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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


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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.
Tasha Fairfield - Private Wealth Public Revenue

Book launch event on Wednesday 13th May

The launch event for Dr Tasha Fairfield’s new book, Private Wealth and Public Revenue in Latin America, will take place on Wednesday 13th May at 18:30 in 32L.G03 (Lincoln's Inn Fields).

Dr Fairfield, Assistant Professor in International Development and Affiliate Professor in the Department of Government, will discuss the issues surrounding her book with Dr Robert Falkner (International Relations / Grantham Institute) and Professor David Soskice (Government).

All are welcome. Those without affiliation to LSE are asked to RSVP to K.McDonald@lse.ac.uk by the afternoon of Tuesday 12th May.

Find out more about the book here >>

Tim Dyson presents at the UN Commission on Population and Development in New York

Tim Dyson gives keynote address at United Nations Commission

Tim Dyson gave the keynote address on the first day of the forty-eighth session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development in New York (13 April).

Professor Dyson's speech is available to watch online, and begins 1h 30 minutes into the session.

Professor Tim Allen with nine of his ten London Marathon medals

Professorial trio flourish in running endeavours

The Department would like to congratulate its trio of Professorial runners - Jude Howell, Tim Allen, and Robert Wade - for their recent athletic and fundraising triumphs.

Find out more on our blog, which includes the news of how DESTIN alumnus Ed Stevens fared in his Guinness World Record attempt as Practical Action Man.


Ruben Andersson receives BBC accolade for migration study

Dr Ruben Andersson, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, has won the British Sociological Association / BBC Thinking Allowed (Radio 4) ethnography award for his book Illegality, Inc. Clandestine Migration and the Business of Bordering Europe.

The book argues that increasing border controls are leading migrants to seek more dangerous routes to enter Europe. It is based on his PhD dissertation, which was awarded the 2014 IMISCOE dissertation award. One of the judges described Ruben's work as "a very beautifully written, very evocative book".

The shortlist was announced in last week’s Thinking Allowed and the programme will run a special feature on the book during this week's episode on Wednesday 22 April at 4pm.

Dr Philipp Lepenies, IASS Potsdam

Rethinking GDP: Alumnus to challenge 'untouchable' growth indicators ahead of general election

GDP has become the most powerful statistic in human history and has been relied upon at every turn by the coalition government to demonstrate the credibility of its long-term economic plan. Ahead of the general election, former LSE alumnus Philipp Lepenies will question how GDP came to be indispensable as the indicator for progress, and demonstrate why any attempt to reduce the impact of this figure on policy needs to start by understanding how it came to occupy the throne in the first place.

See the dedicated event page here >>
Ken Shadlen

Ken Shadlen takes Open Access Essay Prize for 2014

Ken Shadlen, along with Mark Manger (formerly of LSE), has been awarded the prize of best paper published in 2014 for the article ‘Political Trade Dependence and North-South Trade Agreements’. The pair received the Economics and Politics Section award from the Latin American Studies Association. The selection committee described their work as “a very strong contribution to understanding the political economy of international trade”.

Read more about the prizewinning essay and the judges' remarks >>

Mary Kaldor discusses subterranean politics in Europe in the aftermath of the Greek elections

Subterranean Politics in Europe: Mary Kaldor in Discussion

Professor Mary Kaldor discusses activism, Europe and the aftermath of the Greek elections with Ludovica Rogers and Hara Kouki. The conversation was organised by LSE’s Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit in collaboration with Euro Crisis in the Press and with funding from the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE).

Watch a recording here >>

Mozambique Elections Icon

Fraud at polls? Mozambique election data available here

Results down to polling station level for all of Mozambique's elections since 1999 have been posted on our website as part of an international research collaboration project.

With the five-times defeated presidential candidate alleging that all of the elections were stolen, this data set will allow detailed statistical analysis to support or contest these allegations. The data will also show political support and how it has changed, even at neighbourhood level.

See the entire collection of election data here >>

Read Joe Hanlon's introductory blog post here >>

Coursera MOOC Launch, 19 March 2015

New massive open online course in citizen engagement

A new massive open online course (MOOC) has launched in March - the first of its kind in citizen engagement. The department is working in collaboration with Coursera, Civicus, the Overseas Development Institute, and the World Bank Group to deliver a comprehensive overview of citizen engagement in this 4-week course.

The launch event was hosted by the Department of International Development on Thursday 19th March.

Click here for more information >>

Follow the story of the night on Storify >>


More news >>


Stability Journal

'And Then He Switched off the Phone': Mobile Phones, Participation, and Political Accountability in South Sudan's Western Equatoria State


Investigating the impact of mobile phones in situations of political unrest, Mareike Schomerus and Anouk Rigterink argue that phones could contribute towards better accountability for governments and towards statebuilding. A précis is available on the International Development blog.

The Politics, Practice and Paradox of 'Ethnic Security' in Bosnia Herzegovina


Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic argues that while international intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina was designed to support conflict resolution, it has instead contributed to an 'ethnification' of security, which remains at the forefront of political discourse and practice.


Human Development and Decent Work: Why some Concepts Succeed and Others Fail to Make an Impact

Development and Change

In this article, Kirsten Sehnbruch and others examine the impact of the International Labour Organization's concept of Decent Work on development thinking. They contend that the United Nation Development Programme's Human Development concept has been one of the most successful development concepts ever to have been launched, while the impact of decent work by comparison has been limited.

Mary Kaldor and Sabine Selchow (eds), Subterranean Politics In Europe, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015

Subterranean Politics in Europe

Palgrave Macmillan

The demonstrations, occupations, and new political initiatives that emerged across Europe in 2011 and 2012 were a rare example of subterranean politics 'bubbling up' to the surface. Assumptions about how politics is carried out are changing, giving rise to serious challenges and obvious discomfort across established institutions.

Edited by Mary Kaldor and Sabine Selchow of the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit (CSHS), this volume investigates why this is occurring now. Equally, it considers whether the current eruptions are different to previous periods of political upheaval, and what they tell us about the future of the European project. Read more >>

Public Policy Making in the Western Balkans

Public Policy Making in the Western Balkans


This volume, co-edited by Margo Thomas and Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic, analyses the attempts by Eastern European governments to maintain political stability, generate growth, and tackle sustainability issues. Featuring detailed case studies of public policy reforms in the region as well as comparative analysis on a range of indicators, the book analyzes the role of key players in setting the political agenda as well as implementing policy reforms.

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.


Introducing the MSc Development Studies – James Putzel
Throughout the next week, we’re going to share some new introductory videos for the four MSc courses. Today, we start with Development Studies. Are you a past or present MSc Development Studies student? Have you enjoyed the course? Would you recommend it to interested students? Let us know by leaving a comment below! About the MSc Development Studies Development studies […]

Birth control can solve problems: Tim Dyson talks sustainability at the UN Commission
Access to birth control could improve health and urban growth issues in the world’s least demographically developed countries, Tim Dyson told the UN Commission in New York. Professor Dyson’s keynote address formed part of the opening of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development, which took place in New York  on 13 April 2015. “I’m not here to be […]

Duncan Green / Owen Barder – Can aid agencies help systems fix themselves? The implications of complexity for development cooperation
LSE Professor in Practice Duncan Green asks Owen Barder, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and Visiting Professor in Practice, to expand on a lecture delivered to our Masters students in February about complexity and development. [Originally posted on fp2p.] Owen Barder gave a brilliant lecture on complexity and development to my LSE students earlier this year. (View […]

Book Launch – Private Wealth and Public Revenue in South America
The launch event for Dr Tasha Fairfield’s new book, Private Wealth and Public Revenue in Latin America, will take place next Wednesday (13th May) at 18:30 in 32L.G.03 (Lincoln’s Inn Fields). About the book: Inequality and taxation are fundamental problems of modern times. How and when can democracies tax economic elites? This book develops a theoretical framework that refines and […]

Trio of Professorial Runners Triumph
The Department of International Development would like to congratulate its trio of Professorial runners on a set of magnificent achievements. Professor Jude Howell completed the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 12th April. Her run, in aid of Breast Cancer Care, took just under six hours in blazing sunshine on the south coast. Professor Tim Allen then completed his tenth consecutive London […]

Monday 11 May 2015

The podcast and Powerpoint presentation from Philipp Lepenies' lecture, 'The Power of a Single Number: A political history of GDP' [28/04], are now available. You can play or download these from the event page >>

Thursday 30 April 2015

Tim Dyson gave the keynote address on the first day of the forty-eighth session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development in New York (13 April). Professor Dyson's speech is available to watch online, and begins 1h 30 minutes into the session.

Thursday 23 April 2015

Ruben Andersson's Illegality, Inc. Clandestine Migration and the Business of Bordering Europe featured on BBC Radio 4's 'Thinking Allowed' on Wednesday 22 April after being awarded the British Sociological Association ethnography award. Listen to the show again here >>

Monday 13 April 2015

Mary Kaldor discusses subterranean politics in Europe and the aftermath of the Greek elections in a conversation recorded in March. Watch the video here >> 

Monday 30 March 2015

The audio and video recordings for our MOOC discussion event are now available. You can watch the full discussion (1 hr 37 mins), or listen to a high quality podcast.

Thursday 26 March 2015

Robert Wade gave the keynote address at a conference hosted by the Lahore School of Economics this week. A report of the event is available in the Pakistan Daily Times >>

Friday 20 March 2015

Professor Tim Allen is the latest department member to feature in the Gearty Grilling series. Subtitled 'the Disruptive Anthropologist', Tim undertakes an intense five-minute discussion of the controversy surrounding his fieldwork in Africa.

Friday 13 March 2015

This week, Robert Wade presented on 'How western states keep the lead in international organizations even as they lose relative economic weight' at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh.View the Storify feed of the session here >> 

He has also taken part in a debate with Prof. Francesco Caselli from the Department of Economics. LSE staff and students can watch them in action here

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 >>

More media >>