IGP Events

The IGP's Director’s Seminars Series

Thursday 23 January, 2020 |


UCL Campus

The IGP's Director's Seminars are an opportunity for audiences to get an in-depth theoretical perspective on sustainable and inclusive prosperity. These Seminars are given by academics who are pushing for new ways of thinking and new ways of researching society's grand challenges.

Understanding the essence of institutions and consequences of institutional change is essential for building more inclusive, equitable and prosperous societies. This Director’s Seminar series explores the topic of institutions and transformation in relation to global prosperity. Whether we understand institutions to be taken-for-granted norms and values that shape social action, or political and economic regimes that regulate global trade and market activity, institutions are widely believed to be monolithic and slow to change. Yet institutions do transform, often slowly, but sometimes rapidly with unexpected consequences; examples include climate change, economic inequality, privatization of public and social services, technological disruption and innovation, ubiquitous digitalization, as well as war and mass displacement. Speakers in this series will explore the question of prosperity from their perspective on institutions, transformation and prosperity.


Associate Professor Kate Meagher

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Inclusion on the Edge: Digital Labour and the Social Contract in Nigeria

Kate Meagher has expertise in the informal economy and non-state governance in Africa. She has carried out extensive empirical and theoretical research on cross-border trading systems and regional integration, the urban informal sector, rural non-farm activities, small-enterprise clusters, and informal enterprise associations, and has engaged in fieldwork in Nigeria, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her research focuses on the changing character of the informal economy in contemporary Africa, and the implications of economic informalization for development, democratization and globalization.


Dr Katja Lindskov Jacobsen

University of Copenhagen

Shadowy Conjunctions. Biometrics in counter-terror and beneficiary registration: the case of Somalia

Katja's research focuses on security and intervention. She has explored various UN humanitarian technology interventions, practices of maritime capacity building, and the institutional capacity building of regional security actors. This broad range of contemporary security practices, raises the question of how such interventions influence the global distribution of security/insecurity. Geographically, a large part of Katja's research has focused on Africa – on maritime security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea, on various UN interventions in Africa, and on regional security organisations in East Africa. Katja holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from Lancaster University (UK), and an MSc in Global Politics from London School of Economics and Political Science.

Professor Peter Knorringa
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Frugality, frugal innovation and 'a good life for all within planetary boundaries'

Peter Knorringa holds the chair in Private Sector & Development and focuses on the diverse roles and impacts of business on development. Peter does not perceive private firms as either the ‘enemy’ or the ‘heroic deliverer’ of development. Instead, he aims to advance a more empirical and nuanced debate on where and when entrepreneurs and firms are more likely to contribute to a better balance among economic dynamism, sustainability and social responsibility. Peter’s work investigates to what extent socially responsible and environmentally sustainable forms of development are possible under capitalism, and where and when these might build upon pragmatism and morality in the private sector itself.


Professor Marianna Fotaki

University of Warwick

Marianna holds degrees in medicine, health economics, and a PhD in public policy from London School of Economics and Political Science. Before joining academia in 2003 she has worked as a medical doctor in Greece, China, and the UK, as a volunteer and manager for humanitarian organizations Médecins du Monde and Médecins sans Frontiers in Iraq and Albania, and as the EU senior resident adviser to governments in transition (in Russia, Georgia and Armenia). Marianna is at present a Senior Editor for Organization Studies, and co-directs pro bono an online think tank Centre for Health and the Public Interest a charity that aims to disseminate research informing the public and policy makers (http://chpi.org.uk).

Professor Mark Zeitoun
University of East Anglia

Water and War: We'll have to fight some fierce battles, to restore water's inner grace

Dr Mark Zeitoun is co-founder of the Water Security Research Centre, and Professor of Water Security and Policy at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. His research follows three streams: a) development of theory and case-based research on international transboundary water management; b) examination of the influence of armed conflict on water and other essential urban services, and c) water security and management in development, post-conflict, and conflict contexts. This stems from his work as a humanitarian-aid water engineer, and advisor on water security policy and transboundary water negotiations throughout the Middle East and Africa. He has a B.Eng in civil engineering and an MSc in environmental engineering from McGill University, and a PhD in human geography from King’s College London.

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