Department of Development Studies

Dr Lisa Tilley

Key information

Department of Development Studies Senior Lecturer in Development Studies
Email address


Lisa Tilley joined SOAS in September 2021 after holding previous positions at Warwick, QMUL and Birkbeck.

Her research is mainly anchored in critical approaches to political ecology and political economy with particular attention to structures of race, gender, and class. Her published work draws on various theoretical approaches to ‘the colonial question’ in material analyses of environmental harm and expropriation with a special focus on frontiers of capital in Indonesia.

She has analysed key sites of colonial/capitalist expansion – the plantation, the mine, and the city – adding detail to our knowledge of social and ecological formations, technologies and logics produced through those locations. Lisa’s work has appeared in New Political Economy, Sociology, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, Antipode, Review of International Political Economy, Politics and History of the Present among other journals and edited collections. She has also co-edited five journal special issues and one book to date on themes including race in political economy and ecology.

Lisa is incoming Chair (2022-2023) of the Global Development Studies (GDS) Section of the ISA, while her other positions include co-convenor of Political Economy Beyond Boundaries, a standing section of the EISA (2021-2023) and former co-convenor of the Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial Working Group of the British International Studies Association (CPD-BISA, 2016-2021).

Office hours

Research interests

Race, gender, class; Political Ecology & Economy; Population; Plantations; Extractives & resource frontiers; Environmental harm; Indonesia & Southeast Asia; The Colonial Question; Urban life

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Fathimah Fildzah Izzati Social Reproduction Depletion in Indonesian Industrial Areas
Ben Harringer The Island of Trees and Institutions
Daryn Howland
Raj Kaur Mann 'Double consciousness and contingent belonging of racialised British citizens. Identity, citizenship and the ‘migratisation’ of British South Asians in Leicester’


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