The 1990 Development Studies Association Conference met to consider the theme ‘Conflict and Change in the 1990s’. The ambition was to encourage an interdisciplinary and theoretical approach to the issues of the coming decade. This is not to disregard the fact that the Association has never confined itself to a single academic discipline. In most universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland where development studies are pursued it is concern with development which comes first and the disciplines that are on offer within the institutions or are volunteered which then fall into place. However, it was felt that, on this occasion, at the beginning of the 1990s, it might be now appropriate to take stock of how development studies as such could contribute to the Third World of the 1990s, rather than to focus upon the concrete issues which are the constant concern of the Third World.
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