Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Pallavi Roy

Key information

Department of Politics and International Studies Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute Research Cluster Member
Department of Politics and International Studies
PhD (SOAS), MSc. Globalisation and Development (SOAS), Post Graduate Diploma in Social Communications Media (Sophia Polytechnic, India), BA (Hons.) English, with History and Philosophy (Calcutta, India)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0)20 7898 4833


Pallavi Roy is a Senior lecturer in International Economics at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS. Her research focus is on the application of institutional economics and in particular the political settlements framework to problems of industrial policy, anti-corruption, commodity markets, the political economy of clientelism, and economic development generally. Her country focus includes the countries of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal) as well as Nigeria and Indonesia. 

Pallavi's current academic work on anti-corruption, rent-seeking, industrial policy and economic development is based on years of experience on the ground in developing countries. Before becoming an academic, Pallavi worked for over a decade as a financial journalist at the coalface (literally) in India reporting on the economic conflicts unleashed by land acquisition for mining, for infrastructure development, and more generally the changes in patterns of corruption and rent-seeking as South Asian economies began to achieve growth accelerations and then began to liberalize. She also worked for a London-based risk advisory company that carried out political risk analysis in developing countries. She speaks and writes fluently in Hindi and Bengali and speaks Urdu fluently.

Pallavi was part of the core research team that won the £6 million DFID research contract on Anti-Corruption Evidence for SOAS in 2017 (the SOAS-ACE Research Partnership Consortium) and she is currently research director of the Nigerian research within SOAS-ACE. SOAS leads a consortium of research and private sector partners in the UK, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Tanzania and she handles these relationships to maximize research impact in Nigeria and beyond. 

Her work involves applying the political settlements framework for identifying evidence-based and feasible developmental interventions in developing countries. Pallavi’s teaching is closely linked to her research interests, combining theory and practical experience to teach courses like International Economics and Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World

Pallavi is also engaged in another DFID-sponsored research programme on Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) and is working with a research sub-cluster analysing state-business relationships. Earlier, she was part of a multi-disciplinary research project funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) on the determinants of growth across developing economies and the need for incorporating a study of country-specific ‘political settlements’ while framing economic policy. She was also a member of a World Bank funded research project in 2010 that applied the new analytical framework of Nobel Laureate Douglass North on ‘Limited Access Orders’ and published a paper in a book edited by North. She was also a Researcher in a DFID funded research programme in 2009 on Growth and Governance.

She is a guest lecturer at the International Anti-Corruption Academy and frequently gives public seminars in India and Bangladesh. Apart from research and teaching she contributes to outreach through various organizations like the BBC (for News Hour), Bloomberg, Modern Diplomacy and the UNA-UK as well as conducts briefings for foreign diplomats on South Asia and other areas of her expertise. 

Pallavi Roy Explains the Political Economy of Indian States at IEG Workshop

Presentation on "Growth under Contingent Possibilities in Indian States: The Auto Sector in Tamil Nadu" at an International Workshop on The Politics of Growth and Distribution in India held on 22 March 2017 jointly organised by Effective States and Inclusive Development and Institute of Economic Growth in New Delhi, India.

Research interests

Pallavi’s research areas include the political economy of growth, governance and liberalization in  developing countries, corruption, Institutional Economics, industrial policy, politics of austerity in  Europe and the Euro crisis, mining and metallic commodities markets and modern South Asian  History. She is a member of the South Asia Institute, Industrial Development and Policy Cluster and  the Centre on the Politics of Energy Security at SOAS.

Her PhD research addressed the institutional and political conditions underpinning the growth  performance of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu states in India and Pakistan after the introduction of  liberalisation policies and in the context of competitive clientelism using the framework of ‘political  settlements’. Growth across both countries has been very varied and driven by different factors,  sectors and political/institutional arrangements.  While the India case studies are more focused on  the impact of liberalisation policies on the industrial performance of the states, the Pakistani case  study also studies the geo‐political and security concerns of the country and the effects these had on  the country’s economic policies.



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