International Development

Research

Our research addresses some of the most pressing issues in global development. We focus on understanding processes of social exclusion, marginalization and inequality. Our staff and research students engage with initiatives for social justice and activist movements in the UK and abroad. We aim for our intellectual engagement to be transformative and make a difference in the world by pushing the boundaries of development thinking.

Our research

We work collaboratively with other researchers across the Sussex campus, from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), History, Economics, the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU) and the Centre for International Education, as well as policy makers and practitioners.

In their work, our researchers draw on a range of methodological approaches, and have expertise in action research, visual methods and participatory mapping, online and new media research, historical and archival research, and mobile and multi-sited ethnographic inquiry.

Our areas of expertise

Gender, Sexuality and Conflict

Dr Paul Boyce, Dr Lyndsay Mclean, Dr Elizabeth Mills, Dr Althea-Maria Rivas, Prof Maya Unnithan

Our research in this area focuses on three broad topics:

  • Women’s embodied experience of health and illness: reproductive and maternal health; health and rights; perspectives on family planning; infertility and surrogacy; biomedicine; and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS
  • Sexual and gendered subjectivities: sex workers’ rights activism; queer identities and representations
  • Violence, conflict and reconciliation: Preventing violence against women and girls; masculinities and ethnicities


Our researchers have been working on these issues in Afghanistan, Brazil, DRC, East Timor, Haiti, India, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

See our Research Projects page for details of past and current projects examining pathways to women’s empowerment, realising rights to reproductive health, and socioeconomic welfare for gender and sexuality non-normative people.

Markets, Labour and Finance

Dr Grace Carswell, Prof Geert de Neve, Dr Paul Gilbert, Prof Filippo Osella, Dr Rebecca Prentice, Dr Dinah Rajak, Dr Anke Schwittay, Prof Ben Selwyn

Our research in this area focuses on three broad topics:

  • Corporate and philanthropic engagement in development: corporate social responsibility in extractive industries & the garment sector; Bottom of the Pyramid approaches to development; inclusive markets
  • Labour and entrepreneurship: informal labour; governance of global value chains and global commodity chains; youth entrepreneurs
  • Financial inclusion: microfinance and its representations; crowdfunding; political economy of development finance; frontier finance

Our researchers are working on these issues across South Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

See our Research Projects page for details of past and current projects examining Bottom of the Pyramid approaches to development, charity and philanthropy in development, and ethics and corporate social responsibility in the oil and gas sector.

Environment, Resources and Mobilization

Prof James Fairhead, Dr Paul Gilbert, Prof Elizabeth Harrison, Dr Evan Killick, Prof Dominic Kniveton, Dr Anna Laing

Our research in this area focuses on three broad topics:

  • Resource management: agricultural mechanisation; extractive industry frontiers; post-conflict natural resource management; water management
  • Climate change: REDD+; climate change and conflict; climate vulnerabilities; migration and climate change
  • Indigenous communities: spatialities of indigenous movements; resource nationalism; indigenous politics and environmental justice; indigenous relations with industrial development

Our researchers are working on these issues in Bangladesh, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and across Amazonia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

See our Research Projects page for further details of past and current projects exploring pathways to sustainability, human generated soils in Africa, and environmental justice conflicts.

Human Rights and Welfare

Dr Grace Carswell, Dr Nigel Eltringham, Prof Elizabeth Harrison

Our research in this area focuses on two broad topics:

  • Social Protection: the role of brokers; social welfare schemes; documentation and digitization
  • Human Rights: genocide; representations of mass violence; criminal tribunals; legal practices and expert witnesses


Our researchers are working on Human Rights & Welfare in Ethiopia, India, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United Kingdom.

See our Research Projects page for more information, and read more about Nigel Eltringham’s work aiding the prevention of genocide in the Great Lakes Region of Africa here.

Migration and Mobility

Dr Sarah Scuzzarello, Dr Meike Fechter, Dr Julie Litchfield

Our researchers are working on issues related to migrant identities; collective identity formation; migration & gender; elite & privileged migration; and migration & poverty

Research in this area is being carried out in Albania, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Italy, Myanmar, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

See our Research Projects page, the Migrating out of Poverty research consortium and the Sussex Centre for Migration Research for further details.

New Engagements with Global Development

Dr Meike Fechter, Dr Anke Schwittay

Staff at the International Development department at Sussex are involved in cutting edge research on Citizen Aid (including person-to-person initiatives, everyday humanitarianism, affective engagements with poverty alleviation, and crowdsourcing initiatives) and Humanitarian Design. This work is being carried out in Cambodia, Kenya, the United Kingdom and the USA.

See our Research Projects page for more information, and see here for details on Dr Schwittay’s partnership with RedR.

Publications

Projects