The department is dedicated to understanding problems of poverty and late development within local communities, as well as national and international political and economic systems.
Research and teaching in the department is concerned with the causes of poverty, social exclusion, economic stagnation, humanitarian crises and human security. We aim to provide our students with an understanding of why and how some late developing countries have succeeded in overcoming these problems while others have not or have seen their progress derailed by disasters and conflicts.
We currently offer four taught MSc programmes. Students in our MSc and research programmes come from all over the world and upon graduation have successfully found employment in a wide variety of government, non-government, UN, academic, and private sector organisations working in the developing world.
There are also research units that operate through the department. Our staff have considerable experience in living and working in the developing world and most have engaged in policy-relevant research and consultancy work with international development agencies or non-governmental organisations.
The department conducts research and teaching across six broad themes:
Complex emergencies, security, and humanitarianism in war-torn societies
Comparative and international politics of development
Governance, civil society, and informal politics
The politics of global health
The Department seeks to implement transformative changes to reduce the climate and ecological impact of its activities, in recognition of the urgency of responding to the climate emergency. As such, staff are taking steps to reduce the number of flights they take per year and may turn down invitations for speaking appointments which require air travel in favour of virtual presentations, for which the LSE has specialist video-conferencing facilities.
Other initiatives within the Department include membership of the Green Impact initiative, reduction in single-use plastics and serving only vegetarian food at our weekly research seminars. The Department also supports more ambitious emissions-reducing initiatives at the level of the School, including, among other things, divestment from fossil fuels and reducing provision of carbon-intensive meats at LSE catering outlets.