prof.dr. (Des) D Gasper


Des Gasper (1953) is professor of Human Development, Development Ethics and Public Policy, at ISS of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

‘Human development’ refers here to human-centred socio-economic development, including extension of people’s ability to live in ways that there is reason to value. This field links to work on human rights and human security, and I work on such links, both in theoretical and ’applied’ research.

During 2012-16, highlights were:

  1. I wrote conceptual chapters in the Routledge Handbook of Human Security and the Elgar Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security (2013). With Oscar Gomez I co-wrote two overviews of the past twenty years of human security researcht: for UNDP and for a a 2015 special issue of Contemporary Politics, 21(1).
  2. I worked with Oscar Gomez and Yoichi Mine on a report to UNDP that reviewed human-security oriented Human Development Reports, and an associated guidance. We extended our analysis in a 2016 paper in the Journal of Development Studies, 52(1).
  3. Application of human development ideas to university education, in work with Alejandra Boni (in the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 2012, 13(3); and to methods of project planning and evaluation, in a paper in Oxford Development Studies, 2012, 40(1), and a special issue in 2014 of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 15(1).

Development ethics looks at “ethical and value questions posed by development theory, planning and practice”. Highlights in 2012-2016 included:

  1. Three survey papers, for diverse audience: in the Journal of Global Ethics, 8(1), 2012;: a chapter in the Springer Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics, 2016, ed. H. ten Have; and in An Introduction to International Development, 3rd edition, eds. P. Haslam et al.; Oxford University Press Canada, 2017.
  2. A chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics, 2016, eds. G. DeMartino & D. McCloskey, on ethics and politics of displacement of persons by economic projects and processes.
  3. My approach involves interfacing with concrete areas of policy debate. Other papers included studies of the ethics of kidney sales (with Shaiful Islam), public goods (with Flavio Comim), and capitalism (with Mohsen Yazdanpanah).

Public policy analysis

Much of my work is interpretive/critical policy analysis: investigating the ways of thinking that influence standpoints in public policy debates and practice in the fields of international migration and climate change.

Migration – I coordinate an ISS research strand on migration and human security. A project for IDRC on ‘Migration, Gender and Social Justice’ led to a co-edited book (with T-D. Truong et al.; Springer, 2014), following a similar volume in 2011. The cluster is member of the Erasmus Migration and Diversity Institute. Recent work includes 2016: ‘Investigating Migration within a Human Security Framework’, co-author G. Sinatti, Revista Migración y Desarrollo, 14(27).

Climate change – During 2014-16 I participated in a project on contents and societal reception of the 2014 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. One output is a paper with Kjersti Fløttum and Asuncion St.Clair, 2016: ‘Synthesizing a Policy-Relevant Message from the Three IPCC “Worlds” – a comparison of topics and frames in the SPMs of the Fifth Assessment Report’, Global Environmental Change, 38(May), 118-129. I work now on how interests of poor people are marginalized in climate change research and debates.

International Institute of Social Studies

Visiting professor | Academic staff unit


  • Des Gasper (1 januari 2016) - “Human security analysis brings people into focus”

  • D (Des) Gasper & Lori Keleher (2021) - Journal of Global Ethics (Journal)
  • Des Gasper (2019) - ‘Making strange’ and other interpretive skills in critical development studies.
  • D (Dana) Rem & Des Gasper (2016) - Citizens and Citizenship – the Rhetoric of Dutch Immigrant Integration Policy in 2011
  • G Sinatti & Des Gasper (2016) - Migrant integration and transnational linkages : Using a human security framing to move beyond nationalist presumptions
  • Des Gasper (2015) - Human Security and Human Rights-Competitive or Complementary?
  • Des Gasper (2015) - Climate Change, Development Ethics, and the Global South
  • Des Gasper (2015) - Assessing Climate Change: Downplaying the Poor
  • Des Gasper (2015) - Human Security and Human Rights: Competitive or Complementary?
  • Des Gasper (2015) - Assessing and Responding to Climate Change: Ignoring the Poor?
  • AA Frediani, A Boni & Des Gasper (2014) - Journal of Human Development and Capabilities (Journal)

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