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Leadership for development: what do people want?

G03 Alan Walters Building
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Social Sciences
Monday 18th March 2019 (18:00-19:00)
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For more information, please contact Ceara Wason by email or by phone on +44 (0)121 415 1050.

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As part of the College of Social Sciences inaugural lecture series, we are delighted to present the inaugural lecture of David Hudson, Professor of Politics and Development.  

Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, Malala Yousafzai, Aung San Suu Kyi, Lee Kuan Yew, Frank Mugisha. It has been said that people get the leaders they deserve. But, when it comes to promoting prosperity, stability, and inclusion, what type of leaders do people want? This matters; for leaders are nothing without followers, and leadership is nothing without legitimacy. 

On the one hand, great stock is placed on the potential of leaders to transform lives for the better and on the other for their part in undermining progress and inflicting corruption, economic stagnation, and exclusion on societies. Yet with that said, what being ‘a leader’ means and looks like, is culturally specific. It varies within and between countries and an assumption that what works ‘here’ should work ‘there’ is foolish. At the same time, the universality of the Sustainable Development Goals has formalised a rarely admitted fact: we are all developing countries. Whether in the global north or south, rich or poor, all countries face development challenges: rising inequality, destitution, environmental degradation, and corruption.

Given this, what kind of leadership do people want for development both ‘here’ and ‘there’? Drawing on recent research findings, in this talk Professor Hudson discusses the results from surveys and experiments in Indonesia and the UK about public perceptions of leadership and what citizens want in a leader when it comes to driving developmental change.

David HudsonAbout Professor David Hudson 

David joined the University of Birmingham’s International Development Department in 2017, after nearly 12 years in the Department of Political Science at UCL. Prior to this, he was a student at Birmingham in POLSIS. David is currently the Director of Developmental Leadership Program (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and the co-Director of the Development Engagement Lab (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). His research examines the role of coalitions, leadership and power in reform; how people in rich countries engage with global development issues; and the drivers of global migration, finance and trade and how these processes shape national development.



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