Engaged Excellence in Development Studies

  • Katy Oswald
  • Melissa Leach
  • John Gaventa
Part of the EADI Global Development Series book series (EADI)


The chapter explores the ‘engaged excellence’ approach developed by the Institute of Development Studies. It combines high-quality, conceptually and empirically innovative research, with deep extensive engagement with local and global actors through our practices, partners and students. Four pillars contributing to engaged excellence high-quality research are identified: co-constructing knowledge; mobilising impact-orientated evidence, and building enduring partnerships, emphasising their mutual interdependence. The arguments supporting the concept of engaged excellence are epistemological, pragmatic, and normative. In each section, these arguments are outlined, acknowledging that an approach to research that embraces excellence and engagement means that trade-offs need to be made, and ethical and practical challenges navigated. It is shown that the approach has the potential to create more robust and influential research across Development Studies, and helps ensure its dual commitments to scholarly excellence and societal relevance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katy Oswald
    • 1
  • Melissa Leach
    • 1
  • John Gaventa
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Development StudiesUniversity of SussexSussexUK

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