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


  • 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.



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


  • 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