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Andy Sumner

Visiting Fellow

global poverty and inequality, inclusive growth, Southeast Asia, the future of foreign aid


MSc, PhD, London SB University


Andy Sumner is a Visiting Fellow at CGD and a Reader in International Development  at King’s College, London.

He has published extensively on poverty, inequality and economic development including nine books. 

His current research focuses on: 

(i) global poverty and inequality;

(ii) Inclusive growth and structural transformation in Southeast Asia;

(ii) the future of foreign aid and development cooperation in middle-income developing countries.

A central theme of his work is the persistence of poverty in middle-income countries and the implications of national inequality for poverty and theories of poverty. His research seeks to reconnect the analysis of poverty with the study of economic development and structural transformation.

In recent years his research has focused on the fact that about a billion people or three-quarters of the world’s poor live in middle-income countries. This raises various questions about the causes of poverty, about distributional patterns of economic development and about the dominant country analytical categories themselves.

His work seeks to challenge the orthodox view that absolute poverty is necessarily minimal or residual at higher levels of average per capita income; rather, that absolute poverty is a distributional outcome of specific patterns of economic development and welfare regimes.

He was Co-Director of King’s International Development Institute, King’s College London from 2012-2016. Previously, he was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex.

He was a Vice President of, and UK representative to, the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) from 2008 to 2014 and a Council Member of the Development Studies Association, UK and Ireland, from 2000 to 2014.

He is an editorial board member of the Journal of International Development, of the European Journal of Development Research and of Global Policy. He is also Deputy Executive Editor of Global Policy and book series co-editor for Palgrave Macmillan’s Rethinking International Development.

He holds associate positions at Oxford University at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative; the United Nations University, WIDER, Helsinki and the Centre for Economics and Development Studies, Padjadjaran University, Indonesia as well as CGD.

He has been listed in Foreign Policy magazine’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers’ for the impact of his work on global poverty.


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