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
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
Simukai Chigudu
Associate Professor of African Politics


22 Mar, 2021
New book by Nikita Sud explores complex role of land in India
17 Mar, 2021
New article co-authored by David Jackman examines inter-party alliances among local leaders in Bangladesh
17 Mar, 2021
New article by Francesca Lessa focuses on use of archives in human rights trials in Latin America
01 Feb, 2021
Executive Secretary of ECLAC to speak on climate emergency in Latin America
20 Jan, 2021
Francesca Lessa writes opening chapter of Uruguay human rights report
19 Jan, 2021
New article by David Jackman explores role of student movements in Bangladesh
12 Jan, 2021
New book by Diego Sánchez-Ancochea explores inequality in Latin America
10 Dec, 2020
New article by Susanne Verheul analyses 'sensory politics' of courts in Zimbabwe
30 Nov, 2020
New book by Jessie Barton-Hronešová explores redress for victims of Bosnian war
Journal cover
30 Jul, 2020
New article co-authored by Jocelyn Alexander explores training of Southern African liberation movements


10 Apr, 2021
'Why the BJP’s rise in Bengal cannot be attributed to "subaltern Hindutva"'. DPhil Pratim Ghoshal writes for the Indian Express
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
28 Jan, 2021
'We have to learn to see land with a more nuanced lens'. Nikita Sud speaks to Firstpost about her new book
16 Jan, 2021
'Billionaires-Led ‘Gilded Age’ Comes Under Attack in Modi’s India'. Nikita Sud cited in Bloomberg article on farmer protests in India
06 Jan, 2021
'What will it take to end Indian farmers' protests?'. Nikita Sud speaks to Al Jazeera's Inside Story about continuing protests against deregulation of India's agriculture sector
03 Dec, 2020
How will Indian PM Narendra Modi deal with angry farmers?. Nikita Sud spoke to Al Jazeera's Inside Story about farmer protests in India
01 Oct, 2020
'Why are they going after Bollywood?'. Nikita Sud writes for scroll.in on authoritarian populist politics in India and its entanglement with the Bollywood film industry