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    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of: political economy of development in Africa; energy transitions and the future of fossil fuels; politics and political economy of Southern Africa; and American Political Development (selected aspects, including American energy politics and comparative approaches to race and inequality in South Africa and the American South).


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Reader in Comparative Politics

BA, Cum Laude, Political Science, University of Alabama at Birmingham (1996)
MA, Political Science, Louisiana State University (1998)
PhD, Political Science, Arizona State University (2003)

Research Statement

I work in the areas of comparative and international politics with a primary interest in the political economy of development. Recently this research focuses primarily on energy and natural resources, including how international oil and gas companies have shaped twentieth-century international relations and how today they are engaging with climate governance and shaping energy transitions. Geographically my research has mainly been focussed on sub-Saharan Africa, and in particular Southern Africa, and the post-colonial world more generally.

Having also taught an introductory course on American Politics for nearly 20 years, I am progressively integrating my interests in American politics into my wider research agenda by approaching the US case from a comparative perspective and in the wider context of American Political Development. Specific interests include the politics of transitions (e.g., the American Revolution and Reconstruction), postcolonial and race relations (e.g., comparative studies of Jim Crow and settler minority rule in Southern Africa) and US energy politics with a focus on the history of "Big Oil". 

My research at Queen's has been funded by the ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, the British Academy, the Nuffield Foundation and the DfE Global Challenges Research Fund. Publications indicative of my key research interests have appeared in journals such as Political StudiesPolitical GeographyBusiness & SocietyThird World QuarterlyDemocratization, The Extractive Industries and SocietyAnnual Review of Environment and Resources, Journal of Contemporary African Studies and Commonwealth & Comparative Politics. I am also the author of Africa’s Development Impasse: Rethinking the Political Economy of Transformation (Zed Books).



At the undergraduate level I convene and teach American Politics and a final-year module entitled Global Political Economy of Energy. At MA level I have contributed primarily to International Political Economy. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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