Skip to content

Toggle service links

Civil society and non-state actors in development

a group of protestors with placards

A wide range of non-state actors, such as civil society organisations, social movements, ‘community-based’ organisations and non-state armed actors can play a key role in social change at different scales. Factors such as the development of digital information and communications technologies, conflict, and the emergence of ‘global’ development challenges that transcend nation state boundaries may increase the importance of non-state actors in certain contexts. Such actors might challenge the status quo, but can also be co-opted by states, international organisations and other political actors, calling into question our assumptions about boundaries between ‘state’ and ‘non-state’ and ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ institutions.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • Digital activism
  • Social media and development
  • Transnational advocacy networks
  • Social movements
  • Solidarity based action
  • Non-governmental organisation (NOGS), Community based organisations (CBOs) and participation in development
  • Governance beyond the state

Current/recent research projects

  • Transnational civil society organisations and created territorialized constituencies
  • Public-Private Partnerships in the development of HIV/AIDS communication in South Africa
  • Evaluating Transnational Advocacy Networks (TANs): The Case of the Jubilee 2000 Campaign (J2K)
  • Understanding Poverty and Inequality through Different Forms of Exchange
  • Design and democracy: transformative agency within indigenous structures
  • Rebuilding society after civil war: The effect of popular participation in social transformation
  • Development Intervention through INGO Volunteerism
  • Designing Technology to Provide Education to Traumatised Syrian Children in Conflict Areas and Refugee Camps
  • Bolivian Children's Voices in the Child Labour Debate

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Ben Lampert, Discipline Convenor
+44 (0)1908 655434

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.