Power and Popular Politics

Using a power lens on all our work, we examine popular forms of contestation in particular of non-elites.

We seek to pioneer new ways of working with community, activist, academic and professional co-researchers from both the global North and South, using qualitative, ethnographic and action research.

The Power and Popular Politics Cluster focuses on:

  • Critically engaging with voice, accountability and citizenship in conventional and newer spaces, including the interface between the online/offline
  • Exploring through a post-civil society lens organised and non-organised, violent and peaceful social and political action and unruliness
  • Redressing intersecting inequalities with groups rendered invisible by systems of governmentality
  • Investigating the mechanisms of social change arising from global crises and local responses seen through a moral economy lens.

Key contacts

Photo of IDS researcher, Mariz Tadros

T: +44 (0)1273 915829

E: m.tadros@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Patta Scott-Villiers

T: +44 (0)1273 915616

E: p.scott-villiers@ids.ac.uk

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Team Members

Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915746

E: a.shankland@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Alison Ashlin

E: a.ashlin@ids.ac.uk

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Aly Khalil photo

E: a.khalil@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Carlos Fortin

T: +44 (0)1273 915608

E: c.fortin@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Cathérine Müller, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research team

E: c.mueller@ids.ac.uk

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IDS staff or research student

E: C.Anderson2@ids.ac.uk

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IDS PhD research student Dina Zayed

E: d.zayed@ids.ac.uk

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IDS PhD research student Egidio Chaimite

E: e.chaimite@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Emilie Wilson

T: +44 (0)1273 915779

E: e.wilson@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Fiona Wilson

E: f.wilson@emeritus.ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Giulia Mascagni

T: +44 (0)1273 915765

E: g.mascagni@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Hani Morsi

E: h.morsi@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Hayley MacGregor

T: +44 (0)1273 915676

E: h.macgregor@ids.ac.uk

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John Gaventa 2017

E: j.gaventa@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Karen Brock

T: +44 (0)1273 915687

E: k.brock@ids.ac.uk

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IDS staff or research student

E: k.taela@ids.ac.uk

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IDS staff or research student

T: +44 (0)1273 915617

E: k.miller@ids.ac.uk

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Katy Oswald photo

T: +44 (0)1273 915875

E: k.oswald@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of IDS researcher, Mariz Tadros

T: +44 (0)1273 915829

E: m.tadros@ids.ac.uk

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Marjoke Oosterom

E: m.oosterom@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Nadine Beard

T: +44 (0)1273 915744

E: n.beard@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Naomi Hossain, IDS Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915687

E: n.hossain@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Patta Scott-Villiers

T: +44 (0)1273 915616

E: p.scott-villiers@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Rosalind Eyben

E: r.j.eyben@sussex.ac.uk

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Photo of Rosemary McGee

T: +44 (0)1273 915738

E: r.mcgee@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Shilpa Deshpande, IDS

E: s.deshpande@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Terry Cannon, IDS research fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915812

E: t.cannon@ids.ac.uk

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Thomas Cooper-Patriota photo

E: t.cooper-patriota@ids.ac.uk

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Accountability for Health Equity Programme

Since the publication of the 2004 World Development Report a range of different attempts have been made to make the design, prioritisation and delivery of health services more accountable to different stakeholders. However, complex politics and power dynamics can limit or skew people's abilities to access services or hold them to account, particularly for poor and marginalized people. More details

Coptic Culture Conservation Collective

The Coptic Culture Conservation Collective initiative will create a narrative and visual archive of contemporary Coptic intangible cultural heritage. More details

Poverty, Politics, and Participatory Methodologies in SDC

This Collaboration with the Quality Assurance (QA) Programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is now in its second phase, running until December 2018. The aim of the program is to improve the quality and effectiveness of SDC processes and operations focused on poverty. More details

Unequal Voices: The Politics of Accountability for Equity in Health Systems

The Unequal Voices project - Vozes Desiguais in Portuguese - examines the politics of accountability in health systems in Brazil and Mozambique, exploring how accountability can be used to deliver better health services for citizens everywhere. More details

Innovative Ways in Supporting Decentralised and Democratic Local Governance

The aim of this cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation is to strengthen their Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance Network's understanding, learning, and policy engagement in decentralised and democratic local governance. More details


IDS is the external monitoring, evaluation and learning partner for Diálogo, a programme which aims to contribute to improved governance and accountability for Mozambican citizens. More details

Citizen Engagement Programme (CEP)

An empowerment and accountability programme aimed at improving the quality of health and education services in Mozambique. More details

Making All Voices Count

Making All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development (MAVC) is a four-year $45 million fund to support innovation, scaling-up, and research that will deepen existing innovations and help harness new technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness. More details

Youth in Fragile Settings

This project aims to build an evidence base that maps the role young people – particularly young women – have played in contributing to processes that sought to or did address fragility as well as examine gaps and challenges with the ultimate aim of increasing the voice and participation of young people around the world. More details

Brazil and International Development Cooperation

Brazil is a founding member of the BRICS group, Latin America's largest economy and the world's sixth-largest economy. The Rising Powers in International Development (RPID) programme is looking at Brazil's growing role in the field of international development cooperation. More details

Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility

Researching the impacts of, and responses to, volatile food prices in poor communities in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Vietnam and Zambia. More details

Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency

The Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency (PVCA) project is an action research project designed by researchers at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and carried out with a number of institutional partners. More details

Food Riots and Food Rights

The objective of this research is to improve the prospects for accountability for food security at a time of volatility. This will be achieved through an exploration of the proposition that recent popular mobilisation around food has activated public accountability for hunger. More details

Participatory Approaches to Quality Assurance

This collaboration between IDS and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) aims to bring appropriate participatory methods into quality assurance within SDC. It will also bring new levels of rigour to the principles of participation, poverty orientation and empowerment in the work of SDC and its partners. More details

Accountability at Local Level in Fragile Contexts

This collaborative project between IDS and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (HSI) was designed to contribute to learning on accountability initiatives in fragile contexts by exploring the dynamics and enabling factors within three ongoing accountability projects. More details

Capacity Collective

Exploring and addressing the challenges facing capacity development to bring about change in a purposeful way More details

The Social Impacts of Crisis

How have people and communities experienced recent global economic shocks? In early 2009, the Social Impacts of Crisis project started work in 12 community 'listening posts' in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Yemen and Zambia to answer this question. More details

Reflective Practice and Organisational Learning and Change

Deepening individual and collective self-awareness of how our knowledge and values shape our relationships with others More details

Capacity Building for the establishment of an MA in Gender and Development at Cairo University, Egypt

To support Cairo University in establishing and offering a full one-year accredited Professional Diploma or MA in Gender Studies. More details

Champions of Participation

Promoting greater citizen participation in local governance through international dialogue and exchange. More details

< previous 1 2 next >
first < previous 1 2 3 4 5 next > last

Citizen Accountability in a time of Facebook

14 Nov 2017
By John Gaventa

Towards accountability for health equity

18 Jul 2017
By Denise Namburete, Vera Coelho, Alex Shankland, Gerry Bloom

Cyclone Mora: an untold good news story

07 Jun 2017
By Naomi Hossain
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