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The most recent publications from the department are listed below. Details of older publications are available via the archive pages (left menu) or our staff profile pages.


Afghanistan’s Taliban – Legitimate Jihadists or Coercive Extremists?

Weigand, Florian
Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding (2017)

The military intervention in Afghanistan in 2001 was portrayed as a fight to oust the extremist Taliban. But the Taliban have long been regaining influence, with the military victory of the Afghan government and its foreign allies now seeming less likely than ever. In light of these developments, this article investigates what the affected people – rather than the foreign interveners – think about the Taliban, and whether they perceive them as coercive or legitimate. Building on a conceptual understanding of legitimacy that has been adjusted to the dynamics of conflict-torn spaces, the article suggests that people judge the Taliban on the basis of how their day-to-day behaviour is perceived. While the Taliban are a coercive threat in urban centres and other areas where they launch attacks, they nonetheless manage to construct legitimacy in some of the places which they control or can access easily. A major source of their legitimacy in these areas is the way in which they provide services – such as conflict resolution – which some people consider to be faster and fairer than the state’s practices.

To read the full article, click here >>

African Affairs, Oxford Journals

Studying political settlements in Africa

Behuria, Pritish. Buur, Lars and Gray, Hazel.
African Affairs (2017)

The political settlements approach emerged out of a critique of new institutional economics developed by Mushtaq Khan in the 1990s. Since then, the political settlements approach has proliferated in donor programming and academic scholarship on African countries. This has led to some confusion about its core conceptual and methodological features. This Research Note starts by setting out our understanding of political settlements and provides an overview of existing political settlements literature on African countries. The overall contribution of the note is to illustrate the varied strategies used in studying political settlements and to place them in conversation with one another.

To read the full article, click here >>


Blending Top-Down Federalism with Bottom-Up Engagement to Reduce Inequality in Ethiopia

Faguet, J.P., Q. Khan and A. Ambel 
World Development (2017)

Donors increasingly fund interventions to counteract inequality in developing countries, where they fear it can foment instability and undermine nation-building efforts. To succeed, aid relies on the principle of upward accountability to donors. But federalism shifts the accountability of subnational officials downward to regional and local voters. What happens when aid agencies fund anti-inequality programs in federal countries? Does federalism undermine aid? Does aid undermine federalism? Or can the political and fiscal relations that define a federal system resolve the contradiction internally? The authors explore this paradox via the Promotion of Basic Services program in Ethiopia, the largest donor-financed investment program in the world. Using an original panel database comprising the universe of Ethiopian woredas (districts), the study finds that horizontal (geographic) inequality decreased substantially. 

To read the full article, click here >>


Relative indemnity: risk, insurance, and kinship in Indian microfinance

Kar, Sohini 
J R Anthropol Inst (2017)

With the growth of commercial microfinance in India, the poor have been increasingly enfolded into circuits of global finance. In making these collateral-free loans, however, microfinance institutions (MFIs) engage in new forms of risk management. While loans are made to women with the goal of economic and social empowerment, MFIs require male kin to serve as guarantors. Drawing on fieldwork in the city of Kolkata, I argue that through the requirement of male guarantors, MFIs hedge on kinship, even as they speculate on the bottom of the pyramid as a new market of accumulation.

To read the full article, click here >>


The American paradox: ideology of free markets and the hidden practice of directional thrust

Wade, Robert
Cambridge Journal of Economics (2017)

This essay reviews the history of US industrial policy, with an emphasis on ‘network-building industrial policy’ over the past two decades. At the end, it draws a lesson for policy communities in other countries and interstate development organisations such as the World Bank and IMF.

To read the full article, click here >>


Tracking presidents and policies: environmental politics from Lula to Dilma

Hochstetler, Kathryn  
Policy Studies (2017) 

Does the Brazilian presidential system shape environmental policy there? The comparative literature on environmental policy offers few reasons to think that it might. This article examines environmental policies and outcomes in three successive presidential administrations in Brazil to develop hypotheses about whether institutional factors should gain a larger place in comparative studies of environmental policies and outcomes.

To read the full article, click here >>


Contesting the militarization of the places where they met: the landscapes of the western Nuer and Dinka (South Sudan)

Pendle, Naomi 
Journal of East African Studies (2017) 

Decades of militarized, violent conflict and elite wealth acquisition have created a common rupture in shared landscapes between communities of the western Dinka and Nuer (South Sudan). Through the remaking of these landscapes, governments and their wars have indirectly reshaped political identities and relationships. Networks of complex relationships have used this space for migration, marriage, trade and burial. Since the government wars of the 1980s, people from both Dinka and Nuer communities have participated in a myriad of cross-cutting political alliances with a lack of ethnic homogeneity. Yet, the recreation of this landscape as a militarized no-man’s land has stopped Nuer and Dinka meeting and is etching into the landscape naturalized visions of ethnic divisions.

To read the full article, click here >>


Transitional Justice and Political Economies of Survival in Post-conflict Northern Uganda

Macdonald, Anna
Development and Change (2017)

This article explores the interplay between transitional justice and ‘everyday’ political economies of survival in post-conflict Acholiland, northern Uganda. Based on extensive fieldwork in Acholiland in the period 2012–14, using a range of qualitative research methods, the author examines the means through which people negotiate social and moral order in the context of post-conflict life and analyses the tensions between these forms of ‘everyday’ activity and current transitional justice policy and programming in the region.

To read the full article, click here >>


Legal Pluralism and Women's Rights After Conflict: The Role of CEDAW

Swenson, Geoffrey. and Campbell, Meghan 
Columbia Human Rights Law Reveiw (2016)

Protecting and promoting women’s rights is an immense challenge after conflict, especially when non-state justice systems handle most disputes. However, legal pluralism’s implications for gender equality remain under-theorized. This Article examines the potential of the Convention for Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (CEDAW) and analyses how the CEDAW Committee to can more effectively promote gender equality in legally pluralistic, post-conflict states.

To read the full article, click here >>


Promoting and regulating generic medicines: Brazil in comparative perspective

Shadlen, Kenneth C. and Fonseca, Elize Massard da
PAHO (2017)

Promoting the use of generic drugs can constitute a core instrument for countries’ national pharmaceutical policies, one that reduces drug expenditure while expanding health care access. Despite the potential importance of such policy measures and the differences among national practices, scholars embarking on comparative analysis lack a roadmap for determining which dimensions of generic drug policy to assess and compare. This report fills that gap by considering national rules and regulations across four dimensions deemed crucial to any evaluation.

To read the full article, click here >>


Secondary pharmaceutical patenting: A global perspective        

Shadlen, Kenneth C. and Sampata, Bhaven N.
Research Policy (2017)

Pharmaceutical firms’ use of secondary patents to extend periods of exclusivity generates concerns among policymakers worldwide. In response, some developing countries have introduced measures to curb the grant of these patents. While these measures have received considerable attention, there is limited evidence on their effectiveness. We follow a large sample of international patent applications in the US, Japan, the European Patent Office, and corresponding filings in three developing countries with restrictions on secondary patents, India, Brazil, and Argentina.

To read the full article, click here >>


Explicit Bayesian analysis for process tracing: guidelines, opportunities, and caveats        

Fairfield, Tasha and Charman, Andrew 
Political Analysis (2017)

Bayesian probability holds the potential to serve as an important bridge between qualitative and quantitative methodology. Yet whereas Bayesian statistical techniques have been successfully elaborated for quantitative research, applying Bayesian probability to qualitative research remains an open frontier. This paper advances the burgeoning literature on Bayesian process tracing by drawing on expositions of Bayesian “probability as extended logic” from the physical sciences, where probabilities represent rational degrees of belief in propositions given the inevitably limited information we possess.

To read the full article, click here >>

Oxford Development Studies Journal

The politics of natural disasters in protracted conflict: the 2014 flood in Kashmir

Venugopal, Rajesh and Yasir, Sameer
Oxford Development Studies (2017)

This paper explores the politics of the 2014 floods in the contentious and conflict-prone Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The September 2014 floods were the most serious natural disaster in the state in the past 60 years, and affected some two million people in the Kashmir valley. Drawing on qualitative interview evidence from 50 flood victims in south, central and north Kashmir, the paper examines the extent to which the disaster transformed existing political narratives. In doing so, it examines the role of the state and central governments, the army, local volunteers, and the media. The paper engages with the politics of disaster literature, exploring how disasters can serve as a lens rather than as a catalyst, and stressing the relevance of understanding the social construction of disaster narratives.

To read the full article, click here >>


Rural bias in African electoral systems: Legacies of unequal representation in African democracies

Boone, Catherine and Wahman, Michael
Electoral Studies (2017)

Although electoral malapportionment is a recurrent theme in monitoring reports on African elections, few researchers have tackled this issue. Here we theorize the meaning and broader implications of malapportionment in eight African countries with Single Member District (SMD) electoral systems. Using a new dataset on registered voters and constituency level election results, we study malapportionment's magnitude, persistence over time, and electoral consequences. The analysis reveals that patterns of apportionment institutionalized in the pre-1990 era established a long-lasting bias in favor of rural voters. This "rural bias" has been strikingly stable in the post-1990 era, even where the ancien regime has been voted out of power. These findings underscore the importance of the urban-rural distinction in explaining electoral outcomes in Africa.

To read the full article, click here >>


Industrial policy in response to the middle-income trap and the Third Wave of the digital revolution

Wade, Robert 
Global Policy (2016)

The ‘middle-income trap’ (MIT) is ‘real enough’ for policy makers in developing countries to take it as a serious threat to prospects for achieving ‘high’ average income. In light of this, the Third Wave, and other conditions in the world economy, this essay discusses some of the big issues in the design of industrial policy, on the theme of how to do it well rather than how to do it less.

To read the full article, click here >>

After Raper Holly Porter

After Rape: Violence, Justic and Social Harmony in Uganda

Porter, Holly
Cambridge University Press (2016)

Following the ICC intervention in 2005, northern Uganda has been at the heart of international justice debates. The emergent controversy, however, missed crucial aspects of Acholi realities: that the primary moral imperative in the wake of wrongdoing was not punishment but, instead, the restoration of social harmony. Drawing upon abundant fieldwork and in-depth interviews with almost 200 women, Holly Porter examines issues surrounding wrongdoing and justice, and sexual violence and rape, among the Acholi people in northern Uganda.

To read the full article, click here >>

journal of agrian change

The Quest to Bring Land under Social and Political Control: Land Reform Struggles of the Past and Present in Ecuador

Goodwin, Geoff 
Journal of Agrarian Change (2016)

Land reform was one of the most important policies introduced in Latin America in the twentieth century and remains high on the political agenda due to sustained pressure from rural social movements. Improving our understanding of the issue therefore remains a pressing concern. This paper responds to this need by proposing a new theoretical framework to explore land reform and providing a fresh analysis of historical and contemporary land struggles in Ecuador. Drawing on the pioneering work of Karl Polanyi, the paper characterizes these struggles as the attempt to increase the social and political control of land in the face of mounting commodification. The movement started in the 1960s and remains evident in Ecuador today. Exploring land reform in Ecuador from this theoretical perspective provides new insight into land struggles in the country and contributes to debates over land reforms of the past and present elsewhere in the Global South.

To read the full article, click here >>


The Trial of Thomas Kwoyelo: Opportunites or spectre? Reflections from the ground on the first LRA prosecution

Macdonald, Anna and Porter, Holly
Africa (2016)

The trial of Thomas Kwoyelo – the first war crimes prosecution of a former Lord's Resistance Army fighter, and the only domestic war crimes prosecution in Uganda at the time of writing – has been packed with drama, intrigue and politics. The article considers what Kwoyelo's trial means for those most affected by the crimes he allegedly committed, and, more broadly, what it means for the ‘transitional justice’ project in Uganda. The article is concerned primarily with how the trial has been interpreted ‘on the ground’ in Acholiland: by local leadership; by those with a personal relationship to Kwoyelo; by direct victims of his alleged crimes; and by those who were not. Responses to the trial have been shaped by people's specific wartime experiences and if or how his prosecution relates to their current circumstances – as well as by the profound value of social harmony and distrust of higher authorities to dispense justice. We conclude with a discussion of the relevance of our findings for the practice of ‘transitional justice’ across the African continent.

To read the full article, click here >>


Countering threats, stabilising politics and selling hope: examining the Agaciro  concept as a response to a critical juncture in Rwanda

Behuria, Pritish
Journal of Eastern African Studies (2016)

The political settlements literature has assigned a privileged role to rents
as instruments used by ruling elites to maintain political stability. Since
then, there has been some attempt to highlight how ideas may play a similarly important role in contributing to political stability. This article explores how ruling elites in Rwanda responded to a ‘critical juncture’ in 2012 when donors withdrew foreign aid after they alleged that the Rwandan Patriotic Front government was supporting rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

To read the full article, click here >>



Precolonial Political Centralization and Contemporary Development in Uganda

Green, Elliott and Sanghamitra, Bandyopadhyay                                 Economic Development and Cultural Change Vol 64.3 (April 2016)

The role of precolonial history on contemporary development has become an important field of study within development economics. In this article the authors examine the role of precolonial political centralization on contemporary development outcomes with detailed subnational data from Uganda.

To read the full article, click here >>


Structuralism, The Oxford Handbook of Politics of Development

Green, Elliott                                                                                       Structuralism, forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Politics of Development, edited by Carol Lancaster and Nicolas van de Walle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)

This article examines the structural origins of developmental politics by focusing on the argument that “bad politicians” are the reason for the problem with politics in developing countries, or that great leaders are responsible for development.

To read the full article, click here >>


Decentralization and Development in Contemporary Uganda

Green, Elliott                                                                                             Regional & Federal Studies Vol 25.5 (Nov 2015)

There has long been an emphasis on the importance of decentralization in providing better quality public services in the developing world. In order to assess the effectiveness of decentralization I examine here the case study of Uganda, which has seen major decentralization of power over the last quarter-century. 

To read the full article, click here >>



New Report - "From Hybrid Peace to Human Security: Rethinking EU Strategy towards Conflict"

The latest report by the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit proposes that the European Union adopts a second generation human security approach to conflicts, as an alternative to Geo-Politics or the War on Terror.

Read the full report here


African Political Economy

Centralising rents and dispersing power while pursuing development? Exploring the strategic uses of military firms in Rwanda

Behuria, Pritish                                                                                             Review of African Political Economy (Feb 2016)

The Rwandan Patriotic Front has achieved significant economic progress while also maintaining political stability. However, frictions among ruling elites have threatened progress. This paper explores the use of military firms in Rwanda. Such firms are used to invest in strategic industries, but the use of such firms reflects the vulnerability faced by ruling elites. Military firms serve two related purposes. First, ruling elites use such firms to centralise rents and invest in strategic sectors. Second, the proliferation of such enterprises and the separation of party- and military-owned firms contribute to dispersing power within a centralised hierarchy.

To read the full article, click here >>


Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Europe's failed ‘fight’ against irregular migration: ethnographic notes on a counterproductive industry

Andersson, Ruben                                                                                     Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (Feb 2016)

Despite Europe's mass investments in advanced border controls, people keep arriving along the continent's shores under desperate circumstances. European attempts to ‘secure’ or ‘protect’ the borders have quite clearly failed, as politicians themselves increasingly recognise – yet more of the same response is again rolled out in response to the escalating ‘refugee crisis’. Amid the deadlock, this article argues that we need to grasp the mechanics and logics of the European ‘border security model’ in order to open up for a change of course.

To read the full article, click here >>


Economy For and Against Democracy by Keith Hart, LSE International Development

Economy For and Against Democracy

Hart, Keith
Berghahn (2015)

Political constitutions alone do not guarantee democracy; a degree of economic equality is also essential. Yet contemporary economies, dominated as they are by global finance and political rent-seekers, often block the realization of democracy. The comparative essays and case studies of this volume examine the contradictory relationship between the economy and democracy and highlight the struggles and visions needed to make things more equitable. They explore how our collective aspirations for greater democracy might be informed by serious empirical research on the human economy today. If we want a better world, we must act on existing social realities.


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 Poschl (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 affect it.


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.

To understand the current world, we need to understand China and the Chinese Communist Party. 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.


Journal of International Development

Leaving No One Behind?: Informal economies, economic inclusion and Islamic extremism in Nigeria

Meagher, Kate,
Journal of International Development, 27.6, (2015), 835-855.

This article examines how the Post-2015 commitment to economic inclusion affects informal economic actors in developing countries. It highlights the selective dynamics of inclusive market models that generate new processes of exclusion in which the most vulnerable continue to be left behind. The case of Nigeria reveals how inclusive market initiatives reinforce parallel processes of informalization, poverty and Islamic extremism in the north of the country.



Land Regime and the Creation of Ethnicity: Evidence from Tanzania

Boone, Catherine, and Lydia Nyeme,
Comparative Politics, 8.1 (2015), 67-84.

Existing work on land politics in Africa suggests that governments, by creating and upholding neocustomary land tenure regimes, create powerful incentives for individuals to embrace state-recognized ethnic identities. This article strengthens the argument about the institutional determinants of ethnicity’s high political salience through the use of contrasting evidence from Tanzania.


Stability Journal

The Evolution and Reform of Palestianian Security Forces, 1993-2013

Tartir, Alaa,
Stability: International Journal of Security & Development (2015)

This article provides a contextual analysis of the evolution and reform processes of Palestinian security forces over the last two decades. It concludes that the enhanced functionality of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces and the reformed style of governance resulted in the criminalisation of resistance against the Israeli occupation. In this way, the state-building project during the Fayyadism era directly and indirectly sustained the occupation.


Women's Studies International Forum

After Rape: Comparing civilian and combatant perpetuated crime in Northern Uganda

Porter, Holly E.,
Women's Studies International Forum, 51 (2015), 81-90

Open access.

This article explores responses to rape in northern Uganda. A comparison between rapes perpetrated by combatants and civilians, both of which followed abductions that were intended to result in "marriage", illustrates how experiences of rape do not fit neatly into "war" and "ordinary" categories, and rather suggests that a more useful way of conceptualizing women's experiences comes from understanding how particular circumstances of rape shape the social harm she suffers


International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Social Accountability in War Zones - Confronting Local Realities of Law and Justice

Allen, Tim, and Anna Macdonald (eds),
International Journal on Minority and Group Rights (2015).

Open access.

This special issue showcases some important findings of JSRP research on local justice in four contexts: eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, northern Uganda, South Sudan and Timor-Leste. It includes an overview article and six pieces of fine-grained ethnographic research that help us understand how justice and social order are regulated in conflict-affected places that remain either beyond the reach of institutional governance or at its margins. Cross-cutting themes addressed include gender-based violence, land disputes, vigilantism and rule-of-law reform.


Journal of Modern African Studies

Between Party Capitalism and Market Reforms - understanding sector differences in Rwanda

Behuria, Pritish,
The Journal of Modern African Studies, 53.3 (2015).

The Rwandan government has used different strategies to promote capitalist accumulation. In some sectors, party and military owned enterprises are predominant. In others, the government has chosen to embrace market-led reforms. Ultimately, the vulnerability experienced by ruling elites contributes to the choice of how capital accumulation is promoted in different sectors. Constraints that have accompanied strategies pursued in these sectors (elites, pyrethrum, mining) have forced the government to work ‘reactively’ to achieve strategic targets.


Contentious Politics in the Middle East

'Contentious Economics in Occupied Palestine', by Alaa Tartir, in Contentious Politics in the Middle East: Popular resistance and marginalized activism beyond the Arab uprisings

Gerges, Fawas (ed),
Palgrave Macmillan (2015).

While the Arab people took center stage in the 'Arab Spring' protests, academic studies focus on state structure, regime nature, militaries, and external powers to understand popular uprisings in the Middle East. This book redresses a gap in focus as it analyzes the complexities of popular agency through the framework of contentious politics theory, without neglecting the negotiations between the people and structural factors.


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.


The Impact of Cash Transfers on Local Economies

Levy, Stephanie (ed),
Policy in Focus, IPC (2015).

In this special edition, leading authors and practitioners present accessible research on how cash transfers in developing countries can impact the local economy. The aim is to gather and review results and evidence obtained from various methodologies as applied on small-scale programmes to larger-scale policies in Latin America, Africa and South-East Asia. The economic impact of social transfers is analysed here through their effects on investment, productivity, prices, employment and trade.

Stability Journal

Security in Transition: Investigations into the Security Gap

Featuring: Mary Kaldor, Sabine Selchow, Ali Ali, Anouk Rigterink, Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic, Sam Vincent, Florian Weigand,

Stability (2015).

The articles in this collection theoretically and empirically engage with the idea of the 'security gap', an experimental concept that guides the ERC-funded ‘Security in Transition' research programme at the London School of Economics (LSE). In the broadest sense, 'security gap' refers to the gap between our national and international security capabilities, largely based on conventional military forces, and the reality of the everyday experience of insecurity in different parts of the world. In particular, it captures the particular relationship or the distinct kind of 'mismatch' between objectives and practices of contemporary 'security' measures. The articles reflect the research programme's regional focus on the Balkans, Syria, and Afghanistan.


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.


Studies In Comparative International Development

Intellectual Property, Access to Medicines, and Health

Shadlen, Ken, and Nitsan Chorev (eds),
Studies in Comparative International Development, 50.2 (2015).

This introduction reviews the literature on intellectual property rights and access to medicines, identifying two distinct generations of research. The first generation analyzes the origins of new intellectual property rules, in particular the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and the significance of TRIPS to developing countries. The second generation examines national-level experiences, as countries adjust their laws, and practices to conform to TRIPS. The editors review the contributions to this special edition and contribute to the second generation by considering issues based on the insights provided by these essays.


Public Administration And Development

Dilemmas in Donor Design: Organisational Reform and the Future of Foreign Aid Agencies

Gulrajani, Nilima
Public Administration and Development, 35.2 (2015).

With growing uncertainty over the value and impact of traditional bilateral foreign aid to advance development in poor countries, there is disquiet about the future of national public agencies and ministries with responsibility for managing and delivering international assistance. This article is an attempt to present current controversies about donor governance and offer guidance for resolving current dilemmas by exploring the potential contributions of public administration.


Alex de Waal (ed.), Advocacy In Conflict

Advocacy in Conflict

de Waal, Alex (ed),
Zed Books (2015).

Conflicts in Africa, Asia and Latin America have become a common focus of advocacy by Western celebrities and NGOs. This provocative volume delves into the realities of these efforts, which have often involved compromising on integrity in pursuit of profile and influence.

Examining the methods used by Western advocates, expert authors evaluate the successes and failures of past advocacy campaigns and offer constructive criticism of current efforts.


World Politics Journal

Neopatrimonialism and the Political Economy of Economic Performance in Africa: Critical Reflections

Mkandawire, Thandika,
World Politics (2015).

During the past two decades, neopatrimonialism has become the convenient, all purpose, and ubiquitous moniker for African governance. While it has long been a focus of development studies, in recent times it has assumed politically and economically exigent status. This article examines the empirical basis of predictions and policy prescriptions. It argues that while descriptive of the social practices of the states and individuals that occupy different positions within African societies, the concept of neopatrimonialism has little analytical content and no predictive value with respect to economic policy and performance.


Economy And Society

Neoliberalism as Concept

Venugopal, Rajesh,
Economy and Society, 44.2 (2015).

This paper evaluates the proliferation and expanded usage of the term 'neoliberalism' since the 1980s. It argues that neoliberalism has become a deeply problematic and incoherent term that has multiple and contradictory meanings, and thus has diminished analytical value. The paper also explores the limited usage of the term by non-economists to describe economic phenomena, and how this perpetuates the divide between economics and the rest of the social sciences.


African Affairs, Oxford Journals

The Political Economy of Grand Corruption in Tanzania

Gray, Hazel,
African Affairs (2015).

This article examines the political economy of grand corruption in Tanazia in the era of rapid growth and global integration. The dynamics of the conflicts within the ruling CCM party, and how elite politics interacts with socio-economic transformation, are not well understood. This article describes how the enduring control of the elite, plus a fragmented distribution of power, negate any attempts to stop grand corruption in Tanzania. Read the full article here >>


Third World Quarterly

Democracy, Development, and the Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka

Venugopal, Rajesh,
Third World Quarterly, 36.4 (2015).

This paper examines the developmental causes and consequences of the shift from a parliamentary to a semi-presidential system in Sri Lanka in 1978. Drawing on a wide range of sources, it argues that the executive presidency was born out of an elite impulse to create a more stable, centralised political structure to resist the welfarist electoral pressures that had taken hold in the post-independence period, and to pursue a market-driven model of economic growth.


Stability Journal

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

Schomerus, Mareike, and Anouk Rigterink,
Stability (2015).

Mareike Schomerus and Anouk Rigterink have investigated the impact of mobile phones in situations of political unrest or conflict. They propose a link between access to better communication structures and government accountability. Thus, mobile phones could play a positive role in building more accountable governments. They have written a précis of their research for the International Development blog.



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

Sehnbruch, Kirsten, Brendan Burchell, Nurjk Agloni, Agnieszka Piasna,
Development and Change, 46.2 (2015).

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

Kaldor, Mary, and Sabine Selchow (eds),
Palgrave Macmillan (2015).

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.

Based on a multi-disciplinary, collaborative research project carried out across Europe, this volume investigates why this is occurring now, whether the current eruptions are different to previous periods of political upheaval, and what they tell us about the future of the European project.

Find out more about the volume here >> 


Tasha Fairfield - Private Wealth Public Revenue

Private Wealth and Public Revenue in Latin America

Fairfield, Tasha,
Cambridge University Press (2015).

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

Priyam, Manisha,
Oxford University Press (2015).

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

Howell, Jude,
The China Quarterly, 221 (2015).

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 >>