The School has significant research strengths in the politics of development and social change, broadly understood. ‘Development’ has always been a contested concept, and yet has been central to world political change. This rich research field engages with important issues and concerns in development – theoretical and empirical - in relation to both global and local frameworks and contexts.

Our research in this field contributes to new efforts at thinking about the politics of development as a historically constituted global project. Researchers adopt approaches that combine analyses of macro-political frameworks and micro-political experiences and struggles to understand and explain global social change, and identify possibilities for positive transformations. Specifically, this work involves theoretical, methodological, and empirical reorientations as part of a new shift towards relational analysis.

Researchers in this field are recognized internationally, regionally and nationally, and also across disciplines and sub-disciplines, such as peace and conflict studies, feminist and gender politics, global political economy, critical security studies and postcolonial and de-colonial approaches.

  • Critical development theory
  • Critical historical approaches to understanding development: global and local
  • Postcolonial and de-colonial politics and political theory
  • Transnational indigenous politics
  • Feminist and gender politics
  • Politics of environmental change
  • Human rights and international law
  • Transnational social movements
  • Critical security and the security-development nexus
  • Global development and poverty focused strategies


Forbidden No More by Christian Reus-Smit


  • Associate Professor Nicole George

    Director Research
    Associate Professor
    School of Political Science and International Studies
  • Dr Heloise Weber

    Coordinator Bachelor International Studies
    Senior Lecturer
    School of Political Science and International Studies