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Andy  Sumner

Professor Andy Sumner

Professor of International Development FAcSS FRSA

Research interests

  • International development

Biography

Professor Andy Sumner is Professor of International Development at King’s and President of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Society of Arts; a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Economics and Development Studies at Padjadjaran University, Indonesia; Research Associate, University of Oxford; and Senior Non-Resident Research Fellow at the United Nations University, WIDER, Helsinki as well as the Center for Global Development, Washington DC.

He is also a former Vice President of EADI and a former council member of the Development Studies Association (DSA). Andy is an editor of the joint United Nations University and Cambridge University Press book series and co-editor of Palgrave MacMillan’s ‘Rethinking International Development’ book series. He also serves on the editorial boards of the European Journal of Development Research, Nature Sustainability, and Global Policy.

Andy has received research council awards from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and is Director of the ESRC Global Challenges Strategic Research Network on Global Poverty and Inequality Dynamics, a collaboration across nine universities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He is also a member of the ESRC Peer Review College and sat on the ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund Commissioning Panel.

In 2012, he, together with Peter Kingstone, founded and subsequently led the International Development Institute at King’s that became the Department of International Development in 2016. Since then, Andy has been Research Director and lead for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) for the Department and a member of the Senior Leadership Group.

Prior to King’s, Andy was a Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex where he was also Head of Teaching Programmes and a member of the Senior Management Group. He has contributed expertise to various policy-related processes, such as the Select Committees of the House of Commons, the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and a Lancet Poverty Commission. He has been listed in the US magazine Foreign Policy’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers’, and in the Huffington Post’s ‘Most Influential Voices’.

Research

  • Inequality Dynamics
  • Economic Development
  • Southeast Asia
  • Epistemology in Development Studies

Andy has twenty years’ international research experience using both qualitative and quantitative methods. His research sits in interdisciplinary Development Studies and focuses on questions related to economic development and inequality dynamics across developing countries, and in Southeast Asia in particular.

Andy is well known for challenging prevailing assumptions and theorising about the paradoxes of economic development and inequality dynamics. He also popularised a new indicator of inequality that is now reported annually in various international databases including the United Nations University World Income Inequality Database, the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report Database, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Statistical Database.

Andy has published 15 books and more than 100 papers, journal articles, and book chapters. His most recent books are ‘Great Gatsby and the Global South’ (2023, Cambridge University Press) with Diding Sakri and Arief Yusuf; the ‘Developer’s Dilemma’, edited with Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Kunal Sen, and Arief Yusuf (2022, Oxford University Press); ‘Deindustrialisation, Distribution and Development’ (2021, Oxford University Press); ‘Distribution and Development’ (2018, Oxford University Press); and ‘Global Poverty’ (2016, Oxford University Press). He is currently working on a new book on cross-disciplinary enquiry in Development Studies.

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • 6YYD0006 Poverty, Inequality and Social Policy
  • 5YYD0018 Development Theory

Postgraduate

  • 7YYD0003 Poverty, Inequality and Inclusive Development

PhD supervision

Andy supervises PhD students in the area of inequality dynamics and economic development in Southeast Asia.

See Andy's research students

Further details

See Andy's research profile

    Research

    Mind the gap
    Poverty, Inequality & Inclusive Growth research group

    Exploring the causes of poverty in emerging economies and the factors that prevent people from escaping it, including who remains vulnerable to economic slow-downs.

    News

    Progress on poverty reduction falling short of UN's Global Goals

    Bleak projections predict extreme poverty is on the rise in low-income countries and UN targets will be missed

    shanty town poverty 780x450

    Professor Andy Sumner elected new EADI President

    Professor Sumner will be serving a three-year term at the leading development studies network.

    Andy Sumner

    Researchers warn progress on tackling global inequality faces “a great reversal” by 2030

    A new paper by King’s researchers finds that the recent decline in global income inequality could start to reverse within the next decade and this inequality...

    Baby sleeping on floor as mother cooks, India

    Academics warn of over-optimism around global poverty estimates and risks of unequal access to vaccines for the Global South

    Professor Andy Sumner and Dr Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, of the Department of International Development, have questioned ‘official’ estimates of global monetary...

    Street vendor in Bogota, Colombia

    International Development academic conferred as fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences for work on poverty and inequality

    Professor Andy Sumner, Professor of International Development, has been made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences for his contribution to social sciences.

    Woman in market, Nairobi, Kenya

    COVID-19 could drive global poverty back over one billion people as the world's poorest face up to US$500 million per day in lost income

    In dramatic new numbers, researchers estimate that extreme poverty could spike as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on the day the postponed meeting of the...

    COVID-19 worker

    Half a billion people in developing countries could be pushed into poverty by COVID-19

    King’s academics warn of ‘potential poverty tsunami’ as decades of economic improvements are set to be reversed.

    Street vendor

    Events

    25JunMaiden workshop 2

    Unity in Diversity? The Future of Development Studies

    Workshop to mark the 50th anniversary of the European Association of Research and Training Development Institutes (EADI).

    17JunBBBT Main 780x440

    Build Back Better Together WORLD: we got this podcast Live Episode

    WORLD: we got this podcast Live Episode

    Please note: this event has passed.

    24MarCOVID-19 temp check Africa

    Covid and Development: a roundtable discussion with members of the Department of International Development

    'What has Covid revealed? And what will it result in?', with a focus on various Global South contexts.

    Please note: this event has passed.

    25JunDFID-UK-Department-for-International-Development (2)

    DfID No More: What the merging of DfID and FCO means for international development and the UK globally

    Join us for this briefing on how the Department for International Development's merge with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will impact the UK’s role...

    Please note: this event has passed.

    Features

    Why do emerging economies matter?

    Find out why DID focuses on ‘emerging economies’ to understand development.

    Marketplace in Mexico

    Eradicating poverty in a post-pandemic world: how the G7 can act to end both the pandemic and global poverty

    Professor Andy Sumner and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez discuss how we can eradicate global poverty as part of the Build Back Better Together essay series.

    Eradicating Poverty Feature Image

    Global poverty: coronavirus could drive it up for the first time since the 1990s

    New research shows the economic impact of COVID-19 could shift global poverty towards middle-income countries and South and East Asia.

    India is one country where poverty levels are expected to rise. credit EPA-EFE

    COVID-19: Why we should care about the impact on emerging economies

    COVID-19 demonstrates the UK’s mutual interest in supporting affected countries and communities.

    Woman in market, Nairobi, Kenya

    Informing the public debate on COVID-19

    Academics from across the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy are helping us all better understand the huge societal shifts created by the COVID-19...

    Newspapers Image

    Understanding the impacts on society of COVID-19

    How the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy is helping us understand the huge societal shifts created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    empty stores hero sized

    Spotlight

    The Poverty Paradox: Helping the world's poorest people

    Research from King's has found that, contrary to established expectations, many of the world's poorest people live in middle income countries.

    Global Poverty

    Spotlight on COVID: Potential 'poverty tsunami' could follow Coronavirus pandemic

    Holly Finch, Spotlight reporter, interviews Andy Sumner, Professor of International Development in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Public Policy, whose...

    spotlight-covid-1920

      Research

      Mind the gap
      Poverty, Inequality & Inclusive Growth research group

      Exploring the causes of poverty in emerging economies and the factors that prevent people from escaping it, including who remains vulnerable to economic slow-downs.

      News

      Progress on poverty reduction falling short of UN's Global Goals

      Bleak projections predict extreme poverty is on the rise in low-income countries and UN targets will be missed

      shanty town poverty 780x450

      Professor Andy Sumner elected new EADI President

      Professor Sumner will be serving a three-year term at the leading development studies network.

      Andy Sumner

      Researchers warn progress on tackling global inequality faces “a great reversal” by 2030

      A new paper by King’s researchers finds that the recent decline in global income inequality could start to reverse within the next decade and this inequality...

      Baby sleeping on floor as mother cooks, India

      Academics warn of over-optimism around global poverty estimates and risks of unequal access to vaccines for the Global South

      Professor Andy Sumner and Dr Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, of the Department of International Development, have questioned ‘official’ estimates of global monetary...

      Street vendor in Bogota, Colombia

      International Development academic conferred as fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences for work on poverty and inequality

      Professor Andy Sumner, Professor of International Development, has been made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences for his contribution to social sciences.

      Woman in market, Nairobi, Kenya

      COVID-19 could drive global poverty back over one billion people as the world's poorest face up to US$500 million per day in lost income

      In dramatic new numbers, researchers estimate that extreme poverty could spike as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on the day the postponed meeting of the...

      COVID-19 worker

      Half a billion people in developing countries could be pushed into poverty by COVID-19

      King’s academics warn of ‘potential poverty tsunami’ as decades of economic improvements are set to be reversed.

      Street vendor

      Events

      25JunMaiden workshop 2

      Unity in Diversity? The Future of Development Studies

      Workshop to mark the 50th anniversary of the European Association of Research and Training Development Institutes (EADI).

      17JunBBBT Main 780x440

      Build Back Better Together WORLD: we got this podcast Live Episode

      WORLD: we got this podcast Live Episode

      Please note: this event has passed.

      24MarCOVID-19 temp check Africa

      Covid and Development: a roundtable discussion with members of the Department of International Development

      'What has Covid revealed? And what will it result in?', with a focus on various Global South contexts.

      Please note: this event has passed.

      25JunDFID-UK-Department-for-International-Development (2)

      DfID No More: What the merging of DfID and FCO means for international development and the UK globally

      Join us for this briefing on how the Department for International Development's merge with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will impact the UK’s role...

      Please note: this event has passed.

      Features

      Why do emerging economies matter?

      Find out why DID focuses on ‘emerging economies’ to understand development.

      Marketplace in Mexico

      Eradicating poverty in a post-pandemic world: how the G7 can act to end both the pandemic and global poverty

      Professor Andy Sumner and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez discuss how we can eradicate global poverty as part of the Build Back Better Together essay series.

      Eradicating Poverty Feature Image

      Global poverty: coronavirus could drive it up for the first time since the 1990s

      New research shows the economic impact of COVID-19 could shift global poverty towards middle-income countries and South and East Asia.

      India is one country where poverty levels are expected to rise. credit EPA-EFE

      COVID-19: Why we should care about the impact on emerging economies

      COVID-19 demonstrates the UK’s mutual interest in supporting affected countries and communities.

      Woman in market, Nairobi, Kenya

      Informing the public debate on COVID-19

      Academics from across the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy are helping us all better understand the huge societal shifts created by the COVID-19...

      Newspapers Image

      Understanding the impacts on society of COVID-19

      How the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy is helping us understand the huge societal shifts created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

      empty stores hero sized

      Spotlight

      The Poverty Paradox: Helping the world's poorest people

      Research from King's has found that, contrary to established expectations, many of the world's poorest people live in middle income countries.

      Global Poverty

      Spotlight on COVID: Potential 'poverty tsunami' could follow Coronavirus pandemic

      Holly Finch, Spotlight reporter, interviews Andy Sumner, Professor of International Development in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Public Policy, whose...

      spotlight-covid-1920