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New LSE research centre to investigate causes of international crisis

The Development Studies Institute (DESTIN) at LSE has won a major research grant to establish a new centre devoted to studying crisis and breakdown in the developing world.

LSE has received £2.5 million over five years from the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID) to establish the new Development Research Centre (DRC) and its Crisis States Programme. This is one of a number of DRCs selected by DFID under open competition to conduct long-term research on areas relevant to the UK's policy and programmes in international development.

The project moves into full gear this month (May) when DESTIN and partners in India, South Africa and Columbia begin to implement a programme of collaborative research to study the causes of crisis and state and societal breakdown and the processes of avoiding or overcoming them.

LSE researchers and Southern partners will look at how conflict is related to political and economic liberalisation, labour migration, and economic and social exclusion. They will also study the impact of violent conflict on everyday lives and the ways in which political organisations and communities respond to and attempt to overcome crises.

Dr James Putzel, the current director of DESTIN, will head the new centre. He said: "The Crisis States Programme will attempt to understand why some countries or communities manage to survive economic and social crises while others collapse. We'll look at the issues on international, national and local levels, and try to see if there are processes of institutional change that build state capacity and reduce insecurity, stress and poverty in conflict-ridden countries. It is an ambitious programme, questioning many commonly-held assumptions, and we are delighted to have received such important funding from DFID."

For more information on DESTIN and the centre, see Department of International Development|



  • Dr James Putzel on T: 020 7955 6743/7425
  • Judith Higgin, LSE Press Office, on T: 020 7955 7582
  • DFID Press Office on T: 020 7917 0600
  • This LSE-based centre is formally launched on Tuesday  8 May. Centre partners are: the Asia Development Research Institute in Patna, Bihar; the Witwatersrand Institute of Social and Economic Research, the Sociology of Work Workshop and the Department of Sociology, all at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; and the Universidad de los Andes, the Universidad del Rosario and the Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Relaciones Internacionales (IEPRI) at the Universidad Nacional, all in Colombia.

23 April 2001