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Research Groups

Research in the Department of International Development

The Department of International Development (DID) at King's has a different agenda to traditional development studies in the UK and wider afield.  

In keeping with its origins as a King’s Global Institute, the Department of International Development specifically focuses on middle-income developing countries and ‘emerging economies’ - the fast growing economies where foreign aid is largely irrelevant. 

 Research at the department seeks to explore critical perspectives on economic growth, modernisation and ‘progress’ and to do so by exploring context-specific economic, social and political change in these countries rather than applying prescriptive models of development.

The DID pursues this through consideration of two key poles of development: inclusive development, i.e. the policies, politics and economics of ensuring that the broad population share in the benefits of growth and wealth; and national development, i.e. the policies, politics and economics of promoting and sustaining economic development within a global context. 

Research expertise in the department spans political science, sociology, social anthropology, development economics, history, geography and management. Our work has received financial support from the ESRC, AHRC, MRC, DfID, Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, and British Academy among others.

We have strong regional expertise and collaborations in Latin America and SE Asia, in China and India. The African Leadership Centre hosted by DID brings unique connections with the African continent. 

The research of the Institute’s staff and its international collaborators focuses around a set of research groups which contribute to an understanding of how societies move towards more inclusive modes of economic, social and political development, and what hold this back. 

Poverty, Inequality and Inclusive Growth

This research cluster is focused on the issues of poverty and inequality in middle-income countries and in particular the new and emerging lower middle classes who are likely to be vulnerable to economic slows downs pushing them back towards poverty. The cluster focuses on such issues as the social and political implications of poverty in middle-income countries, contested changes in global inequality as a result of growth in emerging economies and the social and political implications of the emerging lower middle classes.


Andy Sumner


Peter Kingstone

Eduardo J. Gomez

Paul Segal

Pierre-Louis Vezina

Sanchari Roy

Yundan Gong 

Sunil Kumar

Kyunghoon Kim

Diding Sakrim

Antonella Mazzone

Lukas Schlogl 

Social Justice

KCL_Political Economy and Institutions_infographicThe Social Justice research group studies the societal impacts of rapid economic and technological change and of the intensified engagement in global networks and mobilities. We focus on the dynamics of social, economic, and political dis-advantage in these settings and possibilities for emergent new social forms and relations.  What are the structural drivers, discourses and social relations implicated in people’s unequal access to rights and opportunities, provisioning and contribution?  What are the new points of friction, and implications for resistance, revolt and change?


Susan Fairley Murray


Jelke Boesten

Rapahel Susewind

Ye Liu

Ben Hunter

Lisa Kingstone

Alice Evans

Ingrid Bleynat

Charlotte Goodburn

Antonella Mazzone

Jennifer Constantine

Political Economy and Institutions


The Political Economy, Institutions and Development group explores the political incentives, existing resources and institutional settings that enable –or constraint- the adoption of inclusive and effective policies and development outcomes. Some of our driving questions include: How do political institutions shape the policy making process and the quality of public policies? How do contemporary (post) developmental states transition from being low value, primary exporters to become competitive economies in high value added markets?  To what extent are developmental outcomes are contingent on geographical, country specific or global factors? How do domestic elites manage tax and public spending priorities to promote development? How and when do firms and business coalitions overcome or adapt to domestic political and economic challenges to increased investment? 


Andres Mejia Acosta


Robyn Klinger-Vidra

Luciano Ciravegna

Eduardo Gomez

Jan Knoerich

Peter Kingstone

Louise Tillin

Nahee Kang

Kahee Jo

Maria Sol Parrales Lopez

Raul Aldaz Pena

Lukas Schlogl 

Jennifer Constantine 

African Leadership Research Group

This research group interrogates the state in Africa in relation to the challenges of peacebuilding, as well as conflict and insecurity. The state – its nature and its role (or factual absence of it) – is at the core of the problems examined. It is not only the state but the nation-state. More than one decade of researching peacebuilding and statebuilding in Africa shows that the nature of the state in Africa is invariably at the core of the challenge of conflict relapse. Indeed, cumulatively, research over the years in the field of peace and security shows that there is a need to re-examine the evolution and role of the state in building and sustaining peace. 

Research includes the following areas: Future peace and the role of the state in Africa; Dominant theories and notions of statehood; Historical trajectory of African statehood across space and periods; Society-state dynamics and impact on peace and statehood; Nodality, old and new regionalisms, and African statehood; and African statehood and international political economy.


Professor Abiodun Alao


Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin 

Dr Eka Ikpe

Dr Olaf Bachmann

Dr Barney Walsh

Nayanka Pacquete Perdigao

Shuvai Busuman Nyoni 

Adeoti Dipeolu




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