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
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 Reader in Political Economy at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS. She is currently the Co-Director of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) £6 million Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) research partnership consortium working primarily in Bangladesh and Nigeria, as well as several other developing countries. This consortium is breaking new ground in research and anti-corruption advocacy by identifying evidence-based anti-corruption strategies that are feasible to implement in developing countries. She is also the Co-Principal Investigator on an FCDO-funded programme on generating evidence for inclusive growth in Nepal and part of a team that is helping the British Embassy design policies in post-conflict Nepal.

Pallavi has extensive work experience with bilateral and multilateral donors like the FCDO, Agence Française du Développement (AFD) and the World Bank, national ministries and agencies in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Nigeria, and international organizations like Transparency International and the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development. She is frequently invited an as an expert to lecture on governance and corruption at the International Anti-Corruption Academy at Laxenburg. Among other outreach activities she currently serves as co-chair of the Scaling Community of Practice group on Fragile States, an adviser to Growth Teams and a Senior Fellow at the Youth Policy Forum Bangladesh. She also has extensive research and policy networks in Nigeria and South Asia. She is a contributor to articles in media organizations like Bloomberg, ThisDay (Nigeria), BBC Newshour and The Hindu (India) on related topics. She has previously worked as a senior business journalist in India for over a decade covering key sectors like mining, steel, and corporate sector growth, and as a political risk consultant in London.

Research interests

Pallavi uses the analytical framework of political settlements that interrogates differential institutional performances and policy outcomes across countries. She is responsible for over twenty projects in Nigeria, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Uganda, Pakistan, and Indonesia, working closely with and supervising more than thirty researchers in the global South. She leads on the Nigeria research and manages large-scale projects in the power sector, financial services and exchange control, education, primary health care, extractives, and fertiliser subsidies. Her work on anti-corruption, governance and development uses a framework grounded in historical specificities of developing countries and questions Western donor driven discourses of ‘good governance’. This is not only contributing to decolonize development theory, research practices and policy design, it is also showing why effective governance and anti-corruption requires an analysis with a perspective from the South. She also maintains a keen interest in modern South Asian history and the rise of identity politics in the sub-continent.

Open for PhD supervision on the following areas:

  • Political settlements and institutional evolution
  • Political economy of industrial development
  • Governance and Growth
  • Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (especially the intersection of growth and identity politics)

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Olusola Adejoke David-Borha The Challenges and Opportunities of Risk Mitigation in the Nigerian Electricity and Telecommunications Sectors: A Political Economy View
Jonas Mikkelsen The Role of the Executive Head in Intergovernmental Organizations
Hamisu Salihu Success and Failure of Industrial Policy in Nigeria: The Case of the Cement, Textile and Iron and Steel Industries


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