Research Areas

Research at the IEE is concentrating on three core areas reflected in Research Clusters which have been formed as platforms for continuing exchange on research ideas among IEE members with similar fields of interest:

Cluster 1 Globalization, Regional Integration and Governance
Cluster 2 The Effectiveness of Interventions and Policies for Development: social, political and legal science perspectives
Cluster 3 Resource Use and Management

The Clusters aim at fostering exchanges between IEE members with a view to improve intra-departmental communication and cooperation as well as to promote research output in terms of, most importantly, workshops, publications and attendance of conferences.

Research Characteristics: Interdisciplinarity – Internationality – Practical Relevance

Bringing together researchers from the fields of economics, political science, sociology, geography, and law, one of the main characteristics of the IEE is its interdisciplinary angle to research which has created a vibrant culture of debate and intellectual exchange. Exposure to different perspectives and disciplines is increasing the practical relevance of research on questions related to international development cooperation.

The research activities of the IEE are broadly oriented towards the entire developing world. International outreach is supported through the PhD in International Development Studies which brings together young researchers from all over the world.

Specific regional expertise and international cooperation links have been established through major cooperation projects:

  • South African – German Centre for Development Research: Apart from the cooperation with the University of the Western Cape in South Africa diverse links into the Sub-Saharan Africa region have been established.
  • EUSA_ID - Capacity Building in Higher Education for an improved cooperation between the EU and South Africa in the field of Development Studies: via the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project formal cooperation links to further South African universities as well as to European universities have been established.
  • Urban Food Plus: Via the research project which is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research the IEE gains specific expertise in Ghana and Burkina Faso.
  • MERCUR-Project: The interdisciplinary project on "Political Authority in Transnational Governance Arrangements" analyses the interaction of public and private regulation of labour, social and environmental standards in the textile and apparel industry in Bangladesh and Cambodia. It is the first research cooperation between the IEE and the Institute of Development and Peace (INEF) at the University Duisburg-Essen under the roof of the UA Ruhr Graduate Center for Development Studies.

Finally, research at the IEE is driven by its emphasis on practical relevance and networking. Theory guided research is regularly complemented by empirical work conducted in periods of fieldwork. Networking activities with partners in academia and development practice ensure that exchange and mutual learning continue and deepen over time.