SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Dr Jonathan Di John

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


Jonathan Di John
Department of Development Studies

Senior Lecturer in Political Economy

Development Policy, Aid, Institutions and Poverty Reduction Research Cluster

Research Cluster Member

Violence, Peace and Development Research Cluster

Research Cluster Member

Industrial Development and Policy

Research Cluster Member

Centre of African Studies


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:


Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Charlotte Hübner , “The Role of the Oil & Gas Sector in Late Industrialisation: Lessons from Malaysia” (Working Title)
  • Cristina Mosneaga, Transition from informality to more formality of small and medium enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria
  • Fernandes Wanda, Capitalist Transformation in Transition: Exploring business political elite linkage in post-war Angola (working title)
  • 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
  • Julian Manuel Goetz, The Impact of Informal and Rural Labour Markets on Poverty Reduction: A Mixed Methods Study of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Northwest Tanzania (working title)
  • Pauline Ravillard, The Role of Labour Unions in Explaining the Productivity-Wage Gap in Chile
  • Sarajuddin Isar, Taxation and state-building in Afghanistan, a political economy framework
  • Taylor Daniel Rockhill,

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 and O'Meally, Simon (2017) Social Service Delivery, Political Economy and Forms of Violence: Explaining Progress against the Odds. Washington, DC: The World Bank.

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


Cramer, Christopher and Di John, Jonathan and Sender, John (2022) 'Classification and Roundabout Production in High‐value Agriculture: A Fresh Approach to Industrialization'. Development and Change, (53) 3, pp 495-524.

Di John, Jonathan (2011) 'Is There Really a Resource Curse? A Critical Survey of Theory and Evidence'. Global Governance, (17) 2, pp 167-184.

Di John, Jonathan (2009) 'The Concept, Causes and Consequences of Failed States: A Critical Review of the Literature and Agenda for Research with Specific Reference to Sub-Saharan Africa'. The European Journal of Development Research, (22) 1, pp 10-30.

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.

Book Chapters

Di John, Jonathan (2020) 'The Political Economy of Development Banking'. In: Oqubay, Arkebe and Cramer, Christopher and Chang, Ha-Joon and Kozul-Wright, Richard, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Industrial Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Di John, Jonathan (2010) 'The Political Economy of Taxation and Resource Mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa'. In: Padayachee, Vishnu, (ed.), The Political Economy of Africa. London, UK: Routledge, pp 110-316.

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.

Monographs and Working Papers

Cramer, Christopher and Di John, Jonathan and Sender, John (2018) Poinsettia Assembly and Selling Emotion: High Value Agricultural Exports in Ethiopia. Paris: AFD Research Papers Series, No. 2018-78, August.

Di John, Jonathan and O'Meally, Simon (2017) Social Service Delivery in Violent Contexts: Achieving Results Against the Odds. A report from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nepal. Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

Di John, Jonathan (2016) What is the role of national development banks in late industrialisation. Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI).

Di John, Jonathan and Meisel, Nicolas (2016) Rethinking growth strategies in LICs : the need to achieve strategic planning and political stability. Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI).

Putzel, James and Di John, Jonathan (2012) Meeting the challenges of crisis states. London, UK: Crisis States Research Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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 and Putzel, James (2009) Political Settlements. Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC) Emerging Issues Paper. Department for International Development (DFID).

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 last generated on Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 17:37 Europe/London.