Critical thoughts

We put critical studies on development in dialogue with emancipatory proposals from social movements for the construction of alternatives.

Critical reflection on development has been a type of dead end for years now.  The technical critique confirms that technical problem do not seem to be solved after over seven decades of development proposals. The political critique address rationales, dynamics and institutions of power without being able to influence them.  And the onto-epistemological critique problematizes and questions the basic fundamentals of western modernity from a perspective that hinders the structuring of alternatives.

This area of work tries to set up a dialogue between the critical studies on development (including feminists, decolonial and post-structuralist studies and those from the critical economy) and emancipatory proposals from the social movements, as a strategy to construct those alternatives.

Research lines

Transformative cooperation

It is a commitment to the critical review of international cooperation driven by official authorities. We explore the possibility of changing the logics and dynamics of cooperation to achieve an emancipating impact on individuals and peoples. Linking with social movements and experiences that shape it from feminism, international and emancipating education are interesting strategies to point towards transformative cooperation processes.

Post-development and Good Living

We explore the possibilities of proposals that are presented overall as a new denial paradigm of the development discourse as they consider it an imperialist and economist company that devastates cultures and ecosystems. We call for the legitimacy of  other ways of life, with their plural and different forms of beings, temporary being and knowledge. We therefore study proposals such as Sumak Kawsay in Abya Yala or proposals from the degrowth movement in Europe.


Feminisms are a source of inspiration for critical thought. We are committed to deconstruction processes that imply questioning the hegemonic definition of being male or female, and we are searching for strategies to expose oppression and privilege in the ways of studying the world.

Environmental sustainability

We build on the green economy proposal to address the socio-economic relations with the natural environment from sustainability, by developing a critique of the conventional economy and the dominant development model. We therefore explore alternative proposals that allow the sustainability of the socio-environmental systems, we propose alternative assessment models such as social multi-criterion evaluation, system dynamics and the social lifecycle assessment, and we delve further into the possibilities of a democratic energy transition.

Local human development

Local human development advocates thinking and acting from the territory to construct collective projects, based on the people considered individually and collectively. It considers the leading role of local societies in the search for their own development and in the creation of a bottom-up globalisation. We cover the diversity of practical and technical contributions being produced by the UNDP in this line, academic reflection, social movements and institutions working on promoting human development.



Xabier Aierdi

Professor and researcher

Jokin Alberdi

Professor and researcher

Efren Areskurrinaga

Professor and researcher

Eduardo Bidaurratzaga

Professor and researcher

María Luz De La Cal

Professor and researcher

Alfonso Dubois

Professor and researcher

Iker Etxano

Professor and researcher

Xabier Gainza

Professor and researcher

David Hoyos

Professor and researcher

Pedro Ibarra

Professor and researcher

Yolanda Jubeto

Professor and researcher

Mertxe Larrañaga

Professor and researcher

Juan Telleria

Professor and researcher

Leticia Urretabizkaia

Unai Villalba

Professor and researcher