About our research

Understanding economic, social, and political issues that shape processes of change at micro, meso, and macro levels.

Within LSE, the Department of International Development (ID) is the nerve centre of intellectual cross-fertilization on developing regions, societies, and dynamic processes of development.

Our research starts from a recognition that the dynamics of change are different in developing countries. Rather than following evolutionary paths that repeat those of the developed world, countries of the ‘global south’ deal with a range of local and international forces that generate distinctive trajectories. We draw together ideas from across the disciplines and across the world to develop novel approaches to global challenges. This generates transgressive ideas crucial to analysing the problems, structures, and opportunities that affect most of the world’s countries and people, and to understanding why some societies progress while others decompose. We then feed these insights back into the disciplines through contributions that push out their own frontiers and also strengthen the theoretical base of development studies.

Find out more: 

What makes ID unique? 

Themes/Clusters  |  Knowledge Exchange & Impact  |  People

Funded Research Projects

The 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF):

Our contribution to the field of International Development is reflected in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The results acknowledge that we are strong and getting stronger.

The results show that 84.9 percent of Outputs received 4* and 3*, rating them world-leading and internationally excellent. The department's growth and the complexity of research delivered received 100 percent of 4* and 3* ratings for Environment, and our impact case studies received 83.3 percent of 4* and 3* ratings for Impact. Within the Unit of Assessment, of those ten institutions who submitted Development Studies, the department’s outputs were placed fourth in terms of GPA and 4* percentage.