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
Rethinking rural development: negotiation in agricultural and food systems
The risk crucible: managing multiple insecurities in the western Sahel
Marked out: histories of student protest in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, 1957 to now
Post-conflict transition in Burundi
Between planetary urbanisation and thinking forests: a study of socio-ecological change in the Ecu...
Development outcomes in hybrid regimes
Karen knowledge networks and transitional civil society on the Burma/Thailand border
Intangibility of land as an asset to farmers in the future urbanization of India: the case of Dhol...
Sharia implementation in northern Nigeria after 15 years


13 Oct, 2014
Nikita Sud Interviewed on Award of Nobel Peace Prize to Indian, Pakistani Activists
19 Sep, 2014
New Journal Special Section Co-edited by Rosana Pinheiro-Machado on Protest in Brazil
26 Aug, 2014
Nikita Sud Quoted in Sydney Morning Herald Article on Modi's Approach to Opening Indian Economy
19 Aug, 2014
Rosana Pinheiro-Machado Appointed Columnist for Brazilian Magazine CartaCapital
11 Aug, 2014
Joerg Friedrichs' Book Wins Honourable Mention in Rachel Carson Environment Book Award
18 Jul, 2014
Santiago Izquierdo Tort Wins Papiya Ghosh Prize for Best MPhil Thesis in 2014
04 Jul, 2014
DPhil Student Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock Appointed Lecturer at Edinburgh University
04 Jul, 2014
Miles Tendi Writes on Tony Blair and Military Intervention for the Guardian
02 Jul, 2014
Miles Tendi Writes on UK-Zimbabwe Relations for The Africa Report
06 Jun, 2014
New Blog Post: Corneliu Bjola on Secret Diplomacy


08 Sep, 2015
'Gujarat: a development model for all India?'. Nikita Sud Interviewed by Austria's Radio Ö1
07 Sep, 2015
'How India undermined its elections: why was the world’s largest democracy outperformed by one of the smallest?'. Zaad Mahmood writes for the Electoral Integrity Project blog
04 Sep, 2015
'Buhari's first 100 days: does Nigerian president mean business?'. Zainab Usman writes for CNN
19 May, 2015
'Challenging the Syrian state: using information systems to document human-rights violations'. Ali Ali writes for Open Democracy
03 Apr, 2015
‘Double Take - How does education affect politics in Africa?’. Dan Hodgkinson writes for Democracy In Africa
16 Jan, 2015
'Africa's oil shock'. Zainab Usman examines how falling oil prices will affect the continent's economic transformation aspirations for Aljazeera
12 Aug, 2014
'Obama's Africa summit: too little, too late?'. Zainab Usman writes for Aljazeera
03 Feb, 2014
'Don't trust the government's citizenship stripping policy'. Matthew Gibney writes for The Conversation
29 Nov, 2013
'Non-citizens are effectively being punished twice for crimes'. Matthew Gibney comments on deportation of boat race protestor for ABC news
14 Nov, 2013
'Theresa May must not further erode Britons' rights to citizenship'. Matthew Gibney writes for the Guardian