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
Valuation struggles in the Ecuadorian Amazon
‘State of Emergency’: The politics of Zimbabwe’s cholera outbreak, 2008-2009
Supporting police reform in Nigeria: learning from officers on the ground
An interrogation of public authority and tenure security in fast track resettlement farms in Zimba...
NGO advocacy and the struggle for representation: mining, conflict and performance in the Peruvian...
Frontiers of urban survival: everyday corruption and precarious existence in Lagos
Redesigning food systems: transformative social innovation in Mexico and Guatemala
'Peasantarianisation' of the undesired urban: the role of the discourse in the implement...
Apartheid’s African soldiers: a history of black Namibians and Angolans in South Africa’s former s...


Nandini Gooptu
Associate Professor of South Asian Studies
Leonie Hoffmann
Research Student
Robert Hortle
Research Student
Jessie Barton Hronešová
ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Santiago Izquierdo Tort
Research Student
David Jackman
Departmental Lecturer in Development Studies
Garima Jaju
Research Student
Myfanwy James
Research Student
Saba Joshi
Swiss National Science Foundation Research Fellow


Four indigenous activists in front of a brick building in Oxford
12 Feb, 2020
Brazilian activists, intellectuals and policy actors visit Oxford to debate attacks on indigenous rights
30 Jan, 2020
New book co-edited by Raufu Mustapha offers fresh insights into Islamic radicalisation in Nigeria
Covers of two books on South African liberation movements
28 Jan, 2020
Two new books co-edited by Jocelyn Alexander examine liberation movements in Southern Africa
17 Jan, 2020
Educere Alliance to promote holistic education launches website
11 Dec, 2019
New book by Arndt Emmerich explores Islamic movements in India
27 Nov, 2019
New research project awarded £1.76m to investigate determinants of violence against women
19 Nov, 2019
New article by Nikita Sud explores ‘unfixed’ nature of land in India
26 Sep, 2019
Conference co-convened by Geoff Goodwin explores Latin American infrastructures
21 Sep, 2019
Geoff Goodwin speaks on water research at AgroCultures conference in Brazil
17 Sep, 2019
Felipe Roa-Clavijo wins top Colombian social science prize


17 Mar, 2020
'The Modi government is facing a crisis of credibility in the political as well as economic sphere'. Nikita Sud quoted by Bloomberg
01 Mar, 2020
'Push comes to shove, it is the demands of dominant groups that are given primacy in state policy and practice'. Nikita Sud comments for Reuters on conflicts over common land in India due to conservation and tree planting efforts
29 Jan, 2020
'He lacks the traditional skill set of a president but has the popular mandate to get himself a good team. Instead he has allowed himself to be advised incorrectly'. Robtel Neajai Pailey quoted by Al Jazeera on growing unpopularity of Liberia's George Weah
27 Jan, 2020
'Richard Caplan’s “Measuring peace: Principles, practices and politics”'. Jessie Barton Hronešová reviews the book for the Oxford University Politics Blog
22 Jan, 2020
'Coexistence and strife'. Joerg Friedrichs' book 'Hindu-Muslim Relations' reviewed in The Hindu
22 Jan, 2020
'No country for the needy: Bosnia fails to house its displaced'. Jessie Barton-Hronesova comments for Balkan Insight
14 Jan, 2020
'Can social media make sense of international crises?'. Corneliu Bjola writes for the Article
10 Jan, 2020
'In India, a more repressive and ham-fisted regime has shown every sign of buckling down on protests'. Nikita Sud quoted in Bloomberg article on the differing US responses to the quelling of protests in India and China
08 Jan, 2020
'Textbook authoritarianism Is playing out in India'. Nikita Sud writes on the limits to India's authoritarian turn under Modi for the Wire
10 Dec, 2019
'Balkan authoritarian leaders benefit from problems in the EU'. Jessie Barton Hronešová interviewed by Radio Free Europe