The international community is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The SDGs are based on a more holistic understanding of development than the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In addition to the objective of reducing absolute poverty, they stress the importance of peace and good governance and call for low-, middle-, and high-income countries to work together to achieve sustainable development. The research area produces empirical research to support this sustainable development agenda. Our research can be broadly divided into two mutually reinforcing thematic blocs.
In the first bloc, we address the SDGs that are related to various dimensions of development, such as ending poverty and hunger. At the micro level, we analyze how large-scale land acquisition in Africa impacts local farm populations, for example, and how emigration affects the families left behind and broader society in the countries of origin. At the macro level, we address the issue of whether and how global efforts to alleviate poverty through more foreign aid can be successful. In addition, we study how competition among various donors and external actors (e.g., the EU, China, and Russia) affects economic development in neighboring countries.
In the second bloc, we address the SDGs that target international cooperation and governance issues. Examples of our work here include studying whether and how migrants transmit ideas that then become important drivers of political change in their home countries as well as the factors that shape the attitudes of individuals toward immigration in receiving countries. We also analyze how competing global and regional economic integration processes impact domestic institutions, policies, and cooperation.