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International Development

International Development

FSI researchers consider international development from a variety of angles. They analyze ideas such as how public action and good governance are cornerstones of economic prosperity in Mexico and how investments in high school education will improve China’s economy.

They are looking at novel technological interventions to improve rural livelihoods, like the development implications of solar power-generated crop growing in Northern Benin.

FSI academics also assess which political processes yield better access to public services, particularly in developing countries. With a focus on health care, researchers have studied the political incentives to embrace UNICEF’s child survival efforts and how a well-run anti-alcohol policy in Russia affected mortality rates.

FSI’s work on international development also includes training the next generation of leaders through pre- and post-doctoral fellowships as well as the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program.

Other Publications

'Locked-In' to China: The Colombo Port City Project

October 2017

This case looks at the predicament of a small nation burdened by Chinese debt, accumulated by infrastructure projects under the aegis of China’s One Belt One Road initiative.

The Bahamas' Baha Mar: Rescuing the Mega-Resort from Bankruptcy

September 2017

Back in the early 2000s, the Bahamian government had a burning problem to solve — the nation’s plunging GDP. By the end of 2001, its real GDP growth had receded  from 5% (in 2000) to 1.5%.

Are China's Loans to Ecuador a Good Deal? The Case of the Sopladora Hydro Project

September 2017

This case presents the decision to build the Sopladora Hydroelectric Plant (487MW) in the Ecuadorian Amazon, with financing from the Eximbank of China.


Are People Losing Faith in Democracy?

March 2018

"Are people merely punishing incumbent parties and politicians, or are they losing faith in democracy itself?" asks Larry Diamond in The American Interest. Read the full article here.

Francis Fukuyama: Democracy Needs Elites

March 2018

CDDRL Mosbacher director Francis Fukuyama spoke with Alexander Görlach for The WorldPost about U.S. President Donald Trump, the populist wave sweeping Europe and “fake news.” Read here.


A Brief History of Security

June 7, 2018

Speaker(s) Bio: Stephen Stedman is a Freeman Spogli senior fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law and FSI, an affiliated faculty member at CISAC, and professor of...

Media Literacy and Civic Confusion: Why What We're Teaching Adds to the Problem

May 10, 2018

Abstract:In the face of information pollution, legislators in seven states have drafted bills to mandate courses in "media literacy" and “digital citizenship.” But what if the problem is not the...

Inviting Intervention

April 19, 2018

Abstract:Foreign intervention sometimes enters by domestic invitation.


Program on Human Rights

The Program on Human Rights (PHR) at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) will be phasing out its program in 2015 with the retirement of PHR’s Director Helen...

CDDRL Special Events

The CDDRL special events draw scholars and practitioners to the Center to comment on the most relevant and timely topics impacting the field of democracy, development, and the rule of law.

Online course on technology for accountability launches in English and Arabic

The Program on Liberation Technology (LibTech) at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law together with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) are proud to launch a free...


Deconstructing World Culture: The rise of legal restrictions on foreign funding to NGOs, 1994-2015

June 2017

Abstract:There is a growing backlash against the liberal and neoliberal economic, political and social ideologies that have dominated the globe since the 1980s.

Social Movements and the Networked Public Sphere: The Complexities of Empowerment and Fragility

May 2017

Speaker Bio:Zeynep Tufekci, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, writes about the social impacts of technology.

How Accountable?: Assessing Developments in Accountability at Multilateral Development Banks

May 2017

Abstract:Within the last fifteen years, nine multilateral development banks (MDBs) have established internal accountability offices (IAOs).  These IAOs, the most well-known of which is the World Bank Inspection Panel, allow communities within...


David Holloway, CISAC David Holloway Senior Fellow Professor, History, Professor, Political Science
Stephen J. Stedman Senior Fellow, Professor, by courtesy, Political Science
Michael A. McFaul Senior Fellow Professor, Political Science, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
James D. Fearon Senior Fellow Professor, Political Science
Nathaniel Persily Professor, Stanford Law School
Raymond Levitt Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Amr Hamzawy Senior Fellow Senior Research Scholar, CDDRL
Deborah L. Rhode Professor, Law
Martin Carnoy Professor, Education
James S. Fishkin Professor, Communication
Debra Satz Professor, Philosophy
David Brady Professor, Political Science, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution