SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Jonathan Di John

BA (Harvard); PhD (Cantab)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Jonathan Di John
Department of Development Studies

Senior Lecturer in Political Economy

Violence, Peace and Development Research Cluster

Research Cluster Member

Development Policy, Aid, Institutions and Poverty Reduction Research Cluster

Research Cluster Member

Industrial Development and Policy

Research Cluster Member

Dr Jonathan Di John
Email address:
020 7898 4087
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Thursday 1.30-3.30pm


Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Dave Poole, A Search for the ‘Missing Middle”
  • Eliza Massi, Internationalization of Big Business in Brazil and South Africa: Liberalization and Changing State-Business Relations
  • Jean-Baptiste Damestoy, Governance capabilities, industrialisation and the state: the case of the cotton and textile sectors in Ethiopia
  • Jonathan R. Beloff, The Evolution of Rwandan Foreign Policy: from Genocide to Globalisation
  • Pauline Ravillard, The impact of commodity prices on wages and income distribution in Chile and Peru's mining sectors
  • Philippa McMahon, [working title] Surplus to Requirements: Urban poor livelihoods and experiences of resettlement in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • Pritish Behuria, The Logic of 'Rational Benevolence': The Political Economy of Dispersing Elites through Privatization and Diversification in Post-1994 Rwanda.
  • Rebecca E. Engel, International interventions during transition in Timor-Leste: Implications for stability and the prevention of violent conflict
  • Sarajuddin Isar, Taxation and state-building in Afghanistan, a political economy framework

Jonathan has taught at the London School of Economics, TRIUM Executive MBA Program (jointly run by London School of Economics, New York University Stern Business School and HEC School of Management in Paris), and the United Nations Development Programme Development Academy. He is a principal researcher for the Development Research Centre: “Crisis States Program” at the Development Studies Institute of the London School of Economics. He has also worked as a visiting researcher at the Instituto Superiores de Administración (IESA) in Venezuela.


His main areas of expertise are development economics, institutional economics and the political economy of growth and development in Latin America, especially in Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia. His research interests focus on political economy, especially concerning industrial strategy, taxation and tax reform, corruption, privatisation, oil economies, and conflict and war in mineral abundant economies. He was also a principal researcher at the Crisis States Research Centre at the London School of Economics. He has done consultancy work for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


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Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • Africa
  • Latin America
Country Expertise
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Uganda
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish


Authored Books

Di John, Jonathan (2009) From Windfall to Curse? Oil and Industrialization in Venezuela, 1920 to the Present. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press.

Book Chapters

Di John, Jonathan (2007) 'The Political Economy of Taxation and Tax Reform in Developing Countries.' In: Chang, H.-J., (ed.), Institutional Change and Economic Development. New York: Anthem Press & United Nations University Press, pp. 135-155.

Journal Articles

Di John, Jonathan (2008) 'Why is the Tax System so Ineffective and Regressive in Latin America?' Development Viewpoint (5).

Di John, Jonathan (2007) 'Albert Hirschman's Exit-Voice Framework and Its Relevance to Problems of Public Education Performance in Latin America.' Oxford Development Studies, 35 (3). pp. 295-327.

Di John, Jonathan (2007) 'Oil Abundance and Violent Political Conflict: A Critical Assessment.' Journal of Development Studies, 43 (6). pp. 961-86.

Di John, Jonathan (2005) 'Economic Liberalization, Political Instability, and State Capacity in Venezuela.' International Political Science Review, 26 (1). pp. 107-24.

Working Papers / Reports

Di John, Jonathan (2011) Taxation, Resource Mobilisation, and State Performance. Crisis States Research Centre Working Paper 84 (series 2). London School of Economics.

Di John, Jonathan (2006) The Political Economy of Taxation and Tax Reform in Developing Countries. Helsinki: Anthem Press and World Institute of Development Economic Research WIDER.

This list was generated on Fri May 27 00:33:31 2016 BST.