Call for proposals


Towards 2030: Decolonizing ‘Development’ to Bridge Extremes in an Age of Polarization and Pandemic

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, CASID’s 2020 Annual Conference was cancelled; this was especially disappointing given the incredibly timely theme around which the conference had been convened and the many hours of hard work by CASID members and the Executive to bring the meeting to life. As a result, we are excited to announce that the CASID 2021 Conference will revisit the 2020 theme around decolonizing ‘development’, but do so through a lens which also examines the impact of the pandemic on ‘development’. 

‘Development’ is a colonialist project. We cannot ignore its exploitative effects, including dispossession, enslavement, forced migration, and militarization, on Indigenous Peoples, Black people and people of colour, and other marginalized groups. CASID 2021 reflects on this and contemplates how we move forward as contemporary societies face increasingly polarized contexts – socio-economic, cultural, environmental and political. While there is great technological innovation and increased uptake of cleaner energies, the climate crisis has assumed foreboding urgency. Partnerships and citizen engagement platforms have proliferated, yet the claims of oppressed and dispossessed groups to land and to fundamental human rights such as health, education, and water continue to be contested. Never in human history have we had access to such a wide array of information sources, yet we live in a ‘post-truth’ era. There is also a marked rise of ethno-nationalism in some of the world’s largest and most influential democracies. 

CASID 2021 recognizes the problematic and contested nature of ‘development’ itself. It calls on international ‘development’ actors to decolonize their practices, processes and institutions. It questions whether ‘development’ can act as a bridge between extremes within and across societies. It calls to centre the expertise of people experiencing the deepest inequalities in order to redress the harms that ‘development’ may have, itself, perpetuated. In an age of polarization, CASID 2021 aims to provide a much-needed open and inclusive space to address these challenges with nuance, rigour, and empathy looking ahead to 2030 when the UN Sustainable Development Goals are set to expire.


Call for Proposals

CASID 2021 calls for proposals that address any of these issues from a range of disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological perspectives, as well as general submissions. Proposals from scholars and practitioners and groups of scholar-practitioners are welcomed. We have a special interest in receiving submissions that address ‘development’ from the perspectives of, or working on issues closely affecting, Indigenous Peoples in Canada and globally, Black people and people of colour, and other marginalized groups. 

Proposals may address questions such as:

Are the implications of the commitment in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that ‘no one will be left behind’ compatible with a goal of decolonizing ‘development’? How do those aims manifest in different ‘development’ sectors, and what are the challenges for decolonization? How are polarizing discourses, ideologies, and practices experienced by the most vulnerable and marginalized? How do they affect claims and rights, and is there a space for transformative change?

What does it mean to commit to decolonization and justice as ‘ends’ of ‘development’? What are the different ways to understand decolonization? What are the implications of decolonization for transforming how we think, study, and practice ‘development’?

In the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the “Calls to Justice for All Canadians” encourages becoming a ‘strong ally’ (National Inquiry, 2019, p. 199, Call 15.4). What does the call to become a ‘strong ally’ of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people in Canada and globally, demand of ‘development’ scholars, practitioners, activists, and policy-makers? 

How can we analyze the Covid-19 pandemic with a decolonial lens? How has the pandemic and the various lockdowns been experienced by the most vulnerable and marginalized? How has the global response to the crisis and the associated discourse promoted a colonial worldview? Can the pandemic be an occasion to rethink North-South relationships and ‘development’ paradigms? 

Can we decolonize ourselves as scholars, practitioners, activists, and practitioners, and how? How do we take responsibility and action, including to respect the leadership, knowledges and praxis of people who must be at the centre of ‘development’?


Conference Format 

CASID 2021 is a fully online conference. For individuals who are concerned about time zone differences or internet connectivity, the option for pre-recording presentations will be made available. 


Submission Types

All submissions will be reviewed.

Standalone Papers: Single- or co-authored standalone papers will be assigned to a parallel session in the program. Parallel sessions will be assigned a chair. We envision a maximum of 4 papers per session. Paper submissions should have an abstract of no more than 300 words that highlights the main aim of the paper and key empirical findings or conceptual, paradigmatic, or methodological arguments. Empirical papers should also provide a short description of the research methods and/or datasets. Non-empirical papers should provide a summary of the key intellectual debates or context, literature, or antecedents to the argument being presented.

Panel or Roundtable: Panels of papers on a specific issue or theme or roundtable discussions should have no more than 4 papers or presenters to allow adequate time for presentation and discussion. We also invite proposals for roundtables on recently published books or reports. Proposals for panels should include a title and description of the panel theme and rationale (250-300 words), and include the names of presenters, titles, and short abstracts (150 words) for each paper. Proposals for roundtable discussions should include a title and description of the issue(s), theme, and aims (250-300 words), and list the panel presenters with a very short description of each presenter’s intended contribution to the discussion (50 words). All panel and roundtable proposals should also include the name and contact information of the lead organizer who will also act as chair.

Workshops: New to CASID 2021, proposals are invited for workshops. The workshop proposal should identify a lead organizer(s) and, in case there are additional facilitators, state the names of the entire workshop team. Organizers should be mindful that workshops are intended to involve active participation from attendees and are not in lieu of roundtable discussions or paper presentations. Standard workshops will be given a 90-minute slot. Should organizers feel they require a double-slot (180-minutes), this may be accommodated if space in the program permits


Three categories of workshops are solicited:

Action for Change Workshop: Intended to promote scholar-practitioner engagement on a range of critical development issues to share strengths, problem-solve challenges, and plan collaborative actions with a view on considering action for change. Examples include: presenting and soliciting participation for advocacy strategies and campaigns; broader engagement on community and development programs; feedback on programmatic and policy initiatives; etc.

Research Workshop: Examples of workshops in this category include, but are not limited to: research and academic-related skills training for scholars (newer and established) and practitioners; presentation of research and evaluation tools for feedback; in-depth methodological considerations of community research, and ‘development’ projects and programs; presentation of pilot projects and solicitation of commentary of future research design; etc.

Open Workshop: Proposals are welcome for workshops that fall outside of the other two categories. 


Instructions for Submission

The deadline to receive submissions is 1 February 2021. 

Submissions will be accepted on the electronic conference submission system only. Emailed submissions will not be considered. Please follow further instructions on the submission system.

Submissions accepted for the cancelled CASID 2020 conference will be considered approved. CASID encourages those whose proposals were accepted to resubmit specifying that it is a resubmission. 

If papers are accepted, all presenters will be required to become members of CASID and pay both the 2021 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences and CASID 2021 conference registration fees. 

For general inquiries email: