International Development


Researchers in international development in the School of Global Studies are based in the Departments of Anthropology, Geography and International Relations.

Our research

We work collaboratively with researchers in the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), History, Economics, the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU), and in International Education.

Our research contributes to understanding and addressing some of the most important current issues in international development.

We have a strong interest in environmental management in developing countries including the Brazilian Amazon and West African Sahel and rainforest zones.

Other areas of expertise include human rights, migration and poverty, gender and development, and corporate social responsibility.

Examples of current research projects

Realising Rights to Global Health: An ethnographic analysis of rights-based organisations in promoting reproductive health in India

Dr Maya Unnithan

The research is an empirical and theoretical study tracking the transmission of rights ideas and practices transnationally and through to local recipients, producing an analysis of how rights operate within different discursive spaces.

The empirical study is based in Rajasthan, which has amongst the worst reproductive and child health indicators in the country.

The fieldwork focus is on rights discourse and practice at three sites: 34 civil society organisations (health related and legal), the private health sector and the state.

Visit the Realising Global Rights to Health research page for more information.

New Economies of Development: Critical Engagements with the Bottom of the Pyramid

Dinah Rajak

In recent years “bottom-of-the pyramid” (BoP) schemes have attracted significant interest from international development institutions seeking to harness private sector resources for development purposes.

Yet despite the growing number of BoP initiatives across the world, there has been comparatively little engagement from development studies with this new paradigm.

This project seeks to address this gap by creating a space for new thinking, approaches, research methodologies, and evidence that critically engage with the development implications of the BoP model.

We also examine the distribution of gains and losses and risks and vulnerabilities in BoP markets.

We seek to ask how such models work in practice, what processes of inclusion and exclusion they give rise to, and whether they can deliver development that is both ethical and sustainable.

Visit the Responsible Bop website for more information.

Pathways of Women’s Empowerment

Andrea Cornwall

Pathways of Women’s Empowerment is an international research and communications programme established in 2006, which links academics with activists and practitioners to find out what works to enhance women’s empowerment.

We are identifying where women are achieving real gains and discovering the positive and negative factors which have influenced their journey. 

Pathways have been funded by UKAid from the Department for International Development.

The programme has also received financing from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This has enabled the programme to expand to include countries in conflict, post-conflict and crisis situations.

Visit the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment website for more information.

Charity and Philanthropy in Development

Roderick Stirrat and Filippo Osella

An innovative study looking at the role of charity and philanthropy in economic, social and health development is being launched.

The study is being conducted in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

As part of the study, we are investigating Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim and secular forms giving, assessing their contribution towards achieving development goals.

See: ES/L007819/1 - Maximising the developmental impact of philanthropy: from theory to practice