Top summer reading and resource recommendations

Published on 29 July 2019

For student’s looking to start their postgraduate degree in international development and for anyone with an interest in development studies, we have put together a selection of recently published titles that reflect a wide range of themes.


The Water–Food–Energy Nexus
Jeremy Allouche, Dipak Gyawali and Carl Middleton
The world of development thinkers and practitioners is abuzz with a new lexicon: the idea of “the nexus” between water, food, and energy which is intuitively compelling. It promises better integration of multiple sectoral elements, a better transition to greener economies, and sustainable development.

The Politics of Education in Developing Countries: From Schooling to Learning
Naomi Hossain and Sam Hickey
The problem of education quality is serious across the Global South. This book deploys a new conceptual framework-the domains of power approach-to show how the type of political settlement shapes the level of elite commitment and state capacity to improving learning outcomes.

Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South
Sohela Nazneen, Eleni Sifaki and Sam Hickey
This book uncovers the multiple political dynamics that influence governments to adopt and implement gender equity policies, pushing the debate beyond simply the role of women’s inclusion in influencing policy. Bringing the politics of development into discussion with feminist literature on women’s empowerment, the book proposes the new concept of ‘power domains’ as a way to capture how inter-elite bargaining, coalitional politics, and social movement activism combine to shape policies that promote gender equity.

IDS Bulletin

Exploring Research-Policy Partnerships in International Development
IDS Bulletin 50.1
Edited by James Georgalakis and Pauline Rose
This edited collection of peer-reviewed papers explores critical challenges faced by organisations and individuals involved in evidence-informed development through a diverse set of case studies and think-pieces.

Youth Employment and the Private Sector in Africa
IDS Bulletin 49.5
Edited by Seife Ayele, Marjoke Oosterom and Dominic Glover
This issue explores the scope of research and policy challenges in three specific areas: agribusiness and youth employment; skills gaps and youth employability; and youth employment in fragile and conflict-affected settings. The articles demonstrate the importance of effective policy measures to ensure that private sector growth creates sufficient numbers of decent, secure jobs to provide employment to African youth.

The Millennium Villages: Lessons on Evaluating Integrated Rural Development
IDS Bulletin 49.4
Edited by Chris Barnett
This issue explores recent evidence on integrated approaches in rural development. One of the observations in writing this IDS Bulletin, is how much the evidence base has improved, and there is now a greater understanding of where knowledge gaps exist.

Emerging Economies and the Changing Dynamics of Development Cooperation
IDS Bulletin 49.3
Edited by Jing Gu and Naohiro Kitano
This issue is a collaboration between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Research Institute and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). The studies are dedicated to highlighting the actual and potential contribution of a wider range of donors, and are intended to help compensate for imbalances in existing literature, contribute to scholarly understanding, and offer informative insights for practical policy deliberation. More fundamentally, this issue questions the explicit and implicit underlying assumptions in examining the issue of development cooperation: namely, the dichotomy of ‘traditional’ and ‘emerging’ donors.

IDS Reports

No Time to Waste: Tackling the Plastic Pollution Crisis Before it’s Too Late
Patrick Schröder, et al
The report outlines the problem – namely the huge recent increase in the production and distribution of single-use plastics, and its expansion across the globe to countries lacking the capacity to collect, manage and recycle waste. And it spells out the solutions.

IDS Briefings

How Social Protection Programmes Can Improve Early Childhood Development
IDS Policy Briefing 167
Keetie Roelen
For 250 million children under the age of five in low- and middle-income countries, extreme poverty and stunting undermines their developmental potential. This puts children at risk of a lifetime of hardship, and remaining trapped in poverty.

Beyond the Religious/Secular Binary Trap: Keeping the Focus on Gender Equality
IDS Policy Briefing 165
Mariz Tadros and Ayesha Khan
In a global context of deep ideological, political, social and economic polarisations, it is unsurprising that fault lines exist in Western aid circles on how to engage with the role of religion in relation to gender equality.


As IDS develops its new five-year strategy (2020-2025), we’re asking what people think are the critical global development trends and challenges, and how they think researchers, policymakers, businesses and society need to respond. This includes new students studying international development for the forthcoming year.

Share your thoughts, ideas, research, experiences, and campaigns on Twitter with the hashtag #GlobalDevTrends and @IDS_UK

Other resources

Key contacts

Image of Gary Edwards

Gary Edwards

Senior Marketing and Data Protection Officer


+ 44 (0)1273 915637