Politics and Development
Exploring Practices in Policy Implementation
Policy implementation is vital in understanding why there is a discrepancy between policy and practice in development. It is widely acknowledged that practices rarely match policies, but there is little in-depth understanding of why this is the case.
This research unit strives to understand how politics influences the practices where state and non-state actors interact, create alliances, negotiate and contest each other in the context of contemporary crises. It pays particular attention to the political processes influencing policy implementation.
New development crises and new actors present both challenges and opportunities to developing countries today. Rapidly increasing food prices, climate change, financial volatility, energy insecurity, the destabilisation of states, criminal networks, and the spread of infectious diseases are among some of the crises that, largely global in nature, prove difficult for individual states to tackle alone.
At the same time, new actors ranging from global private foundations, donors from non-OECD
countries, and multinational corporations to customary authorities, warlords, economic elites and diaspora associations have larger influence in many developing countries. Along with national and local state institutions, a variety of non-state actors are now involved in policy implementation processes and crucial in influencing development and change.
The practices of an increasingly complex set of new and old actors engaging each other in the implementation of policies have significant implications for development, the well-being and security of citizens, and mitigation of global crises. The official policy void at the international level, and within some countries such as so-called fragile states, strengthens the importance of understanding the concrete practices of significant actors beyond the state and the consequences of their practices for development and stability
Research contributing to this theme is undertaken by programmes and projects within four areas:
In addition to the research programmes and projects and the research publications these generate, the Research Unit undertakes policy studies, advisory work and consultancies. Researchers from the unit have been commissioned to carry out work for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Danida), SIDA, DFID, the World Bank, and Danish NGOs such as MS-Action Aid, Ibis, and DanChurchAid. Moreover, its researchers provide supervision to the associated PhD researchers, teach at Danish universities, and are active in various committees, networks and boards working with development and aid issues.
Lars Engberg-Pedersen () is Head of the Research Unit.