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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


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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.
Robert Wade - Governing The Market

Robert Wade commemorated in Beijing

The 25th anniversary of Robert Wade's influential book, Governing the Market, was acknowledged by a special panel at the Beijing Forum last week (Friday 6 November). Professor Wang Zhengyi of Peking University organised the panel to commemorate the milestone, which included scholars from around the world.

Professor Wade also contributed to the event, speaking on 'The role of the state in escaping the middle-income trap: the role of smart industrial polices'.

For more on his research, see Robert Wade's experts page.


Jean-Paul Faguet promotes new book in South America

Jean-Paul Faguet has been in South America this week promoting his new book, Is Decentralization Good for Development? He gave the keynote address at the LACEA/World Bank/IDB/UNDP Research Network on Inequality and Poverty, as well as lectures at the Catholic University of Bolivia, and the UMSA, the main public university in La Paz. He has also faced a live TV interview on one of Bolivia’s main current affairs programmes, ‘A Todo Pulmón’.

A roundtable discussion to launch the book, featuring co-editor and recent PhD graduate, Caroline Pöschl, will take place at LSE on 2 December, with details to follow on our events page.


Mayling Birney discusses the Magna Carta on BBC's Newshour

Mayling Birney featured on the BBC’s Newshour this week, talking about the late diversion of the Magna Carta exhibition from Renmin University in Beijing to the British Ambassador’s Residence. Dr Birney considered why the authorities might have moved to restrict public access to the 800-year-old document. The audio and transcript are available on the International Development blog.
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International (Photo credit: Oxfam)

Winnie Byanyima captivates audience at LSE

Oxfam International is moving its headquarters from Oxford to Nairobi, executive director Winnie Byanyima announced at LSE on Monday. Her public lecture ‘Is Africa Rising?’ spoke about issues of investment, inequality and tax manipulation in Africa and was very well received by a sell-out audience. A summary and podcast are available on the International Development blog.

Further Africa Talks will be given by Attahiru Jega, the former Chair of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on 10 November, and by academic and author, Alcinda Honwana, on 18 November.

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

Richard Youngs - The Puzzle of Non-Western Democracy

Reviving Global Democracy: Book launch, 11 November

The Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit is hosting a panel discussion for the launch of Richard Youngs' new book, The Puzzle of Non-Western Democracy, on Wednesday 11 November. The evening will feature Richard Youngs, Mukulika Banerjee and Senem Aydin-Düzgit, and will be chaired by Mary Kaldor.

More information can be found on our events page.


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Is Decentralization Good for Development? ed. Jean-Paul Faguet and Caroline Poschl (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Is Decentralization Good for Development?

Faguet, Jean-Paul, and Caroline Pöschl (eds),
Oxford University Press (2015).

Is decentralisation good for development? This book explains when the answer is "Yes", and when it is "No". It shows how decentralisation can be designed to drive development forward, and focuses attention on the institutional incentives that can strengthen democracy, boost economies, and improve public sector performance. It also analyses the political motives behind decentralisation, and how these shape the institutions that result. For more information, click here.

Economic and Political Weekly (2015)

Will the JAM Trinity Dismantle the Public Distribution System?

Masiero, Silvia
Economic and Political Weekly, 45 (2015), 21-23.

The platform known as the JAM Trinity (an acronym for Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and mobile numbers) may enable a shift from the current Public Distribution System, based on price subsidies, to the direct transfer of benefits. However, JAM technologies will not necessarily lead to the demise of the PDS. State-level experiences reveal that such technologies can improve the system by combatting the leakage problems that disrupt it.

Security Dialogue

Hardwiring the frontier? The politics of security technology in Europe's 'fight against illegal migration'

Andersson, Ruben
Security Dialogue (2015), 1-18.

Migration controls at the external EU borders have become a large field of political and financial investment in recent years - indeed, an 'industry' of sorts - yet conflicts between states and border agencies still mar attempts at cooperation. This article takes a close look at one way in which officials try to overcome such conflicts: through technology.

Journal of Democracy

Decentralizing for a Deeper, More Supple Democracy

Faguet, Jean-Paul, Ashley M. Fox, and Caroline Pöschl
Journal of Democracy, 26.4 (2015), 60-74.

Can decentralization strengthen democracy, or is it doomed to weaken the state? Over the past three decades, most countries have experimented with some form of decentralization. Yet, many analysts worry that it will weaken the state. We review recent evidence regarding decentralization and state strength and argue that decentralization can deepen democracy without compromising state strength if adequately designed.

Governance and Adaptability of the Chinese Communist Party
'NGOs and Service Sub-Contracting: New form of social welfare or social appeasement?' by Jude Howell, in Governance and Adaptation of the Chinese Communist Party.

Yu Keping, Gunter Schubert, Thomas Heberer & Bjorn Alpermann (eds), Beijing Central Compiliation and Translation Press, 2015.

This book includes in-depth analyses of governance and its development in China. The content covers not only the relationship between the Party and state, state-society relations, and centre-local relations, but also the structure, functions, legitimacy, appropriateness and governance competencies of the Chinese Communist Party, the system of leadership and rule, and political stability, government innovation, social governance, basic governance, public services and urbanisation.

The Great Lecture Notes Debate Part Three – The Case For; the lecturers’ view
Continuing with our blog series “The Great Lecture Notes Debate” we hear from LSE International Development lecturers on why they think it’s a good idea Teddy Brett – Professor of International Development I think that a strong case can be made for pre-circulating lecture notes, and have done so whenever I have completed them in time to do so. I am […]

Is the BRICS Bank an Alternative for Greece?
With the situation in Greece never far from the world stage various different solutions have been put forward to solve the economic crisis. In an article for The GW Post LSE International Development PhD candidate Konstantinos Myrodias and LSE Public Policy graduate Panos Chatzinikolaou look at whether the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) New Development Bank is a viable option. […]

The Great Lecture Notes Debate Part Two – The Case Against; Notes vs. Knowledge
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, students are once again requesting that lecture notes be circulated in advance, something I have always resisted. Here is an attempt to explain (not least to myself) why I find this objectionable. What exactly do you have when you have ‘the lecture notes’? I must admit to a feeling of mystery about why students […]

The Great Lecture Notes Debate
In our latest blog series International Development Professor Jean-Paul Faguet wants to know your thoughts on the subject of “Should lecture notes be circulated in advance?” Every year my MSc Development Management students ask for lecture notes to be circulated in advance. Every year I decline, waving my hands and invoking vague dangers. This year’s group – a particularly energetic bunch […]

Excluded youth are becoming angrier – Alcinda Honwana previews her upcoming LSE lecture
Ahead of her upcoming public lecture on Wednesday 18 November, Alcinda Honwana explains the Congolese slogan that forms part of her title: “‘Enough!’ – Will Youth Protests Drive Political Change in Africa?”. First published on Africa at LSE. Huge student demonstrations in South Africa in October 2015 were officially about university tuition fees, but were actually about the failure of […]

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Following the recent attacks in Paris LSE International Development Professor Mary Kaldor discusses why another "War on Terror" won't work, in an article written for The Nation. Read the article here >>

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Benjamin Chemouni, Teaching Fellow in Development Studies, was interviewed live on Al-Jazeera television last weekend and on Radio RFI [Les Voix du Monde] last week on the crisis in Burundi. He has also undertaken two interviews with Deutche Welle. The first can be found here  and the second is available here.

Monday 2 November 2015

Pritish Behuria, Teaching Fellow in Development Studies, was interviewed by Deutsche Welle regarding the third term debate in Rwanda and its impact on domestic Rwandan politics and the region. Listen to the interview here >>

Friday 30 October 2015

Dr Mayling Birney was interviewed this week by the New York Times about China's shift to a two-child policy. See the article here >>

Mayling recently featured on the BBC’s Newshour, talking about the late diversion of the Magna Carta exhibition from Renmin University in Beijing to the British Ambassador’s Residence. Listen to Dr Birney's interview here >>

Friday 23 October 2015

PhD graduate Alaa Tartir was a speaker at the World Bank's panel on 'Fragility in Middle Income Countries: New ideas for unique challenges', which took place on 8 October. A video recording of the panel (in which Alaa speaks from 43:40 to 51:30) can be found here >>

Monday 5 October 2015

Carlota Perez, Centennial Professor in the Department, features in a CNN report about reducing global poverty. Read the article here >>

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Professor Tim Forsyth features in a Deutsche Welle (DW) article about the battle between growth and conservation in Cambodia, notably the illegal clearing of the Central Cardamom Protected Forest.

Friday 4 September 2015

Alaa Tartir, a former PhD student in International Development and currently the Program Director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, has co-authored an article on Palestine for Le Monde diplomatique.

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 >>

More media >>

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