Political Change, Conflict and the Environment

Research on development requires a critical approach to the state and dominant institutions, focussing on how power is created and exercised, and the resistance of excluded groups. This essential political process involves conflict as much as cooperation, where security (and insecurity), historical identity, urban transformation and environmental sustainability are central issues.

Our research in this area is characterised by strong disciplinary roots in history, politics and anthropology; an interdisciplinary empirical research methodology; and primary fieldwork.

Work in this theme is mainly conducted by individual faculty members with their research students and post-doctoral fellows. Between 2003 and 2010 the DfID-funded Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) built on pioneering work in the department during the 1990s on the relationship between war and underdevelopment.


Photo: Sarah Smierciak, MPhil in Development Studies 2012-14

In the media
Changing Structures of Islamic Authority
Understanding radicalisation: informing Nigerian policy towards Boko Haram
A history of political imprisonment in Zimbabwe, 1959-2011
Explaining changes in Palestinian and Israeli opinions towards a peace settlement
Market power: traders, farmers, and the politics of class-making in Pakistani Punjab
Muslim minorities in a post-Western world
State capacity and conflict
Studying conflict and studying peace: one and the same?
Reasoning with rebels: how the private authority in rebel enclaves impacts the peace process


Aisha Ahmad
Research Student
Jocelyn Alexander
Professor of Commonwealth Studies
Asha Amirali
Research Student
Masooda Bano
Principal Investigator, Changing Structures of Islamic Authority, and Associate Professor
Lennart Bolliger
Research Student
Arnold Chamunogwa
Research Student
Simukai Chigudu
Departmental Lecturer in Development Studies
Julie Dayot
Research Student
Sherine El Taraboulsi-McCarthy
Research Student


15 Mar, 2018
New Book edited by Raufu Mustapha and David Ehrhardt: Creed and Grievance
07 Mar, 2018
New article co-authored by John Gledhill maps divisions in peace and conflict studies
12 Jan, 2018
New article by Joerg Friedrichs explores security challenges of managing transnational bonds
19 Dec, 2017
Nikita Sud comments on Gujarat election results and implications for Modi's BJP
10 Oct, 2017
Female Islamic Education Movements: new book by Masooda Bano
21 Sep, 2017
Nikita Sud to feature in Curiosity Carnival with children's story about land
10 Jul, 2017
ODID researchers win Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships
26 Jun, 2017
New book - Police in Africa: The Street Level View, co-edited by Olly Owen
16 Jun, 2017
New ODS special issue celebrates work of Valpy FitzGerald
08 Jun, 2017
ODID DPhil co-convenes workshop on the Karen in transition


19 Feb, 2018
'Fifteen Years Since Muthanga, Promise of Land to Kerala’s Adivasis Remains Unfulfilled'. Sudheesh RC writes for the Wire
15 Feb, 2018
'Iran and India walk diplomatic tightrope between China and Israel'. Nikita Sud interviewed by Radio France International
05 Feb, 2018
'Colombia’s long-hidden wonders open up after years of violence'. Felipe Roa-Clavijo writes for the Independent
19 Dec, 2017
'There are chinks in the armour and the Congress for the first time is beginning to see some light through those chinks'. Nikita Sud comments on results of legislative elections in Gujarat for WION TV
11 Dec, 2017
'Women are half of society, so focusing on them is critical'. Nikita Sud quoted in Bloomberg article on attempts by Indian leader Narendra Modi to target women voters
04 May, 2017
'Fork in the River'. MPhil Gus Greenstein writes for Roads & Kingdoms/Slate on how dams are redefining life in the Mekong River basin
31 Mar, 2017
'It is part of a larger narrative of targeting certain kinds of informality and illegality that invariably affect the poorest, the minorities and other vulnerable communities'. Nikita Sud quoted by Reuters on closure of abbatoirs in India
27 Mar, 2017
'llegality vs informality: what the crackdown on slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh is really about'. Nikita Sud writes about the politics of food in India's most populous state for scroll.in
17 Mar, 2017
‘Forest life was absolutely beautiful. Lots of walking, hunting, gathering fruit and living with nature'. Laura Rival interviewed about living with the Huaorani people of Ecuador in Blueprint magazine
23 Feb, 2017
'He will run and will probably win and some time after 2018 he will probably begin to reveal his hand'. Miles Tendi interviewed on Global Journalist about Robert Mugabe's future