Professor David Hudson

Professor David Hudson

International Development Department
Professor of Politics and Development
Director, Developmental Leadership Program (DLP)
Co-Director, Development Engagement Lab (DEL)

Contact details

Address
International Development Department
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

David Hudson is Professor of Politics and Development at the University of Birmingham and Director of the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) and Co-Director of the Development Engagement Lab (DEL).

He has written widely on the politics of development, in particular on the role of coalitions, leadership and power in reform processes and how development actors can think and work politically as part of the Developmental Leadership Program; the drivers of global migration, finance and trade and how these processes shape national development; and how people in rich countries engage with global development issues, as part of the Gates Foundation's Development Engagement Lab and the Aid Attitudes Tracker before that.

Current and recent research projects involve fieldwork or data collection in Fiji, France, The Gambia, Germany, Indonesia, Jamaica, Myanmar, Rwanda, Senegal, Solomon Islands, UK, and the US and uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, including survey data, network analysis, as well as experiments, text analysis, interviews and focus groups.

He has held grants from the ESRC, British Academy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Leverhulme Trust.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Political Science, University of Birmingham, 2004
  • MA in European Political Economy, University of Birmingham, 2000
  • BSocSc (Hons) in International Studies with Political Science, University of Birmingham, 1996

Biography

Does your social circle determine how much you care? | David Hudson | TEDxBrum

David is currently the PI and Co-I on 2 large research projects: (1) the Developmental Leadership Program (funded by the Australian Aid Program) with Dr Claire Mcloughlin and Professor Chris Roche, (2) the Development Engagement Lab (formerly the Aid Attitudes Tracker (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) with Professor Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson (UCL).

He is also part of the IOM-DFID funded project MIGCHOICE looking at migrant decision-making in West Africa with Dr Cassilde Schwartz and Dr Miranda Simon, and previously part of the Migrant Networks, Decisions, and Immigration Policy (Leverhulme Trust), alongside Professor Shane Johnson and Dr Cassilde Schwartz and Dr Miranda Simon.

David joined the University of Birmingham in March 2017 after nearly 12 years at UCL, in the Department of Political Science. Prior to joining UCL he was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham (2004-05).

In 2013 David was a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow working on the project ‘Public Engagement with Global Poverty’.

In 2016 he was a Visiting Research Fellow, Institute for Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University, and a Visiting Fellow, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University.

David has also taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, and SOAS.

Teaching

Postgraduate supervision

David is interested in supervising PhD dissertations in the following areas:

  • Public engagement with development, global challenges, citizenship
  • The politics of reform processes with an emphasis on leadership and coalitions
  • How donors think and work politically
  • International political economy of development

He is interested in supervising projects that employ qualitative and/or quantitative methodological approaches. Ideally, a careful and complimentary use of both.

Research

Research Interests

  • Public engagement with development, global challenges, global citizenship
  • The politics of reform processes with an emphasis on leadership and coalitions
  • How donors think and work politically
  • Migration and migration decision-making

Current Projects

  • The Developmental Leadership Program with Dr Claire Mcloughlin (UoB) and Professor Chris Roche (La Trobe) (2019-22, funded by the Australian Aid Program).  Through the DLP I am exploring how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development. The DLP is an international research initiative that focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development. For more information see: http://dlprog.org
  • The Development Engagement Lab (DEL) (formerly the Aid Attitudes Tracker AAT) with Professor Jennifer vanHeerde- Hudson (UCL) (2013-­2018, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, £310,500 of overall budget of £1.7m), A 5­-year, 4­-country project tracking a panel of individuals (8000 people in the UK and 5000 each in France, Germany and the US). We survey the same people every 6 months and use dynamic panel modelling techniques to understand when and why their attitudes towards development change. We are augmenting the survey analysis with experimental work to see whether and how people’s attitudes can be shifted by providing information, reframing, different messaging, triggering different emotional responses, and varying the messenger. For more information see: https://developmentcompass.org/

Other activities

  • Director, Developmental Leadership Program
  • Co-Director, Development Engagement Lab
  • Consultancy for AusAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Comic Relief
  • Independent Commission for Aid Impact, Ethics peer review panel
  • Advisory roles for UK Department for International Development, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Governance Cadre training for the UK Department for International Development

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Schwartz, C, Simon, M, Hudson, D & VanHeerde-Hudson, J 2020, 'A populist paradox? How Brexit softened anti-immigrant attitudes', British Journal of Political Science. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123419000656

Craney, A & Hudson, D 2020, 'Navigating the dilemmas of politically smart, locally led development: the Pacific-based Green Growth Leaders’ Coalition', Third World Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2020.1773256

Hudson, J, Hudson, D, Morini, P, Clarke, H & Stewart, MC 2020, 'Not one, but many “publics”: public engagement with global development in France, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States', Development in Practice, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 795-808. https://doi.org/10.1080/09614524.2020.1801594

Hudson, D, Laehn, NS, Dasandi, N & vanHeerde-Hudson, J 2019, 'Making and unmaking cosmopolitans: an experimental test of the mediating role of emotions in international development appeals', Social Science Quarterly, vol. 100, no. 3, pp. 544-564. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12587

Simon, M, Schwartz, C, Hudson, D & Johnson, SD 2018, 'A data-driven computational model on the effects of immigration policies', National Academy of Sciences. Proceedings, vol. 115, no. 34, pp. E7914-E7923. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1800373115

Scotto, TJ, Reifler, J, Hudson, D & Vanheerde-Hudson, J 2017, 'We Spend How Much? Misperceptions, Innumeracy, and Support for the Foreign Aid in the United States and Great Britain', Journal of Experimental Political Science, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 119-128. https://doi.org/10.1017/XPS.2017.6

Petrikova, I & Hudson, D 2017, 'Which aid initiatives strengthen food security? Lessons from Uttar Pradesh', Development in Practice, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 220-233. https://doi.org/10.1080/09614524.2017.1285271

Braithwaite, A, Dasandi, N & Hudson, D 2016, 'Does poverty cause conflict? Isolating the causal origins of the conflict trap', Conflict Management and Peace Science, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 45-66. https://doi.org/10.1177/0738894214559673, https://doi.org/10.1177/0738894214559673

Chapter

Beswick, D, Dasandi, N, Hudson, D & Vanheerde-hudson, J 2019, International development NGOs, representations in fundraising appeals and public attitudes in UK–Africa relations. in D Beswick, J Fisher & SR Hurt (eds), Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century: Between ambition and pragmatism. Manchester University Press. https://doi.org/10.7765/9781526134141.00020

Working paper

Helen, D, Siow, O, Gibson, S, Hudson, D & Roche, C 2018 'From Silos to Synergy: Learning from Politically Informed, Gender Aware Programs' Developmental Leadership Program, University of Birmingham, Birmingham. <http://publications.dlprog.org/Silos.pdf>

Hudson, D, Mcloughlin, C, Marquette, H & Roche, C 2018 'Inside the black box of political will: 10 years of findings from the Developmental Leadership Program' Developmental Leadership Program, University of Birmingham, Birmingham. <http://publications.dlprog.org/DLPsynthesis.pdf>

Helen, D, Gibson, S, Hudson, D & Roche, C 2018 'Politically Informed, Gender Aware Programming: Five Lessons from Practice' Developmental Leadership Program, University of Birmingham, Birmingham. <http://publications.dlprog.org/BriefingNote.pdf>

Roche, C, Cox, J, Helen, D, Gibson, S & Hudson, D 2018 'The Bigger Picture: Gender and Politics in Practice' Developmental Leadership Program, University of Birmingham, Birmingham. <http://publications.dlprog.org/Bigger.pdf>

Dasandi, N & Hudson, D 2017 'The Political Road to Digital Revolution: How Myanmar’s Telecoms Reform Happened' DLP Research Paper, no. 43, Developmental Leadership Program, University of Birmingham, Birmingham.

Hudson, D, Marquette, H & Waldock, S 2016 'Everyday Political Analysis' Developmental Leadership Program, University of Birmingham, Birmingham. <http://www.dlprog.org/publications/everyday-political-analysis.php>

View all publications in research portal

Expertise

Foreign, Security and Development Policy

How do developing country governments reduce poverty, inequality and improve the delivery of essential services like education and health? Politics. David’s policy expertise is around how leaders and coalitions work together – or not – to bring about change in developing countries by passing laws, improving policies, and building inclusion and legitimacy, especially in Asia and the Pacific. David is one of the world’s leading experts on what the public thinks about international development and overseas aid: when and why they support aid, donations to development charities, or volunteer. 

Policy experience