In the International Development Research group we investigate local, national and global inequalities and development challenges and successes.  Crises of finance, development and environment interact in powerful ways, and reflect major structural imbalances between finance and the real economy; between the developed countries and poor developing societies; and between human political and economic systems on the one hand and the earth’s ecosystems on the other. At the same time, growth rates and, to some extent, human development improvements in some countries in the global south indicate significant change. Our research deals with geopolitical conflict, food shortages, threats to human security and political unrest, and with innovation, improvement and new agendas set by developing nations. We study new forms of governance, rising economic powers, transnational networks, and new actors and alliances in North-South relations.  We prioritize understanding the agents and institutions that can challenge existing hegemonic orders and deep-seated inequalities of power, ethnicity, gender and class.

Within development research, conventional understandings and types of explanation are being revisited, reflecting the need for inter-disciplinary research and paradigmatic changes. In our research group we are concerned with new forms of identity politics and study discourses of culture that are mobilized at local, national, regional and global levels as alternative fields for political contestation, as ethnic or national manifestations, or as strategies in response to global insecurities.

Well-established and persistent drivers of conflict in the form of deprivation and exclusion have been compounded by novel phenomena such as networks of illicit business enterprises, transnational politicized religion and diaspora politics linked to global migration. This has created new South-South patterns of interaction within religion, media, and private enterprise with diaspora networks providing conduits and resources for transnational business and political interaction. It has also set new agendas for existing institutions such as the United Nations, NGOs, regional organizations, and transnational social movements. We are interested in the way that international development will reconfigure itself in the new era of Sustainable Development Goals.

In the group we question conventional modes of governance and response to global development challenges. We engage with the presence of 'new' actors who are critical of the management oriented, blueprint approaches of 'traditional' actors that generally fail to properly address contextuality and local variability. Future research areas will include the negotiation of politics in state and non-state institutions, innovative development initiatives and development interventions in relation to social and political fragility in contexts of both state and civil society.

We conduct research on the following themes:

· Policies and practices of international aid flows (goods and ideas, North-South aid flows, new development actors, donor-recipient country relations, global health)

· Natural resources, climate change and adapting societies (social science approaches to the environment, climate change, resilience, conservation, farming/agriculture)

· Dynamic local, national and transnational configurations of state, conflict and citizenship (North/South political contestations, governance, sovereignty, democracy, diaspora, political movements and violence)

· Processes of economic re/distribution and global flows (political economy, media, consumption, poverty, health, investments, labour, industry)

· Remapping gendered and racial identities (gender, identities, sexuality, race, women in politics)

· Impacts of migration and diasporas on the political, economic, social and cultural dynamics of both sending and receiving societies



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