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Dr David Hudson

Senior Lecturer in Political Economy

Dr David Hudson
  • Name: Dr David Hudson
  • Position: Senior Lecturer in Political Economy
  • Dr Hudson will be on research leave from UCL in 2014/15.
  • Room: 2.03, 31 Tavistock Sq.
  • Telephone: 020 3108 9302
  • Email:


Dr David Hudson is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy. 

In 2013 he is a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow

His principal research interests lie broadly in the political economy of development. More specifically he is interested in public engagement with global poverty, the international political economy of development finance, network analysis, and the politics of development.

David joined the Department of Political Science in June 2005. Prior to joining UCL he was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham (2004-05). The University of Birmingham was also where he completed his doctorate in political science (2000-04).  

Research Interests

International Development Committee

Aid under Pressure: Support for Development Assistance in a Global Economic Downturn

David Hudson gave oral evidence to the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee on 31 March 2009 as part of the Committee’s investigation into ‘Aid under Pressure: Support for Development Assistance in a Global Economic Downturn.’

The evidence builds on Dr Hudson and Dr van Heerde’s recent work on public opinion and development aid, which examines the assumption that public support for development assistance is fundamental to maintaining, and importantly, increasing current levels of aid. You can find more information about the written evidence and either listen to the oral evidence here or read the transcript here. This research follows on from a previous paper examining the motivations of individual-level support for development assistance forthcoming in Political Studies.

My current research focus revolves around three core areas:

  1. Public attitudes towards development
  2. International political economy of development
  3. Politics of development
Public attitudes towards development

I am interested in how the UK public feels about global poverty and international development. In particular what are the individual level drivers of support for official development assistance and development policy more generally? Is it a sense of charity, justice, self-interest? And what does support mean? Giving money, voting, volunteering, writing to your MP, educating? And finally, how do knowledge levels matter and the way in which governments and NGOs 'frame' global poverty matter?

I work with Jennifer Hudson on these issues and have published in Political Studies and the International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning. And we have given written and oral evidence on these issues to the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee (see the sidebar for more information)

I currently hold a British Academy fellowship to continue this work over the course of 2103. Jennifer and I are also working with Yannis Theocharis and Niheer Dasandi on a project tracking and analysing the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign in the lead up to the 2013 UK G8 summit

International political economy of development

In particular my work explores the ongoing debates about financing for development: looking at the possibilities, problems, and contradictions of different (public and private) sources of funding which are being harnessed to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals. This research forms the basis for a current book project: Global Finance and Development (Routledge).  In addition, elsewhere, I am critically examining alternative sources of finance to Official Development Assistance and Foreign Direct Investment; for example, migrant remittances, securitization, and microfinance.

I am currently exploring this and other areas through the lens of formal network analysis.  I am interested in using this tool to empirically analyse the changing geographies of international and transnational relations and how forms of, more or less, global governance are forming and operating across different spaces and groupings of actors. Along with Alex Braithwaite and Niheer Dasandi, I held an ESRC Small Grant called Mapping the Structure of International Inequalities and the Poverty-Conflict Nexus

Politics of development

Recently I have become increasingly interested in the politics of development. This is work I have been carrying out with Adrian Leftwich, the Research Director of the Developmental Leadership Programme (DLP). The research is based around developing a 'political analysis' tool for donor agencies, such as AusAid, DFID, and the World Bank to use when seeking to understand the politics of the country, sector, or issue they are engaged in. We emphasise the role of agency, structure (and their interaction), power, ideas, and contingency. The goal is for development agencies to be able to 'work politically' in supporting leaders, elites, and coalitions in forging locally legitimate and appropriate institutions that can promote sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive development. Our effort both builds on and departs from the increasing trend towards using so-called political economy analysis (PEA).

Main Publications

  • 'The Old and New Significance of Political Economy in Diplomacy', Review of International Studies, 30 (3), 2004: 343-60; co-authored with Donna Lee + Read more (External link)
  • Governing Financial Globalization: International Political Economy and Multi-Level Governance, London: Routledge/RIPE Series in Global Political Economy, 2005; co-edited and co-authored 'Introduction' and 'Conclusion' with Andrew Baker & Richard Woodward + Read more (External link)
  • 'Locating and Understanding the Marketplace in Financial Governance', in Andrew Baker, David Hudson & Richard Woodward (eds), Governing Financial Globalization: International Political Economy and Multi-Level Governance, London: Routledge/RIPE Series in Global Political Economy, 2005 + Read more (External link)
  • 'Foreign Exchange Market' & 'Irrational Exuberance', in Mark Bevir (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Governance, London: Sage, 2006 + Read more (External link)
  • 'Feminist Scholarship in International Relations and the Politics of Disciplinary Emotion', Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 37 (1) 2008: 123-151; co-authored with Raluca Soreanu + Read more (External link)
  • 'Developing Geographies of Financialisation: Banking the Poor and Remittance Securitisation', Contemporary Politics, 14 (3), 2008: 315-333 + Read more (External link)
  • 'Narratives of Neoliberalism: The Role of Everyday Media Practices and the Reproduction of Dominant Ideas', in Andreas Gofas & Colin Hay (eds), The Role of Ideas in Political Analysis: A Portrait of Contemporary Debates, London: Routledge, 2010; co-authored with Mary Martin + Read more (External link)
  • '"The Righteous Considereth the Cause of the Poor?": Public Attitudes Towards Poverty in Developing Countries', Political Studies, 58 (3), 2010: 389-409; co-authored with Jennifer van Heerde + Read more (External link)
  • 'Financing for development and the Post Keynesian case for a new global reserve currency', Journal of International Development, 22 (6), 2010: 772-787 + Read more (External link)
  • ''Mile Wide and an Inch Deep’: Surveys of Public Attitudes Towards Development Aid', International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, 4 (1), 2012: 5-23 + Read more (External link)

Current Research Students

I am currently supervising six doctoral students (either as first or second supervisor).  Please follow the links for more information on the individual projects:

  • Donna Arrondelle (commenced Oct 2010) - Donna is examining the role of the interest groups in the formation if UK development policy (funded by a UCL Impact Award).
  • Niheer Dasandi (commenced Oct 2008) - Niheer is researching into the role of global relations of inequality in sustaining dependency and undermining development; the project will empirically map and formally analyse the role of different political, social and economic ties.
  • Ivica Petrikova (commenced Oct 2010) - Ivica is researching into the effectiveness of different aid modalities in reducing food insecurity (funded by a UCL Graduate School Research Scholarship)
  • Barbara Sennholz-Weinhardt (commenced Oct 2008) - Barbara's project is an examination of how financial regulation is adopted, adapted and performed within hedge funds as actors constituted through socio-technical agencements.

Previous research students, who have been awarded their PhD are:

  • David Karp (2006-2010) - 'Human rights responsibility and transnational corporations: an international political theory analysis' (funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada)
  • Nicole Salisbury (2006-2010) - 'The HIV prevention puzzle: Inter-organizational cooperation and the structural drivers of infection'
  • Maurice Wong (2006-2010) - 'The governance of financial derivatives in China: Policy convergence and explanations for change'
  • Raluca Soreanu (2007-2011) - 'A theory of outlaw emotions: Post-heroic creativities and disciplinary change in International Relations' (funded by a UCL Graduate School Research Scholarship)
  • Cathy Elliott (2008-2012) - 'The blackmail of democracy: A genealogy of British/Pakistani democracy promotion' (ESRC funded)

Work in Progress

I am working on a number of different projects at the moment - all, albeit in different ways, related to those research interests detailed above.  I am trying to provide drafts of any 'work in progress' for circulation and comments through this website:  Please browse, download, and post comments as you see fit!

More information on David Hudson


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