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Research is is wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary. It has in common a clear applied focus on policy-relevant problems relating to the process of economic development, conflict resolution and peace-building, as well as international relations and security studies. It also includes historians and some staff working on international development.  There is a long tradition of Peace research at Bradford and the University has a very strong international reputation in this area.

Staff members have a wide experience of work in developing countries (with examples of recent work in including: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, India, Mongolia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Zimbabwe) and this experience is brought to bear in their publications and research. 

Recent and ongoing research includes a focus on poverty and social justice, microfinance, sustainable livelihoods, capability approach and human development, governance and institutional change, human resource management, application of cost benefit approaches and industrial and trade policy.  Work on the water sector is internationally recognised as a key area of expertise.

Research within the Peace Studies and International Development is focused on one research centre:

Politics and International Studies

Research on the theme of Politics and International Relations is based around the core of leading researchers working on Peace Studies.

Peace Studies (PS) is one of the leading centres in the world for peace and conflict research and is widely recognised for its influential work with a wide range of policy, civil society and other user groups both in the UK and abroad. 

Mission Statement

‘We combine empirical, theoretical and applied research with sustained engagement at international, regional, national and local levels to analyse, prevent and resolve conflicts and develop peaceful societies. We aim for an enabling environment for international research excellence involving diverse and critical approaches.’

Research themes

Research is organised around three broad research themes:

  • History and International Studies
  • Agency and Activism
  • Development and Political Economy

 A distinctive feature of research activity in PS is that there is a shared focus on (a) issues of peace (both positive and negative) and conflict broadly defined as well as (b) the dissemination of research results to the wider user community via policy and practice-orientated outputs (see the SSIS REF impact policy).

This latter aspect of our work is particularly achieved through the work of three research centres: the International Centre for Participation Studies (ICPS), the Bradford Disarmament Research Centre (BDRC) - both submitted as impact case studies in the 2014 REF – and the John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS).

Community University‌‌

The ‘Community University' (Comm-Uni-ty) began formally in May 2013 and is funded for a year by the ESRC and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It builds on an AHRC funded Scoping Study - ‘Power in Community: A Research and Social Action Scoping Review’ (Pearce, 2012), the Comm-Uni-ty will deepen critical exploration of Power and Participation with community activists, including participants in that study. Those participants co-constructed the project proposal and the philosophy of co-construction with community participants underpins Comm-Uni-ty. The Community University draws on the key learning from the Scoping Study and involves academics and community activists in developing ideas for how alternative understandings of power might build more effective change processes. The broad goals of the project are set out below, but the team (from the International Centre for Participation Studies and the Programme for a Peaceful City) are also 'following the flow', in other words, for this to be a meaningfully open and participatory process, it will change in the course of the implementation as community participants bring their own goals and ideas.

The Community University aims to:

  • Offer structured opportunities for knowledge exchange between academic knowledge around participation and social change, and the knowledge and the experiences of residents in communities in the north of England (mostly Bradford, but participants from Sheffield and Hull have been involved at various moments) who are trying to make change (and who we call ’community activists’).
  • Develop new methodologies and pedagogies for this exchange of knowledge, aimed at enhancing the analytical skills, political understanding, and self-reflection of community activists, which in turn will contribute to more effective practice for change.
  • Test the wider potential of an approach which gives equal value to academic and community knowledge, and which involves participants in co-designing curricula as the foundation of a distinct approach to Community-University engagement. This proposal was itself developed through a participatory process.
  • Encourage access to academic knowledge amongst communities at a time when this is becoming more difficult.
  • Address the divide between people and representative politics, which is particularly problematic in areas of poverty and deprivation such as the north of England.
  • Build new approaches to poverty, power and participation in our northern cities in collaboration with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Foster change in the way state and statutory bodies engage with communities by demonstrating how, with appropriate support and co-design, grassroots community participants can themselves deliver change responsibly and productively.

The ongoing process of development calls for researchers of tomorrow. This is why we welcome and encourage applications to our doctoral research programmes. At any given time, there are about 15 research students within the Centre. They are work on a wide-range of issues and topics and the Centre is part of the Faculty-wide doctoral research programme. If you are interested in a research programme at the Centre, please contact the Faculty Research Admissions Team via email to

For additional information please visit the Research Degrees section.

Climate Change, Water and Health

In a research study written as an input to the award-winning Asia Pacific Human Development Report 2012, Dr PB Anand examined the potential impacts of climate change on water and in turn on human health. The study proposes five new indicators of water insecurity based entirely on existing data from WHO-UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme.

Climate Change and Water: Impacts to Human Health and Consumption (external link)

International Conference: 50 years of development in Tanzania

In May 2014, on the eve of the Golden Jubilee of the formation of the United Republic of Tanzania, staff at the Centre of International Development, along with staff from Mzumbe University organised a two day workshop on Tanzania's Development Experience and future perspectives for both Tanzania and sub-Saharan Africa. Organiser Dr David Potts said the aspiration is to publish a high quality edited volume and/or a special issue of journal from the conference papers.

Managerial Performance in Croatia

In a project for the Ministry of Finance, Government of Croatia, led by Prof F Analoui on public sector reform, data was collected through surveys and interviews during 2010. Over 230 senior managers throughout Croatia were involved in the surveys. The study is the first of its kind to interview senior government officers in Croatia and results were published in a journal.

Climate Change and Human Development in Mongolia

As mineral-resource rich Mongolia embarks on economic growth and human development, climate change and environmental impacts are becoming important concerns. Dr PB Anand led a 21-member international research team over a period of two years for UNDP using participatory methods, surveys and secondary data to identify key environmental challenges to sustainable human development. The resulting National Human Development Report was launched by the Prime Minister of Mongolia, MR Sukhbatarin Batbold on 23rd June 2011.

From Vulnerability to Sustainability: Environment and Sustainable Development (external site)

Symposium on Philanthropy

A symposium on new philanthropy and social justice was convened by Dr Behrooz Morvaridi in March 2013. The event featured high profile national and international speakers addressing the complex issue of new philanthropy from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and operational contexts. The cutting-edge debates from this symposium we're collated into an edited book.

Research on South East Asia

Dr Hossein Jalilian coordinated research through the Cambodia Development Research Centre, funded by IDRC, Canada and Rockefeller Foundation. A major international conference was organised. Three books have been published by Singapore-based INSEAS based on this work.

Social Safety Nets

Dr Behrooz Morvaridi and Prof John Weiss were contracted by the Turkish Government to conduct an international comparative study on social safety nets and targeting mechanisms in 57 COMCEC countries. The study uses case studies of Senegal, Sierra Leone, Turkey and Oman.

Research Areas

Academics at the Centre for International Development specialise in the following research areas: