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Governance, Power and Participation

Our research on governance, power relations, participation and citizen engagement, informs change processes in pursuit of social justice and social change. With power and politics central to our analysis, we support the generation of new evidence that contributes to improved processes for good governance, citizen engagement, empowerment and accountability.

We pioneer new ways of working with governments, communities, activists and academics, to understand the complex relationships and processes that exist across states, markets, and citizens, and between formal and informal institutions, to tackle issues such as digital inequalities, women’s participation and empowerment, decentralisation and local governance, rapid urbanisation, migration, taxation and domestic resource mobilisation, food security and hunger and nutrition. These draw on our extensive expertise in complex approaches to how change happens.  Through our research and policy partnerships we are also bringing new insights on the role that rising powers and emerging economies such as China and Brazil have in relation to global governance and tackling development challenges such as sustainability and poverty.  Our world-renown participatory research has a particular emphasis on systematic social exclusion facing women, people living in extreme poverty, people with disabilities, slaves bonded labourers, indigenous peoples and others. We advance cutting edge methodological development in action research, participatory visual methods, participatory mapping, participatory statistics, participatory Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) amongst others.

People

Image of Alex Shankland
Alex Shankland

Research Fellow

Image of Aly Khalil
Aly Khalil

PhD Research Student

Image of Anuradha Joshi
Anuradha Joshi

Cluster Leader

Image of Becky Carter
Becky Carter

Research Officer

Image of Brigitte Rohwerder
Brigitte Rohwerder

Research Officer

Image of Colin Anderson
Colin Anderson

Research Officer

Image of Danny Burns
Danny Burns

Research Fellow

Image of Deepta Chopra
Deepta Chopra

Research Fellow

Programmes and centres

Projects

Project

Displacement, Placemaking and Wellbeing in the City

The Displacement, Placemaking and Wellbeing in the City project will contribute to our growing understanding of the structures, dynamics and processes through which people who are enduringly displaced succeed or fail to become part of European and Indian cities.

Recent work

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Showing 1–12 of 2254 results

Opinion

Reviving democracy: from crisis to innovation

Across the world, there is a new problem that we have in common: the crisis of democracy. But while this presents serious challenges, defining it as a global problem also opens up new pathways of learning from each other– not only about the nature of this crisis but also the solutions to...

Selen Ercan

18 July 2019

Journal Article

The New Politics of Global Tax Governance: Taking Stock a Decade After the Financial Crisis

Review of International Political Economy

The financial crisis of 2007–2009 is now broadly recognised as a once-in-a-generation inflection point in the history of global economic governance. It has also prompted a reconsideration of established paradigms in international political economy (IPE) scholarship. Developments in global tax...

Rasmus Corlin Christensen

17 July 2019

Impact Story

Building capacity to ensure smart, sustainable and inclusive cities

‘Smart cities’ use new technologies to meet their most pressing urban challenges and become more sustainable. IDS researchers have been investigating how inclusive these solutions really are, with a focus on a large-scale smart cities initiative in India. The Indian government’s Smart...

9 July 2019

Journal Article

Linking Social Rights to Active Citizenship for the Most Vulnerable: the Role of Rights and Accountability in the ‘Making’ and ‘Shaping’ of Social Protection

The European Journal of Development Research

Social protection has the potential to provide a key interface between states and citizens. We consider how the institutional framing and design of social protection can be adapted from top-down forms of provision to forms that stimulate vulnerable citizens to make rights-based claims and...

8 July 2019

Impact Story

Understanding and strengthening women’s roles in politics and work

For more than 40 years, IDS has been forging its well-earned reputation for progressive gender research, knowledge sharing and teaching. That work continues apace today with IDS programmes and researchers continuing to deepen understanding of how to strengthen women’s political and economic...

4 July 2019

Impact Story

Award for IDS-led action research for peace-building in Myanmar

Amid international responses to conflict, disease or disaster, there is a growing call to pay more heed to local perspectives. Whether this means considering local customs including burial practices during an epidemic such as Ebola or the wellbeing of refugees, the underlying concept is that...

21 June 2019

Opinion

Are Smart Cities like mangoes?

‘Show me the evidence!’ is the hackneyed phrase on the lips of each and every policymaker and urban local authority tasked with making their city ‘smart’. Smart City initiatives have begun playing a prominent role in the international development agenda. There are a variety of local...

Kunal Kumar

19 June 2019