Andy Sumner is co-director of the King’s International Development Institute at King’s College London.
He is an interdisciplinary development economist with research interests in poverty theory, concepts and measurement and the structural causes of poverty both at a global level and with reference to Southeast Asia and Indonesia in particular.
His research is concerned with poverty as a distributional question. His work challenges the orthodox view that absolute poverty is necessarily minimal or ‘residual’ at higher levels of average per capita income; rather, poverty is the outcome of specific patterns of economic development and distribution.
His research in recent years has focused on the fact that about a billion people or three-quarters of the poor live in middle-income countries. This raises various questions about the causes of poverty, about distributional patterns of economic development and about the dominant country analytical categories themselves.
Before taking his position at King’s college, he was a research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. He holds associate positions at Oxford University at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC.
He is a vice president of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes and a council member of the Development Studies Association.
He was listed in Foreign Policy Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers’ and is Deputy Editor and an Editorial Board Member of Global Policy.