Dr Tobias Franz
Dr Tobias Franz is a Senior Lecturer in Economics and Political Economy across the Department of Economics and the Department of Political Science and International Studies.
He convenes the MSc Programmes MSc Political Economy of Development and the MSc Global Corporations and Policy (online). After completing his PhD in Economics researching power balances, institutional change and development on the local level in Colombia, Tobias worked as a postdoctoral researcher at CIDER, Los Andes University in Bogota.
During his tenure at CIDER, Tobias researched regional growth structures through the lens of economic geography and political economy. He was also part of an externally-funded research project studying infrastructure, development alternatives, and resistance in the Colombian Pacific region. Tobias has been a Lecturer at SOAS since 2019 where he continued building his teaching profile and research expertise (see research interests below)
Tobias Franz’ research aims at understanding how power balances within and across countries interact with institutions to influence development strategies. His research combines political economy and economic geography perspectives to unpack the role of governance agencies, multilateral organisations, and financial actors in managing natural resources and infrastructure.
His current research project investigates how the nexus between finance, extraction, and transitions affects the governance of minerals needed for the green transition. By applying a Global South lens that allows to critically engage with dominant development narratives and which provides post-colonial understandings of transitions, his research unpacks how dynamics in contemporary green financial capitalism create new dependencies and deepen existing ones.
Tobias Franz’ main area focus is Latin America, and in particular the mineral-abundant Andean region, including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and the lithium triangle between Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.
Political economy of institutions, elite politics and development, late industrialisation policies, productivity growth, regional economics, local economic development, developmentalist and post-development debates. Regional focus on Latin America with a special emphasis on Colombia.