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Research on global development progress during the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) period has been tracking the shift in global wealth occurring with the rise of new giants, such as China and India, and its consequences for the rise of the rest of the developing world. On balance, the shift has been positive, because of its contribution to reducing extreme poverty as cross-national income inequality has reduced. But what’s next for the process of global development post-2015, especially when within-country wealth and income are becoming more unequal? And what are the implications for the process of convergence in living standards and for designing effective policies? A few specific reflections are worth considering. Continue Reading →
7 August 2018
Watch our ESID researcher in Rwanda, Dr Benjamin Chemouni, on his new research into pockets of effectiveness
24th July 2018
The ‘relational turn’ has become increasingly influential within efforts to theorise social justice and the types of progressive public action required to challenge injustice. This has included moves to re-understand justice, the state, egalitarianism, and poverty, and to promote alternative approaches within public policy debates in both the global north and south. Part of a broader shift within the social sciences, relational approaches have the potential to be highly significant, moving beyond resourcist or institutionalist accounts to investigate the social relations that may underpin particular resource distributions or institutional configurations, and which amount to forms of social injustice in themselves. Influential contributions of this type have been made concerning, for instance, social justice and egalitarianism (Young 1990; Fraser 1995, 2009; Anderson 1999; Schemmel 2012; Wolff 2015), the state (Jessop 2007; Cottam 2011; Cooke and Muir 2012), and poverty and underdevelopment (Hickey and du Toit 2007; Mosse 2010; Elwood, Lawson, and Sheppard 2017). This and other work suggests the possibility of an exciting shared agenda bridging a number of related fields. Continue Reading →
Read the working paper on this research here.
17th July 2018
Ghana’s status as a new oil producer raises questions about the developmental effects of resources, and the role of political institutions in these processes. The conundrum this paper addresses is the rather limited impact of oil exploitation in Ghana, despite the country’s strong democratic record and internationally acclaimed oil governance legislation. The reasons for this lie in the nature of elite-based political coalitions, and we root our analysis of Ghana’s hydrocarbons in the political settlements literature, which moves us beyond the ‘good governance’ approaches so often linked to ‘resource curse’ thinking. We also move beyond the instrumentalism of political settlements theory to examine the role political ideas play in shaping resource governance. We argue that inter-coalitional rivalry has generally undermined the benefits of Ghana’s oil, but that a crude interests-based interpretation is insufficient to explain differences between these coalitions.
Workers at Kigogole oil field, drilling site of Tullow Oil.
Read more research on the politics of oil in Ghana and Ugandan here.