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The State, Governance and Conflict


The State, Governance and Conflict research cluster at the School of International Development (DEV) investigates the characteristics, origins and effects of different types of power relations in the global South. Using evidence-based approaches, our research asks how both domestic and international factors shape political regimes, forms of governance and developmental outcomes.

Defining politics as a field of practices and relations involving a wide range of competing actors and institutions, our work analyses the “politics of development” in several key domains:

Civil Wars and Political Violence – analysis of media representations of violent conflicts, water supply and treatment during and immediately following armed conflict, and the relevance of institutional design for the prospects of ethnopolitical (in)stability (Scott, Stavinoha, Theuerkauf and Zeitoun).

Media and Development – how media representations may influence political development goals by reproducing or challenging dominant discourses about development and inequality (Scott and Stavinoha).

Political Economy – analysis of how both everyday social relations and broader political processes reflect and shape distributions of power and resources (Pattenden and Chhotray).

Social and Political Institutions – how (and to what degree) different social groups access or are denied political representation through formal as well as informal institutions and policy-making processes (Chhotray, Pattenden, Stavinoha and Theuerkauf).

Social Policy – analysis of the uneven outcomes of social policy and processes of governance in the global South (Pattenden and Chhotray).

State-Society Relations – analysis of the power relations at play amongst the populations of villages, towns and cities in the global South, and of their interactions with state and civil society actors (Chhotray, Pattenden, Scott and Stavinoha). 

Research Projects A-Z

Armed Conflict and Urban Essential Service (Mark Zeitoun)


Certifications of Citizenship: The History, Politics and Materiality of Identity Documents in South Asia (Vasudha Chhotray)


Class Dynamics of Development and Change (in Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa) (Jonathan Pattenden)


Dams and Displacement (Mark Zeitoun)


Framing HIV/AIDS: Media and the Global Campaign for Access to Medicines (Ludek Stavinoha)


Humanitarian News: Content and Production (Martin Scott)


Institutional Combinations and the Risk of Ethnic Civil War (Ulrike Theuerkauf)


Labour, State and Society in Rural India (Jonathan Pattenden)


Legal Analysis of the Upper Jordan River Basin (Mark Zeitoun)


Media, Civil Society and Legitimacy in Global Trade Politics (Ludek Stavinoha)


Newly Created States and the Promotion of Inclusive Development: A Comparison of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh (Vasudha Chhotray)


Political Consequences of Wartime Sexual Violence (Ulrike Theuerkauf)


Poverty Reduction Programmes and the State in India (Jonathan Pattenden)


Representations of Africa (Martin Scott)


Vasudha Chhotray - Senior Lecturer

Research Interests: Political analysis of development; political settlements and inclusive development; political economy analysis of environmental change; donor politics; governance, decentralisation and participation; environmental and social justice; disasters, vulnerability and adaptation; citizenship politics and identity documents; fishers’ rights and marine protected areas; India. 


Jonathan Pattenden - Lecturer

Research Interests: Governance and civil society; migrant labour; agrarian change; decentralisation; social movements; microfinance; state anti-poverty programmes (social protection); critiques of neo-liberal approaches to poverty reduction; India.


   Martin Scott - Lecturer

Research Interests: Content and production of humanitarian news; communication about media and development; mediation of distant others; entertainment and citizenship; representations of Africa.


   Ludek Stavinoha - Lecturer from September 2015

   Ulrike Theuerkauf - Lecturer

Research Interests: Civil wars and political violence; social, political and economic effects of formal and informal political institutions; forms of government; electoral systems; state structures; corruption; democracy and democratization.


   Mark Zeitoun - Reader

Research Interests: Transboundary water conflict and cooperation, at international, sub-national and trans-national levels; water policy and social justice issues; urban water supply and treatment during and immediately following armed conflict; Middle East and Africa.