Civil Society, Development and Democracy (CDD)

The Civil Society, Development and Democracy (CDD) pathway seeks to comprehend the ways in which our systems and institutions of governance – in both the richer and poorer parts of the world – are evolving in a period marked by pronounced forms of contestation and crisis. Within that, we seek to locate and better understand the nature of contemporary civil society: i.e. how individuals, families, communities and societies as a whole shape and are shaped by broad processes of power and global political change.

This compels us to ask questions about the nature and resilience of democracy, the extent to which particular forms of governance are legitimate, and how citizenship is exercised in different places in the modern world. In turn, these issues are fundamentally mediated by pronounced forms of inequality, both within and between societies; patterns of uneven development, as countries and regions experience contrasting patterns of growth and decay; and the kinds of policies and agendas that shape development policy at the national and global levels.

In sum, this pathway offers excellent training for PhD students across the social science disciplines whose work relates, in some way or another, to how groups and communities navigate different structures of power through their systems of governance, and processes of development, in any part of the world.