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About the IGDC

Welcome to the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre (IGDC). The IGDC is a major interdisciplinary centre for research and partnership for global development based at the University of York. Led by the Departments of Politics and International Relations, Environment and Geography, and History, the IGDC works with partners across and beyond the University to develop innovative interdisciplinary people-focused solutions to address the urgent and structural challenges of global development.

Our Vision

At IGDC, we understand global development as the complex of practices, policies and possibilities that encompass worldwide socio-economic and environmental transformation. Our emphasis on global development stems from the growing interconnectedness across the world and the emergence of socio-economic, environmental and health problems that are shared across all societies. We recognise that understandings of positive transformation are contested, that different actors have competing interests and investments and that violence and expropriation have been perpetrated on occasion in the name of development.  

The IGDC is particularly interested in social and environmental transformation that redresses the (im)balance of power in favour of justice and equality for marginalised communities. We take seriously such redressal of power balances at the interfaces between global, national and local scales, seeking to understand and address structures of marginalisation. This requires communities of rich countries to change as much as those of middle and low-income countries. Development for us is a truly global project rather than one focused only on countries labelled as “developing”. 

Our approach recognises that global development is most effectively addressed by working across academic disciplines and through inclusive partnerships. Together we seek to define and attain alternative modes of development that are inclusive and sustainable. We want our research to improve the lives of future generations everywhere and transform development policy. We collaborate with our global partners and work with local communities to create a just and sustainable world.

Our Global Approach  

Conventional approaches to development have hinged on the narrative that developing countries will, and should, catch up with developed countries. Such a narrative was  underpinned by such binaries as “developed” vs “developing”, “Global North” vs “Global  South”, and “donors” vs “recipients”. This reflected the dominant model in which the  industrialised countries of the Global North provided money, expertise and worldviews which the developing countries of the Global South received, applied and emulated.  Structural changes in the global political economy as well as grassroots political contestation now challenge the desirability and viability of this narrative. The 2008 global financial crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, the emergence of “rising powers” and calls to decolonise and diversify ways of thinking have all contributed to challenging and reshaping the Eurocentric, anthropocentric world order that facilitated the emergence of such a narrative in the first place.  

In IGDC, we recognise that our rapidly changing world makes a global approach to development imperative. Technological advancements and mobility of people have made the world more connected than ever before and exposed major fault lines. Societies across the world are facing similar problems in public health, rising economic inequalities, digital exclusion, and growing erosion of political freedoms. Climate change and the biodiversity crisis are globally salient problems that do not recognise national boundaries. In light of these shared problems faced by societies across the world, a global approach to development is essential. Taking our mutual interdependence as a point of departure, the IGDC is committed to collectively exploring and achieving new ways to live together  sustainably. 

Our Purpose 

We undertake interdisciplinary research to promote global justice and development and facilitate collaboration among academics from the humanities and social and natural sciences, within the University of York and globally. 

Our Values

Our approach to research is  underpinned by our core values of inclusivity, responsibility, sustainability and integrity. 


For us, inclusivity means an openness to a diverse range of voices
and needs.

With this  comes the responsibility to try to eliminate barriers to representation and participation.

Our  commitment to sustainability means that we look at the impact of our own actions on the  environment and the livelihoods of others and of future generations. 
                                                           Finally, our core value  of integrity challenges us to be consistent in applying the same principles which we apply to  others, to ourselves, and to integrate these principles in each area of our work, from  research, to teaching and partnerships

Thank you for visiting the IGDC website. We invite you to get in touch with us directly through our newsletter or on twitter (York_IGDC). We look forward to hearing from you!


Contact us

Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre
01904 323716
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK