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CADES - Master of Cultures & Development Studies

CADES is an advanced master’s programme focusing on international development in all its facets. Taught entirely in English, it brings together master students and professionals from all over the world active in consultancy, policy, education and research in the international  development sector. It boasts a large international and interdisciplinary platform for addressing issues of global development from an anthropological perspective.

The programme is rooted in contemporary social and cultural anthropology and draws on a wealth of viewpoints in order to enhance students’ multi-disciplinary and intercultural expertise and skills. It builds on the following disciplines and thematic specialisations: architecture and urban planning, economics, ethics, gender studies, post-colonial theory, comparative religion, agriculture and engineering, education, politics, psychology, law and philosophy.

Overall, CADES mediates between the universal and culture-specific claims on knowledge and human fulfilment. Embedded in research conducted at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA) and the Interculturalism, Migration and Minority Research Centre (IMMRC), the programme counters the universalising Western master-narrative of modernisation and stimulates an integrated approach to development issues. As such, it does not offer students a practical development toolkit, but rather questions whether available tools are suitable and  applicable in any given context.

More specifically, CADES aims to show how societies deal with the significant and omnipresent forces of globalisation and how subaltern groups respond to or resist them. It strives toward the ideal that ‘progress’ does not entail the end of local cultures and endogenous knowledge systems but rather their reinforcement and emancipation. Undoubtedly, only a profoundly diverse intercultural understanding of – and engagement for – development can open innovative avenues of equity. In order to keep pace with current trends and insights in the professional world, CADES maintains ties with the Research Chair for Development Cooperation at HIVA, the Belgian Technical Cooperation, various NGOs and international organisations and regularly welcomes guest lecturers from the global development field.