Effective States and Inclusive Development

Research by programme

Programme 1: Defining and measuring political settlements

Almost everyone agrees that ‘politics matters’ for development, but there is little consensus about what this actually means. At ESID we aim to understand the specific ways in which state capacity and elite commitment arise from power relations and ultimately contribute to policies that lead to inclusive development. 

  • Projects

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Programme 2: Growth and natural resources

At ESID we are investigating the politics of growth dynamics, testing the impact of factors such as political settlements, state capacity and elite commitment on its acceleration or deceleration. Our researchers are also exploring natural resource governance, revisiting the notion of the ‘resource curse’ through the lens of political settlements. 

Programme 3: Social provision

The delivery of social services is both politically driven and has political impacts. On the one hand, effective forms of service delivery can increase state capacity and legitimacy. On the other hand, weak bureaucratic capacity and lack of elite commitment can undermine governments’ ability to deliver high quality social provisioning. Our projects are investigating the politics behind the success and failure of social provisioning programmes around the world.

Programme 4: Politics of identity and equity

Growth and human development alone are not sufficient to promote the emergence of inclusive development; it also requires political inclusion, particularly the recognition of people and groups excluded from or exploited by the dominant political and economic structures. Our projects focus on the politics of recognition of those individuals and communities who are often left out because of their gender, identity, disability or the region that they call home.

Programme 5: Transnational politics

The politics of inclusive development in the 21st century cannot be purely local: it is continuously affected by – and affecting – transnational economic and political processes. Aid, investment, activism and the flow of new ideas all have the potential to shape political settlements, whether towards greater inclusion or exclusion. ESID researchers are exploring some of these transnational dynamics.