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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 7425/6252 


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 post-graduate teaching and research on processes of social, political and economic development and change.

Lalji PfAL scholarship applications open|

We are now accepting invitations for Lalji PfAL scholarships for the 2015 intake. Scholarships are open to students from across sub-Saharan Africa, but a minimum of 15 places will be reserved for applicants from Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan. Those who have not previously studied outside of Africa are particularly encouraged to apply providing the entry requirements for MSc study are met. 

Click here for more information >>|

Nowhere to Call Home, Zanta and Jocelyn in Beijing

Film screening of 'Nowhere to Call Home' for Chinese New Year|

The Department of International Development celebrated Chinese New Year by screening the riveting documentary, 'Nowhere to Call Home: A Tibetan in Beijing', followed by a Q&A session with director Jocelyn Ford.

For more details, and images of the evening, click here >>|

Tasha Fairfield - Private Wealth Public Revenue

New monograph by Dr Tasha Fairfield published by Cambridge|

Dr Fairfield's latest book, Private Wealth and Public Revenue in Latin America, has been published by Cambridge University Press. The book develops a theoretical framework that refines and integrates the classic concepts of businesses' instrumental (political) power and structural (investment) power to explain the scope and fate of tax initiatives targeting economic elites in Latin America after economic liberalization.

Click here for more information >>| 

Dr Tang Lixia, Visiting Research Fellow from China Agricultural University

Visiting Fellow Dr Tang Lixia talks on development in China|

On Wednesday 4th March, Dr Tang Lixia, a visiting research fellow from the China Agricultural University, Beijing, will speak about her views on the pace of change in China. Dr Tang was born in 1979, so her life has coincided with the reform period. She has lived and worked in both rural and urban China, and will share her experiences with staff and students in International Development.

Click here for more information >>|

Prashant Sharma

Former PhD student and Open Society Fellow publishes on democracy in India|

Prashant Sharma, a former PhD student of the department, has published a new book on Democracy and Transparency in the Indian State. This monograph, which forms part of the Routledge South Asian Studies Series, looks at the underlying factors behind the national Right to Information Act (RTI) enacted in 2005.

More information and a publisher's discount are available here >>|

Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch, University of Chile

Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch presents at LSE on employment|

On Wednesday 11th February, Kirsten Sehnbruch, Professor of Public Policy and the Director of the Centre for New Development Thinking at the Universidad de Chile, will present on employment in middle-income countries. The seminar will take place between 2:30pm and 4pm in OLD 3.28. Find out more >>|


Felix Salmon lectures on sovereign debt|

The prominent financial journalist, Felix Salmon, gave a public lecture in January 2015 on the sovereign debt crisis in Argentina. For a summary of the evening, a slideshow, and information about the podcast, please click here >>|


PhD exchange with China|

Each academic year, up to 3 students enrolled on MPhil/PhD studies at the Department of International Development have the opportunity to spend between 3-6 months on research/fieldwork at Fudan University, Shanghai.


More news >>|


  Tasha Fairfield - Private Wealth Public Revenue

Private Wealth and Public Revenue in Latin America|

Cambridge University Press

Tasha Fairfield's latest book, Private Wealth and Public Revenue in Latin America: Business Power and Tax Politics, will be published by Cambridge University Press in February 2015. The book develops a theoretical framework that refines and integrates the classic concepts of business' instrumental (political) power and structural (investment) power to explain the scope and fate of tax initiatives targeting economic elites in Latin America after economic liberalization. Read more >>|

An article co-authored with Michel Jorratt (Director of the Chilean tax agency) is also forthcoming in The Review of Income and Wealth journal. Their data has been cited by Thomas Piketty on a high-profile trip to Chile following the country's major tax reform last year. You can see more in this Spanish article from the Chilean newspaper, Diario Financiero|.

Manisha Priyam, Contested Politics of Educational Reform in India (Oxford, 2015)

Contested Politics of Educational Reform in India|

Oxford University Press

Manisha Priyam, who completed her PhD at LSE in 2012, will publish her first monograph through Oxford University Press in 2015. Based on her doctoral thesis, which can be found here|, the book is titled Contested Politics of Educational Reform in India: Aligning Opportunities with Interests. You can also see a précis of Manisha's research on 'India at LSE'. Read more >>|

China Quarterly Journal 

Shall we dance? Welfarist Incorporation and the Politics of State-Labour NGO Relations in China| by Jude Howell|

State-labour NGO relations in China have been particularly fraught. In 2012 these took an interesting twist, as some local governments made overtures to labour NGOs to co-operate in providing services to migrant workers. This article argues that this shift is part of a broader strategy of 'welfarist incorporation' to redraw the social contract between state and labour. There are two key elements to this: first, a relaxation of the registration regulations for social organisations; second, governmental purchasing of services from social organisations. These overtures have both a state and market logic to maintain social control and stabilise relations of production. Read the full article here >>|


Elinor Ostrom's Legacy: Governing the Commons and the Rational Choice Controversy| by Tim Forsyth|

Elinor Ostrom had a profound impact on development studies through her work on public choice, institutionalism and the commons. In 2009, she became the first - and so far, only - woman to win a Nobel Prize for Economics (a prize shared with Oliver Williamson). The purpose of this article is to identify and discuss Elinor Ostrom's legacy in international development. Read the full article here >>|

Improving Basic Services for the bottom 40 percent

Improving Basic Services for the Bottom Forty Percent|

This World Bank study, authored by Qaiser Khan, Jean-Paul Faguet|, Christopher Gaukler, and Wendmsyamregne Mekasha, examines why "Ethiopia’s model for delivering basic services appears to be succeeding and [confirms] that services improve when service providers are more accountable to citizens." Read the study on Issuu >>|


Historical Origins of Uneven Service Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Role of Non-State Providers| by Frank-Borge Wietzke|

Variations in non-state service provision are a relatively understudied dimension of wellbeing inequality in sub-Saharan Africa. This study from Madagascar documents long-term associations between nineteenth-century missionary education and the availability of private schools today. The article exploits an original data set with unusually detailed information on missionary education and contemporary local private school supply. The results indicate high levels of persistence in non-state schooling at the geographic level. The long tradition of faith-based education appears to contribute to religious differences that overlap only imperfectly with more widely studied ethnic divides.


The Handbook of Global Security Policy|

Security policy has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War.  It can no longer be thought of in terms of securing one country against the military attack of another. Security is now a global concept that crosses traditional state boundaries and faces risks of many shapes and sizes. In her book, Mary Kaldor| brings together 28 state-of-the-art essays covering the essential aspects of global security research and practice for the 21st century. Edited by two of the field’s leading scholars, this volume embraces a broad new definition of security, and examines the risks and challenges posed by new forms of violence and insecurity.


Case study by Dr Shirin Madon in new World Bank report|

The rapid spread of new technologies is transforming the daily lives of millions of poor people around the world and has the potential to be a real game changer for development. The new World Bank report, 'Closing the Feedback Loop: Can Technology Bridge the Accountability Gap?' presents a theoretical framework about the linkages between new technologies, participation, empowerment, and the improvement of poor people's human well-being based on Amartya Sen's capability approach.

The book provides rich case studies about the different factors that influence whether or not information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled citizen engagement programs can improve the delivery and quality of public services to poor communities, including Dr Shirin Madon's| case study on the factors and process of using new technologies to enhance the delivery of primary health services to pregnant women in Karnataka, India. Read the report >>|


The securitisation of NGOs post-9/11|
Conflict, Security and Development

In this article, Jude Howell| argues that the securitisation of an issue can involve not only negative, exclusionary and repressive extraordinary measures, but also more positive, inclusionary and productive strategies of engagement. It also argues that such bifurcated strategies of security can evoke a spectrum of responses that sets limits on the process of securitisation. It examines these two arguments through the lens of the securitisation of development NGOs post-9/11.


The Borderlands of South Sudan: Authority and Identity in Contemporary and Historical Perspectives|

Palgrave Macmillan

Current international discourse on the new state of South Sudan seems fixated on the "state construction." In this book, Mareike Schomerus|, Christopher Vaughan and Lotje de Vries aim to broaden the debate by examining the character of regulatory authority in South Sudan's borderlands in both contemporary and historical perspective.


Asian firms and the restructuring of global value chains|
International Business Review

Asian trans-national garment manufacturers are transforming the structure of global value chains in the apparel industry. In this paper for International Business Review, Shamel Azmeh| argues that such transnational Asian firms can play a pivotal and strategic role in shaping the geography and organisational restructuring of the global value chain. Drawing on secondary sources and primary research, the report illustrates how such firms manage complex international production linkages and ensure the incorporation of Jordan into the global garment industry.


Property and Political Order in Africa: Land Rights and the Structure of Politics|

Cambridge University Press

In sub-Saharan Africa, property relationships around land and access to natural resources vary across localities, districts, and farming regions. These differences produce patterned variations in relationships between individuals, communities, and the state. In this book, Catherine Boone| captures these patterns in an analysis of structure and variation in rural land tenure regimes and analyses how property institutions shape dynamics of great interest to scholars of politics.


Public concerns about transboundary haze: A comparison of Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia|
Global Environmental Change

Public concerns about environmental problems create narrative structures that influence policy by allocating roles of blame, responsibility, and appropriate behavior. In this paper, Tim Forsyth| presents an analysis of public concerns about transboundary haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia for crises experienced in 1997, 2005 and 2013.


Political Trade Dependence and North–South Trade Agreements|
International Studies Quarterly

Why do developing countries negotiate North–South trade agreements when they already enjoy preferential market access to developed-country markets? Most developing countries benefit from the generalised system of preferences (GSP) and related schemes when they export to the United States, the EU, and other developed economies. And yet, many pursue fully reciprocal agreements that require major concessions to the developed partner. In this article, Ken Shadlen| argues that this is due to the nature of the GSP as a unilateral concession that can be (and often is) taken away, and high dependence on unilateral, removable preferences generates “political trade dependence”.


Teddy Brett: Failed Markets, Failed States and the Global Recession: Responding to the Financial Crisis
“… the world economy has rarely been in better shape than it is today. [We have] yet again revised upwards expectations for global growth . . . growth in the United States remains rapid . . . there are signs of an upturn in those parts of Western Europe … where growth has been sluggish  … The global economy appears to be more resilient […]

Stuart Corbridge: Arthur Lewis and Development Economics
On the centenary of Sir Arthur Lewis’s birth, LSE Deputy Director and Provost Professor Stuart Corbridge discusses the Nobel laureate’s contribution to development economics at LSE and the world at large.

Danny Quah: The simple arithmetic of China’s growth slowdown
This first appeared in Brookings Future Development, 18 February 2015, as “The Simple Arithmetic of China’s Growth Slowdown” What does China’s growth slowdown mean to you? I ask here not about the New World Order, global power shifts, or whether the United States retains its position as a global hegemon. Nor do I mean the impact on the world economy, a […]

Robert Wade: Rethinking the Ukraine Crisis
The prevailing interpretation of the Ukraine crisis in the West says that Russia – specifically president Putin – started it and controls most of the military forces fighting the Ukrainian army. Martin Wolf of The Financial Times, for example, claims that Russia started it because its leaders fear having a stable, prosperous and West-leaning democracy on their doorstep, and saw […]

Nigel Dodd grilled by Conor Gearty on the social life of money
Nigel Dodd, Professor of Sociology and teacher in the Department of International Development, is the latest LSE academic to undergo a ‘Gearty Grilling’, a weekly series of video debates from LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) in which Conor Gearty (Director of the IPA and Professor of Human Rights Law) subjects academics to a five-minute grilling. See Professor Dodd discuss the […]

Friday 6 February 2015

Nigel Dodd|, Professor of Sociology and tutor in the Department of International Development, features in the latest instalment of ‘Gearty Grillings’. This weekly series of five-minute clips sees Conor Gearty, Director of the Institute of Public Affairs, question academics about their work. Watch Nigel in action here >>|

Friday 30 January 2015

Felix Salmon, the financial journalist, gave a public lecture about the sovereign debt crisis in Argentina. You can follow the evening’s events on Storify| or access the podcast here >>|

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Dr Marcelo Neri, the Minister for Strategic Affairs in Brazil, spoke in December about the growth of social welfare in Brazil since the 1990s. Watch a slide-audio of the event here >>|

Thursday 13 November 2014

Stuart Gordon| features in a new BBC documentary about Britain's involvement in the Afghanistan conflict, 'Afghanistan: The Lions Last Roar?' Watch the documentary in full >>|

Monday 10 November 2014

Danny Quah writes on 'Chinese Lessons: Singapore's Epic Regression to the Mean'| in the World Bank's Future Development blog. Read the article >>|

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Opiniones Territoriales, part of the FAO's Spanish-language website, interviewed Jean-Paul Faguet| about decentralization. Read the full interview >>|

Wednesday 15 October 2014

In East Asia Forum, Jude Howell| asks, 'Where are all the women in China's political system?' Read the article >>|

Wednesday 17 September 2014

In The Independent|, Jean-Paul Faguet| asks whether David Cameron is becoming the worst prime minister in UK history. Read the article >>|

Tuesday 16 September 2014

In the LSE British Politics and Policy blog|, Elliott Green| argues "Scottish nationalism stands apart from other secessionist movements for being civic in origin, rather than ethnic." Read the article >>|

Friday 22 August 2014

Centennial Professor Carlota Perez| writes about 'a new age of technological progress' in Policy Network. Read the article >>|

Friday 15 August 2014

The Washington Post interviews Catherine Boone| about the arguments in her latest book, Property and Political Order in Africa: Land Rights and the Structure of Politics| Read the Q&A here >>|

Friday 8 August 2014

In an op-ed article for The World Post, PhD candidate Alaa Tartir| argues why the Sharm El-Sheikh donor conference in September offers an opportunity "to forge a new paradigm of aid politics" and must include Hamas. Read more >>|

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Robert Wade|, with Jakob Vestergaard, in a letter published in The Financial Times, explains why 'Brics bank ought to be welcomed by poorer countries'. Read more >>|

Thursday 24 July 2014

In Global Policy JournalDanny Quah| argues why the world can learn from Malaysia's political and economic model. Read more >>|

Thursday 24 July 2014

In FT Alphaville Carlota Perez| responds to arguments set out by Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane at the launch of the Mission-Oriented Finance. Read more >>|

Thursday 24 July 2014

Robert Wade| takes the angle that capitalism can only work if it has more controls imposed on it in an Institute of Arts and Ideas| debate, 'The End of Capitalism: A new global economics'. Watch the video >>|

Friday 11 July 2014

World Finance speaks to Danny Quah| about his views on the future of emerging markets. Watch the video here >>|

Friday 4 July 2014

Mary Kaldor| appeared on Newsnight (4 July 2014) to discuss Britain's new aircraft carriers with the former First Sealord Admiral Lord West. She argues that this enormous and costly ship, supposed to fly the American F 35 Lightning strike fighter, which is not yet available and has run into huge problems bot technical and financial, is a typical example of what she calls a 'baroque' military technology. Watch (from 20:46) >>|

Friday 4 July 2014

'Prospero', a blog run by The Economist, features a Q&A with Tim Allen| on the importance of fieldwork. Read more >>|

Wednesday 2 July 2014

In this week's Gearty Grillings|, Danny Quah discusses whether China should emulate the political and social order of the West to be able to compete.

Friday 6 June 2014

In the Amartya Sen Lecture 2014|, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, called for a 'greater focus on empowerment', according to IMF Survey Magazine. Read more >>|

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Mary Kaldor| discusses the future of NATO| with a panel in the second episode of BBC Radio 4's new series, 'Fit for Purpose'.

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Deborah Doane (DESTIN, 1996-97) writes in the Guardian's Poverty Matters blog, 'Inclusive capitalism must fairly reward those on the bottom rung of the ladder'. Read more >>|

Friday 30 May 2014

Thandika Mkandawire| joins Breaking Views with UNICEF to talk about the economic challenges in Africa and prospects of a better future. Watch >>|

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Tim Forsyth| speaks to Al Jazeera about the coup in Thailand and its implications on the country's economy. Read more >>|

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Catherine Boone| appeared on Gearty Grillings to discuss how land and property issues lie at the core of political conflict in Africa. Watch here >>| 

Gearty Grilling| is a weekly series of short, to-the-point video debates from LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs| (IPA) on key issues affecting the world today. Conor Gearty, director of the IPA and professor of human rights law, subjects academics to a five-minute grilling to showcase the School's word class research and faculty.

Sunday 11 May 2014

Kristof Titeca| writes about the US hunt for Kony in Al Jazeera. Read more >>|