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.

Woman waving a flag during demonstrations in Egypt

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

In the media
Changing Structures of Islamic Authority
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
Muslim minorities in a post-Western world
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


Aisha Ahmad
Research Student
Jocelyn Alexander
Professor of Commonwealth Studies
Masooda Bano
Professor of Development Studies
Lennart Bolliger
Research Student
Theodor Borrmann
Research Student
Lise Cazzoli
Research Student
Arnold Chamunogwa
Research Student
Simukai Chigudu
Associate Professor of African Politics
Noele Crossley
Departmental Lecturer in Global Governance


18 Feb, 2020
New book by Prof Simukai Chigudu explores the political life of cholera in Zimbabwe
17 Feb, 2020
New book by Masooda Bano explores revival of Islamic rationalism
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


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
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
06 Dec, 2019
'Secularism under siege'. Joerg Friedrichs writes for Madras Courier