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
Asha Amirali
Research Student
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


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
11 Sep, 2019
ODID alumnus Mark Gilks publishes MSc thesis on the nexus between Islamophobia and security
19 Aug, 2019
Geoff Goodwin to co-convene conference on Latin American infrastructure
31 Jul, 2019
Jocelyn Alexander wins Leverhulme grant for project on Cold War-era ‘global soldiers’


22 Jan, 2020
'Coexistence and strife'. Joerg Friedrichs' book 'HIndu-Muslim Relations' reviewed in The Hindu
10 Jan, 2020
'In India, a more repressive and ham-fisted regime has shown every sign of buckling down on protests'. Nikita Sud quote 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
06 Dec, 2019
'Secularism under siege'. Joerg Friedrichs writes for Madras Courier
22 Nov, 2019
'Humans shape nature – but nature shapes us too'. Nikita Sud writes about her research on land for The Conversation
07 Nov, 2019
'In India, gods "flex their muscles" over scarce land'. Nikita Sud comments for Reuters on a legal case in India regarding land claimed by temples
08 Oct, 2019
'Modi's mega-rallies; political spectacle for the Indian diaspora'. Nikita Sud contributes to Al Jazeera's 'The Listening Post'
08 Oct, 2019
'Facial analysis AI is being used in job interviews – it will probably reinforce inequality'. Ivan Manokha writes for The Conversation
06 Sep, 2019
'Fear and loathing under Modi’s second term'. Nikita Sud quoted in The Monitor
04 Aug, 2019
'What are you going to do at the policy and the practical level to ensure that there is some sort of making amends?'. Robtel Neajai Pailey comments on Ghana's commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the slave trade in the US as guest on BBC's Weekend