to teaching subjects with a global and development focus, which are increasingly represented in the Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programmes of International Studies, the department is also engaged in the coordination of related scientific work. Given the variety of theories, topics, and regions researched by the faculty members, the department is committed to a variegated palette of scientific and methodological tools.

The Department of Global and Development Studies embraces a self-reflexive and intercultural understanding of the concept of development. Accordingly, it

looks at development-related topics from a critical and non-Eurocentric perspective,

rejecting all kinds of interpretations of development that imply a hierarchy between cultures or ethnic groups.

The new department also deems it important to analyse and evaluate policies that aim to reduce poverty, improve the standards of living, promote sustainability, and foster social inclusion and mobility on the global and local levels.

In part, it offers courses that are currently included in the curriculum of the International Studies Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programmes (e.g. Migration, Political Economy, and International Development Policy). Additionally, it considerably contributes to the “Regional Studies” study module of the undergraduate programme (e.g. African and Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, American Studies), and partly to the MA specialisation “EU Foreign Relations and Development Policy” (e.g. Post-Colonial Theories, Development Policy and Welfare, International Political Economy of Developing Countries). In the future, the curriculum may be expanded with courses on global social processes and the global dimensions of sustainable development.

The faculty members of the department

attach considerable importance to multiculturalism at the university brought to classes by international students,

and they attempt to capitalise on this diversity. In its teaching activities, the new department also endeavours to establish teacher-student relationships based on mutual learning.

In addition to cooperation within the faculty, the Department of Global and Development Studies at the ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences also strives for collaboration with specific departments at the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Economics, and the Faculty of Humanities, primarily in the form of joint teaching activities. The department is establishing contacts with international professional organisations engaged in development studies to help its faculty members apply for funding and take part in research projects implemented in the form of consortia. The department is also open to cooperating with non-profit organisations (foundations, NGOs, charity and church organisations, and volunteers), national governmental units, local governments, as well as the corporate sector.

In the coming years, the Department of Global and Development Studies will be working to become a teaching hub on development studies in Hungary and a significant player in related scientific work. It also aims at becoming an agent of positive changes in the topics studied by its researchers to understand and foster emancipatory, empowering, and community-led forms of development both domestically and abroad.

The list of teaching faculty and the Mission Statement are available on the website of the department.

Source: ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences