Dear FSDR members,
During the remarkable year of 2023, the FSDR has had the distinct pleasure of participating in various events, collaborating with numerous partners, consulting with esteemed colleagues, and organizing enriching activities. As we go on to live our personal lives and fulfill our professional duties, we have witnessed the escalation of simultaneous global crises – most notably the climate emergency and the urgent atrocities in Gaza, alongside the ongoing wars in Ukraine, Myanmar, Sudan, and Ethiopia.
In this historic moment, marked by colonial continuities and polarized public discourses, the need for academic work and critical reflections grounded in lived realities has become more crucial than ever. As a relevant academic community of development researchers, we are equipped to investigate and communicate the underlying complexities and far-reaching consequences of these crises. Our societal role is thus increasingly vital, both in Finland and globally.
We eagerly look forward to meeting, discussing, and working with you again in the upcoming year. The FSDR will continue to provide spaces for discussion and plan of action, especially through the #DevDays2024, the Development Days conference scheduled for 15–16 February 2024 in Helsinki. At the Development Days, we will reflect upon the issues around the theme “Crises and Futures of/in Development” – where we perceive development being in crisis as an academic concept, an area of study, a policy program, and a professional field. We will cover development research-related current affairs of global humanitarian concern, particularly the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and several alarming trends in Finland, namely the undermining of the principle of development cooperation and sense of global responsibility, the ideological and political assault on critical development studies, and the planned budgetary cuts on social support for the education and well-being of the youth and students.
We are grateful for your unwavering support and cooperation this past year. We encourage you to participate in the Annual Meeting on 15 February 2024 and consider joining the Board actively.
The FSDR Board extends its heartfelt thanks to each one of you. We wish you all a Happy Holidays and a hope-filled New Year ahead!
With best wishes and solidarity,
The FSDR Board 2023–2024