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Prof Anthony Bebbington - research

Research interests

Tony's research is conducted with development studies and geography.  His specific interests are in: Rural development, pooverty and livelihoods; nongovernmental organizations, social movements and indigenous organizations; extractive industries, social justice and territorially based rural development; policy processes within development bureaucracies; political ecology; the World Bank.  His research focuses on Latin America, in particular the Andean countries, though he has also worked in Indonesia.

Tony's current Research Projects:

1.  Conflicts over the countryside: civil society and the political ecology of rural development in the Andes. This project, supported by an ESRC Professorial Research Fellowship (2007-2009), addresses the structure and dynamics of social conflicts around the relationships between natural resource extraction, agriculture and development strategies in the Andean region. 

2.  Social movements and poverty.  This ESRC-DfID funded research in Peru and South Africa, conducted jointly with Diana Mitlin, explores the overall significance of social movement and processes of social mobilization for poor people.  It considers the ways in which social movements frame poverty as a problem they seek to tackle, how they relate it to other problems (e.g. inequality, social justice) and how they elaborate strategies and relationships to pursue the socio-political changes they seek. 

3.  NGOs, research and the public sphere. The role of NGOs in fostering democratizing forms of development is a longstanding area of interest of mine. My current and recent work hinges around two related initiatives. The first, conducted jointly with Diana Mitlin and Sam Hickey, was brought together in the 2008 book Can NGOs Make a Difference: the Challenge of Development Alternatives.  The second, funded by the Ford Foundation and International Development Research Centre and involving a collective of Central American and Mexican research based NGOs, led to the 2007 book Investigacion y Cambio Social (Research and Social Change).

4.  Mobile livelihoods and the geographies of nongovernmental organizations in post-conflict Ayacucho, Perú. This research, supported by the British Academy, project will study the relationships between the spatial distribution of NGO interventions and livelihood strategies in post-conflict Ayacucho, a highland region at the centre of Peru's civil war.

5.  Statecraft in the South. This Economic and Social Research Council Seminar Series, coordinated jointly with Willy McCourt of SED, explores that conditions leading to long run success in public policy formation and implementation in the global South.  This led to the book Development Success: Statecraft in the South.