Political and International Dimensions of Development

Development, as managed change, is an inherently political process. The exercise of power and resistance to it are at the heart of that process. Research on development, therefore, requires a critical approach to the state and dominant institutions – local, national and international – and an analysis of how power is created and contested at multiple levels.

Our research is characterised by strong disciplinary roots in history, politics, political economy, anthropology and international relations; an interdisciplinary empirical research methodology; and primary fieldwork.

We have internationally recognised strength in regional specialisms and conduct deeply grounded study of particular areas of the global South (Africa, Latin America, South Asia), focussing on analysis from the vantage point of the disadvantaged, linking micro and macro politics.

Research on this theme addresses struggles over land and labour; the drivers and consequences of inequality in a comparative perspective; the environment and natural resources; indigenous communities; knowledge production; global health politics and epidemics; religious identity; urban politics; new forms of work; violence, gender and youth; state power, the law and political mobilisation; the long-term effects of armed struggle and liberation wars; conflict and international peace-keeping; and the politics of digital surveillance, international diplomacy and global cyber-terrorism.

Woman waving a flag during demonstrations in Egypt

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

In the media
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
Reasoning with rebels: how the private authority in rebel enclaves impacts the peace process
India's enterprise culture: social and political implications beyond the economy
New cultures of work in contemporary India
Structural constraints to public goods provision in Punjab
The changing face of internal circular migration in Bihar, India


Aisha Ahmad
Research Student
Jocelyn Alexander
Professor of Commonwealth Studies
Ludovic Arnaud
Research Student
Masooda Bano
Professor of Development Studies
Corneliu Bjola
Associate Professor of Diplomatic Studies
Maxim Bolt
Associate Professor of Development Studies
Theodor Borrmann
Research Student
Natalia Buitron
Natalia Buitron
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Lise Cazzoli
Research Student


25 Oct, 2021
David Jackman awarded Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship
06 Oct, 2021
Francesca Lessa highly commended in O2RB Excellence in Impact Awards
04 Oct, 2021
The Bodley Head buys rights to literary memoir by Simukai Chigudu
28 Sep, 2021
New book edited by Masooda Bano examines Salafi social and political movements
30 Jul, 2021
New article by Joerg Friedrichs explores majority-Muslim hate crimes in England
28 Jun, 2021
Simukai Chigudu wins 2021 APSA-IPSA Theodore J Lowi First Book Award
15 Jun, 2021
New article by Dan Hodgkinson explores refugee student activists and Zimbabwe's liberation struggle
15 Jun, 2021
New article co-authored by John Gledhill examines relationship between UN peacekeeping and development activities
22 Apr, 2021
Masooda Bano wins EUR2.45m ERC Advanced Grant to study Islamic conservatism in Europe
22 Mar, 2021
New book by Nikita Sud explores complex role of land in India


13 Sep, 2021
'In the Master’s Office black people step into the past'. Columnist Jonny Steinberg writes for Business Day about the findings of a recent article by Maxim Bolt
10 May, 2021
'He let his beard grow and ignored the warnings. Now the Indians are gasping for oxygen, and a new danger threatens'. Nikita Sud quoted in Denmark's Berlingske (in Danish)
30 Apr, 2021
'Global populism: Big promises, poor pandemic results'. Nikita Sud quoted by Christian Science Monitor
25 Apr, 2021
'World's Biggest Covid Crisis Threatens Modi's Grip on India'. Nikita Sud quoted in Bloomberg article
10 Apr, 2021
'Why the BJP’s rise in Bengal cannot be attributed to "subaltern Hindutva"'. DPhil Pratim Ghoshal writes for the Indian Express
10 Mar, 2021
'The age of agitation: African politics and the question of youth'. Dan Hodgkinson and co-authors introduce the first in a new blog series for African Arguments, which takes a generational perspective on social movements across Africa and asks, how are young people mobilising for political change?
03 Mar, 2021
'Latin America: inequality and political instability have lessons for the rest of the world'. Diego Sánchez-Ancochea writes for the Conversation about what one of the world's most unequal regions can tell us about the consequences of wealth concentration
01 Mar, 2021
'The incredible journey of the toyi-toyi, southern Africa’s protest dance'. Jocelyn Alexander and JoAnn McGregor write for the Conversation about the history of the protest 'dance' and what it tells us about military culture
23 Feb, 2021
'Why are India’s farmers angry? | Start Here'. Nikita Sud contributes to a primer from Aljazeera English about farmer protests in India
15 Feb, 2021
'Myanmar: memes and mantras of a new generation of democracy protesters'. DPhil Richard Dolan writes for the Conversation