I am a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Melbourne, teaching and researching in the fields of global conflict, international political economy, development and comparative politics. My research draws on over 10 years of fieldwork in the Middle East, Gulf and Sub-Saharan Africa, and focuses particularly on contested governance and sovereignty in international politics. Recent work looks particularly at de facto states but also at how diaspora (and, in particular, elite emigrant pacts) affect governance outcomes in weak and emerging states.
My forthcoming book, Diaspora Inc.: Elite Emigrant Power and Contested Governance in Global Somalia and Beyond, analyses how elite emigrant power (overrepresentation in politics and economics) may be a contributing factor to state failure. The findings challenge the prevailing hyper-optimistic narratives around 'diaspora developmentalism' by providing a more complex interaction and contested relationship between diaspora and states. Issues of diasporic statebuilding and diaspora states have been neglected in the scholarship.
As a Marie Curie Global Fellow (2023-2026) I will be looking comparatively at elite emigrant pacts developing an original typology and dataset looking across different regimes and variables. This work includes collaborations with Global Citizen Observatory at the EUI and scholars working on 'variation of migration states'. Theoretical and empirical work seeks to better integrate diaspora into the study of global political economy beyond issues of labour market segmentation.
Before joining Melbourne, I was a Postdoctoral/Teaching Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (the LSE) from 2018-2021. I hold a DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford. My research and collaborations are informed by a number of affiliations.
I am a Visiting Fellow at the LSE's Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa as well as a Research Associate at the University of Oxford's Martin School and the Netherland's Institute for International Relations. I serve as an advisor to the Crisis Fragility Reference Group at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) and as a member of the International Crisis Group’s Ambassador Council.
I have received funding for my research from the Economics and Social Research Council, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, European Union Commission, International Crisis Group, and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. My research has been referenced in The Economist, The East African, The Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Welle, Radio France International, The Conversation, Democracy in Africa and other media.