The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
Our research is grouped into four broad themes that encompass key issues in development.
Research on the economics of development has been a long-standing strength of the department. Characterised by an emphasis on the testing of analytical models on primary empirical data, research on this theme engages with the full spectrum of development economics.
Migration in its various forms has become a central feature of international development in its economic, political, legal, social and cultural dimensions. Oxford now leads the world in research on this vital subject.
Poverty and human development have long been core areas of research for the department. Going beyond a narrow conception of per capita income, our approach incorporates health, education, living standards and quality of work – all of which enable productive, creative and autonomous lives.
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.