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About the Department of International Development


The King’s International Development Institute (IDI) was formally launched in autumn 2013 by the Vice-Principal for Arts and Sciences. We were invited to become a department in the summer of 2016, and became the Department of International Development. The DID has five research clusters and teaching programmes at all levels. Our students over the last 2 years have come from 50 countries and half of all our students have been international students. 


The department is an innovative and contemporary development studies institute. Our focus is on the middle-income developing countries or ‘emerging economies’, meaning the fast growing economies of the developing world where foreign aid is largely irrelevant. 

The approach taken is one of studying context and actual economic, social and political change in middle-income countries rather than prescriptive models of development. The department has regional expertise on Latin America and East/Southeast Asia. The mission is to explore the sources of success in emerging economies as well as understand the major development challenges they continue to face. 


Research in the department seeks to explore 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 growth. Under these broad areas the research of the Institute¹s staff focuses around the DID research clusters. These research clusters contribute to an understanding of the larger, unifying question of how economies/societies move from lower-value added, less durable and less inclusive modes of economic and political organization to higher value-added, durable, and broadly inclusive modes. Read more about our Research.


The department offers the following programmes: BA International Development, MSc Emerging Economies and International Development  MSc Emerging Economies and Inclusive Development, MSc Political Economy of Emerging Markets, MSc Latin American Development and PhD Development Studies with reference to Emerging Economies.

External engagement and impact

We have links with a range of external organizations including the UK Foreign Office and the UK Department for International Development, the British Academy, Wilton Park, the ESRC, the US Council on Foreign Relations, the European Association of Development Institutes, the UK Development Studies Association, the WHO, UN Women, the UNDP, the UN University, the World Bank, NORAD, AusAid, New Zealand Aid, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Rockefeller Foundation, and INGOs such as Save the Children and Oxfam. IDI staff hold associate positions at various universities and have links with  universities in the US, in Latin America, in East and Southeast Asia and elsewhere including the University of Pittsburgh, George Mason University, Harvard University, Cornell University, University of California, Berkeley, Notre Dame and North Carolina, the Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile, Universidad Catolica del Peru, Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Brazil, the Catholic University, Ecuador, the Catholic University, Chile, University Indonesia, Padjadjaran University, Indonesia, Korea University, Ewha Womans' University, Korea, the Chinese Agricultural University, Beijing and Jawaharlal Nehru University.


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