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Department of International Development

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Department of International Development
6-8th Floors, Connaught House
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street


Tel: +44 (020) 7955 6565/7425
+44 (020) 3486 2626


Frequently Asked Questions


Please submit enquiries through our online query form


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The Department of International Development (ID) was established in 1990 as the Development Studies Institute (DESTIN) to promote interdisciplinary postgraduate teaching and research on processes of social, political and economic development and change.
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International (Photo credit: Oxfam)

African nationals headline autumn events programme

The Department is delighted to host three public lectures by highly acclaimed African speakers as part of its autumn events programme.

In October, Winnie Byanyima (pictured), Executive Director of Oxfam UK, will reflect on her experiences growing up in Uganda and how we must tackle crises of inequality in Africa. Read more >>

In November, Professor Attahiru Jega, the former Chair of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, will present ‘Giving Democracy a Chance’ as part of the Africa Talks initiative. Read more >>

Finally, in another Africa Talk, successful academic and author Professor Alcinda Honwana will visit us to speak about youth protests driving political change in Africa. Read more >>

Remember to check our Events page for more details on these and other events as they emerge.


Fellow wins two-year Levelhulme award for justice project in Africa

Anna Macdonald, a fellow with the Justice and Security Research Programme, has been awarded a British Academy / Leverhulme grant (together with former LSE fellow Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock) to undertake a two-year project on the role of magistrates courts in South Africa and Uganda in shaping political subjectivities.


Migration expert Andersson discusses Calais crisis on BBC

Ruben Andersson, a postdoctoral research fellow and an expert on migration and border control, has been discussing the situation in Calais on BBC Radio Scotland. Ruben features 14 mins 30s into the show, which is available until the end of August.

Listen to the broadcast here >>

World Bank Logo

PhD graduate co-authors new study on medical care

Paula Giovagnoli (MSc Development Studies 2005, PhD 2013) has co-authored a new Policy Research Working Paper entitled ‘Long-Run Effects of Temporary Incentives on Medical Care Productivity’ for the World Bank Group.

This paper uses a randomized field experiment to examine the effects of temporary financial incentives paid to medical care clinics for the initiation of prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Read the paper in full here >>
Mario Ferro, CEO Wedu and former MSc student in International Development

Women's leadership campaigner hosts careers workshop

Mario Ferro (MSc Development Management 2009), CEO of Wedu, delivered a careers workshop to students last month about social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

Mario kindly agreed to answer a few questions on the major issues raised during the afternoon, including consultancy projects, the value of fieldwork, and vital tips for starting a social enterprise.

Read the full interview here >>


More news >>


Nature Reviews

Drug patenting in India: Looking back and looking forward

Shadlen, Kenneth C. and Bhaven N. Sampat,
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 14 (2015).

Open access.

This paper contrasts two different explanations for patterns of patenting in India. The authors undertake a straightforward empirical exercise to draw attention to the importance of the transitional decisions made in the 1990s. They underscore why the effects of these decisions will diminish as the 1990s recede further and further into the past, and discuss how the relationship between these two sets of issues is likely to change over time.

Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, Routledge

Intervention at Risk: the vicious cycle of distance and danger in Mali and Afghanistan

Andersson, Ruben, and Florian Weigand,

Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding (2015).

Open access.

In crisis-hit countries, intensive risk management increasingly characterizes the presence of international interveners, with measures ranging from fortified compounds to ‘remote programming’. This article investigates the global drive for ‘security’ from an ethnographic perspective, focusing on Afghanistan and Mali. By deploying the concepts of distance and proximity, the article shows how frontline ‘outsourcing’ and bunkering have generated an unequal ‘risk economy’ while distancing interveners from local society in a trend that itself generates novel risks.

Stability Journal

From Military to 'Security Interventions': An alternative approach to contemporary interventions

Kaldor, Mary, and Sabine Selchow,
Stability (2015).

In both academic and policy circles international interventions tend to mean ‘military’ interventions and debates tend to focus on whether such interventions are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in general. This article aims to open up scholarly engagement on the topic of the thorny reality of interventions in different contexts by recnceptualising international interventions as ‘security interventions.’

The Research Gap in Syria: individual and collective security in 'rebel-held' territories

Ali, Ali,
Stability (2015).

This paper examines security in Syria through the conceptual lens of the security gap, understood as the gap between security practices and objectives which have implications for individual and collective security. It compares the security situation in so-called ‘rebel-held’ areas of Syria where alternative governance structures have emerged.

Does Security Imply Safety? On the (lack of) correlation between different aspects of security

Rigterink, Anouk,
Stability (2015).

This paper investigates to what extent different aspects of security correlate. It distinguishes four concepts covered by the term ‘security’: technical safety, perceived safety, technical security and perceived security. It is shown that these concepts need not correlate conceptually. Furthermore, the paper shows empirically that these concepts correlate weakly in two cases, which has implications for policy and research.

American Ethnologist

Violence, Legitimacy, and Prophecy: Nuer struggles with uncertainty in South Sudan

Pendle, Naomi, and Sharon Hutchinson,
American Ethnologist (2015).

Contemporary South Sudanese Nuer prophets play powerful roles in interpreting the moral limits of lethal violence and weighing the legitimacy claims of rival government leaders. Their activities remain largely invisible to external observers investigating the making and unmaking of fragile states. Focusing on South Sudan's tumultuous 2005-14 period, we reveal these hidden dynamics through analysis of the two most-powerful living western Nuer prophets.


From Poverty to Power: 5 trends that explain why civil society space is under assault around the world
Originally posted on From Poverty to Poverty, by Duncan Green. In the 1980s and 90s, civil society, and civil society organizations (CSOs) came to be seen as key players in development; aid donors and INGOs like Oxfam increasingly sought them out as partners. So the current global crackdown on ‘civil society space’ is particularly worrying – a major pillar of […]

Rajapaksa defeat marks end to civil war in Sri Lanka. Interview with Rajesh Venugopal
On Tuesday 18 August, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat in his bid to become Prime Minister. To LSE’s Dr Rajesh Venugopal, who specialises in ethnic conflict and South Asia, this defeat marks a definitive end to the nation’s civil war. The following interview with Nikhil Lakshman (originally published on Rediff.com) discusses Rajapaksa’s future in Sri Lankan politics, […]

Get profit share to support a more equal income distribution – Robert Wade
In Robert Wade’s latest letter to the Financial Times (published 20 August), he argues for broader capital ownership to curb inequality – a move he believes could appeal to the whole UK political spectrum. Sir, Chris Giles may be correct that the evidence linking higher income inequality to slower growth is not robust (“Inequality is unjust — it is not […]

China’s rise undermines US claims to legitimacy as global leader
Danny Quah says China can provide a new narrative to lead, without even needing to mention power. China’s currency recalibrations have jolted global markets, as did America’s 2013 “taper tantrum”, when then US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the fed might slow the rate of bond purchases. China is seeking inclusion of its currency in the International Monetary Fund’s […]

“On World Humanitarian Day: Could We Do Better with Cash?” asks Owen Barder
This post on World Humanitarian Day from LSE Professor in Practice, Owen Barder, first appeared on Views from the Center. This week we mark a poignant anniversary. August 19th was named World Humanitarian Day in memory of the bombing twelve years ago of the UN mission in Iraq, killing 22 people including the UN Special Representative, Sérgio Vieira de Mello. World Humanitarian […]

Friday 31 July 2015

Ruben Andersson, a postdoctoral research fellow and an expert on migration and border control, has been discussing the situation in Calais on BBC Radio Scotland. Ruben features 14 mins 30s into the show, which is available until the end of August.

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Professor Danny Quah features in a Bloomberg Business article about 1MDB, a recent financial scandal in Malaysia. Danny believes that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has lost momentum in his quest to turn Malaysia into a developed nation by 2020.

Monday 20 July 2015

Mary Kaldor has recently appeared on openDemocracy and the Strife blog from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. openDemocracy published Prof. Kaldor’s speech from the IBEI graduation ceremony in June, while Strife published an interview with Mary about her perspective on the world and her career in research.

Monday 6 July 2015

Silvia Masiero, a research fellow specialising in ICT4D, has written a column for the 'Ideas For India' webzine about the leakage crisis affecting India's subsidised food programme. See a summary on our blog >>

Thursday 2 July 2015

PhD student Emrys Schoemaker features in The Guardian's recent article on Pakistan's reaction to the rainbow profile pictures on Facebook. Find more from Emrys on our blog >>

Wednesday 1 July 2015

A video of Robert Wade discussing 'new bubbles and troubles in the financial system' at the University of Oslo is available here. He was joined by Ola Storeng, a journalist and economics editor at Afterposten, and members of the Centre for Development and Environment at the university.

Monday 20 June 2015

James Putzel and Robert Wade have published letters in the Financial Times concerning the possible Greek exit from the Euro. Read the exchange here >>

Monday 1 June 2015

Four videos for our MSc programmes have recently been released. All of these are available on YouTube, with transcriptions and feedback also available on our blog.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

PhD student, Benjamin Chemouni, has made several television appearances as a political analyst on the military coup in Burundi. You can see captures of Ben on Al Jazeera English and the BBC World News via our Facebook page.

More media >>