The debate on the role of business, markets and states in development has a long history, marked by divergent and often strongly held perspectives, but also relatively rapid shifts in understanding about what is feasible and desirable. Only two decades ago debates were framed in terms of the state versus the market. Today, questions relates more to the appropriate roles of each. There is general recognition that business, including through its interactions with the state, has a major impact on human development and the natural environment, contributing both to failures and to new market-focused solutions, initiatives and partnerships.
Our research generates new evidence and addresses pressing knowledge gaps in this field. We employ diverse theoretical perspectives which include political economy, value chain analysis and market systems approaches, for example, alongside a fine-grained understanding of the ways in which states and businesses engage and influence one another. Our work focuses on six thematic areas that are crucial for economic systems to deliver inclusive development. These are: Work, Enterprise Development, Trade, Finance, Alternative Economies and Food & Nutrition.
To understand our unique mix of expertise and how we work with others toward inclusive economies and sustainable development, see our Business, Markets and the State Position Paper Series.
Our Business, Markets and the State cluster also manages the IDS Business and Development Centre.