Growing concern about the Third World’s economic prospects following decolonization fueled the rise of development studies as an academic discipline in the second half of the twentieth century. Development economics is an economic discipline that arose from previous research in colonial economics in the immediate postwar period. By the 1960s, an increasing number of development economists believed that economics alone would be insufficient to address issues such as political effectiveness and educational provision. Development studies evolved as a result, with the primary goal of integrating political and economic theories. Since then, it has evolved into a more inter- and multi-disciplinary subject that encompasses a wide range of social science disciplines. Political economy analysis, or the use of economic analytical techniques to analyze and explain political and social factors that either boost or limit growth, has grown in popularity in recent years as a means of determining reform success or failure.
Notwithstanding, in recent years, development studies have become more interested in the lessons learned from previous Western development experiences. The rise of human security-a new, people-centered approach to identifying and resolving global security challenges- has resulted in a growing recognition of a connection between security and development. According to human security theory, inequities and insecurity in one state or region have ramifications for global security, and addressing fundamental development challenges is thus in the interests of all states. This link to human security studies is just one example of the multidisciplinary nature of development studies.
However, both academic and practical circles in Bangladesh have placed a high value on development studies. Despite numerous global initiatives to better understand and capture the major themes and trends in the development of development studies as an academic field, research on this topic in Bangladesh remains woefully inadequate. On the other hand, while Bangladesh was initially regarded as a bottomless pit during the liberation struggle, the country’s gradual development from independence to the present cannot be overlooked. When compared to other countries, Bangladesh, for example, is doing relatively well in terms of economic growth. The rate of economic growth in fiscal year 2018-19 was 8.15 percent, with the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics forecasting 8.2 percent GDP growth in fiscal year 2019. With an annual growth rate of 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2019, Bangladesh was also the world’s sixth fastest-growing economy. Bangladesh’s industries grew by 13.08 percent in 2018-19, following a 12.66 percent increase in 2017-18. In this context, the academic field of Development Studies is becoming increasingly popular. Furthermore, as the activities of NGOs and other development initiatives expand, so does the market demand for development studies. However, there are some obstacles, such as a limited budget and new disciplines’ inability to adapt to socioeconomic change. To address these challenges, an interdisciplinary framework must be developed, the curriculum must be updated to reflect changing socio-political trends, the number of purposeful events must be increased, and institutional monitoring must be increased to improve teaching ability and quality.
On the other hand, Graduates of this discipline may be able to find employment in local and global development organizations such as the UN, UNDP, UNESCO, WB, IMF, TIB, and CPD, as well as public and private organizations, corporate houses, NGOs, and various policy and advocacy groups due to their hands-on training in research, governance, public policy, and project management.
* Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker, Associate Professor, Department of Development Studies, Daffodil International University
** Shithee Ahmed , Lecturer, Department of Development Studies, Daffodil International University