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The range and depth of research at the Department reflects the intellectual curiosity of its members as individual scholars or research groups. While we do not claim to be comprehensive, our research does focus on major issues for international development in the twenty-first century.

What makes this research effort unique is its multi-disciplinary approach and the fact that we address the international as well as the national dimensions of development on the one hand, and the structural (economic, political, social, conceptual) roots of poverty and power on the other.

Research Themes

The Department hosts some 60 active researchers working within the following four broad themes:

  • Economic Development and International Institutions
  • Migration and Refugees in a Global Context
  • Human Development, Poverty and Children
  • Political Change, Conflict and the Environment

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Research Groups & Major Externally Funded Projects

The externally funded research groups and major projects at the Department are international leaders in their specialised fields and contribute to the teaching programmes by providing case studies, fieldwork support and specialist supervision.

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Research Impact

We aim to set the agenda of policy debate rather than follow it. Nonetheless, our research does engage explicitly with real world policy issues – albeit critically and with a long-term perspective – and strives to contribute to better design and implementation based on empirical evidence rather than geopolitical goals, and in the interests of the poor and disadvantaged.

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Research Assessment

In the 2008 RAE, the Department was ranked top of its field in terms of research quality, with two-thirds of its work classified as 'world leading or 'internationally excellent' in terms of 'originality, significance and rigour'. The HEFCE report also concluded that 'overall, the research environment was judged to be highly conducive to research of outstanding quality.'

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Photo: S Karki, MPhil 2009-11

Debating Development

To read analysis and commentary on our latest research, visit the departmental blog:

International Development: increasing well-being and reducing inequality in global society