Development sociology is from a theoretical and conceptual point of view a sub-discipline of sociology; at the same time, however, it is part and parcel of the interdisciplinary development research field. Development sociology encompasses the sociology of developing countries, the sociology of processes of social change and/or of social development and the sociology of development policy and its institutions. The regional focus of research lies in Africa, supplemented by studies in other regions of the world. Current research topics are the political sociology of Africa, sociology of violent conflicts, sociology of disaster, local knowledge, participatory research, sociology of development policy and processes of globalisation.
As far as teaching is concerned, development sociology is a core participant in the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts program "Culture and Society of Africa" and offers courses to degree programs in geography and economics. Additionally, development sociology is involved in the "Bayreuth Graduate School of African Studies".