Background Paper 6 - An Overview of the Research in Progress: The Developmental Leadership Program

The key contention of the Developmental Leadership Program is that developmental leaderships and coalitions are critical in shaping the kind and quality of institutions and state-building processes, and hence are central to achieving the goals of economic growth, political stability, security and inclusive social development.  

The international community has, however, tended to focus largely on institutional and structural solutions to most developmental challenges. While there is no doubt that institutions and structural arrangements matter greatly for all aspects of development, it is also true that institutions are ‘empty boxes’ without the human agents who establish, maintain and implement them. What matters, therefore, for positive economic, political and social outcomes is the presence of developmental leadership.

Accordingly, the over-arching questions which drive the work of the DLP are these:

  • What factors facilitate or frustrate the emergence of developmental leaderships and coalitions, rather then predatory, collusive or rent-seeking ones?
  • What factors shape the relative success or failure of developmental leaderships and coalitions in achieving their aims?
  • What, if any, are the common empirical characteristics of developmental leaderships?
  • What policy and operational implications flow from the findings?
  • What, if anything, can or should external agents do to facilitate the emergence of developmental leadership and coalitions?

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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New findings on education and developmental leadership in the Philippines

Thursday 15th September 2016

New research from DLP and the University of Glasgow explores the role of higher education in the emergence of leaders who promote development in the Philippines. See the policy brief, podcast and paper.

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Political settlements in Africa

Thursday 7th July 2016

Political settlements in Africa, the politics of inclusion and the role of international actors were the focus of the most recent BISA Africa Working Group workshop, convened by DLP Research Fellow Suda Perera at the University of Birmingham.

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