SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Dr Pallavi Roy

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)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Pallavi Roy
SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Industrial Development and Policy

Research Cluster Member

Dr Pallavi Roy
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4833
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
On Sabbatical:


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.



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‚Äźpolitical and security concerns of the country and the effects these had on  the country’s economic policies.



Naher, Nahitun and Balabanova, Dina and McKee, Martin and Khan, Mushtaq and Roy, Pallavi and Ahmed, Syed Masud and Hutchinson, Eleanor (2022) 'Absenteeism among doctors in the Bangladesh health system: What are the structural drivers?'. SSM - Qualitative Research in Health, (2), pp 100089.

Agwu, Prince and Orjiakor, Charles T and Odii, Aloysius and Onalu, Chinyere and Nzeadibe, Chidi and Roy, Pallavi and Onwujekwe, Obinna and Okoye, Uzoma (2021) '“Miracle Examination Centres” as hubs for malpractices in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in Nigeria: A systematic review'. International Journal of Educational Development, (88) 102538.

Roy, Pallavi and Khan, Mushtaq (2021) 'Digitizing Taxation and Premature Formalization in Developing Countries'. Development and Change, (52) 4, pp 855-877.

Hutchinson, Eleanor and Naher, Nahitun and Roy, Pallavi and McKee, Martin and Mayhew, Susannah H. and Ahmed, Syed Masud and Balabanova, Dina (2020) 'Targeting anticorruption interventions at the frontline: developmental governance in health systems'. BMJ Global Health, (5) 12, pp 3092.

Khan, Mushtaq and Roy, Pallavi and Matin, Imran and Rabbani, Mehnaz and Chowdhury, Rajiv (2020) 'An Adaptive Governance and Health System Response for the Covid-19 Emergency'. World Development, (137), pp 105213.

Roy, Pallavi (2016) 'Economic growth, the UN and the global South: an unfulfilled promise'. Third World Quarterly, (37) 7, pp 1284-1297.

Roy, Pallavi (2015) 'The "Brics Bank": Many Challenges and Many Opportunities'. Modern Diplomacy [Online].

Roy, Pallavi (2015) 'In fact, the BRICS bank's challenges are even greater'. Europe's World.

Roy, Pallavi (2015) 'One size can't fit all'. Infosys Science Foundation [Online].

Book Chapters

Roy, Pallavi (2020) 'The Social Contract from Coal to Renewables: Can the Win-Win also have Losers?'. In: Tongia, Rahul and Sehgal, Anurag, (eds.), Future of Coal in India: Smooth Transition or a Bumpy Road Ahead?. India: Brookings India, Notion Press India.

Roy, Pallavi (2014) 'Financing Gaps, Competitiveness and Capabilities: Why Bretton Woods needs a Radical Rethink'. In: Weiss, Thomas G. and Plesch, Dan, (eds.), Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations. Basingstoke: Routledge, pp 160-178.

Roy, Pallavi (2012) 'India’s Vulnerable Maturity: Experiences of Maharashtra and West Bengal'. In: North, Douglass and Wallis, John and Webb, Steven and Weingast, Barry, (eds.), In the Shadow of Violence: The Problem of Development in Limited Access Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 198-232.

Monographs and Working Papers

Agwu, Prince and Orjiakor, Charles T and Odii, Aloysius and Onalu, Chinyere and Nzeadibe, Chidi and Roy, Pallavi and Onwujekwe, Obinna and Okoye, Uzoma (2022) Corruption during final external examinations in private secondary schools in Nigeria: Qualitative insights into operations and solutions to ‘Miracle Examination Centres’. London: Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Research Consortium Working Paper.

Neupane, Saumitra and Rana, Shreeya and Karna, Avinash and Roy, Pallavi and Khan, Mushtaq (2021) Responding to Covid-19: Insights from Nepal's Provinces and Local Governments. London: Policy Entrepreneurs, SOAS University of London.

Khan, Mushtaq and Roy, Pallavi (2020) Building Back Greener: A Strategy for Project Selection and Development. London: SOAS Univerity of London. [Unpublished]

Khan, Mushtaq and Roy, Pallavi (2020) COVID-19: Locking in Solutions while in Lockdown. London: SOAS-ACE.

Roy, Pallavi and Iwuamadi, Kelechi and Ibrahim, Jibrin (2020) Breaking the cycle of corruption in Nigeria’s electricity sector: a political settlements analysis. London: SOAS-ACE.

Black, Anthony and Roy, Pallavi and El-Haddad, Amirah and Yilmaz, Kamil (2020) The political economy of automotive industry development policy in middle income countries: A comparative analysis of Egypt, India, South Africa and Turkey. Manchester: Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre (ESID).

Onyema, Emilia and Roy, Pallavi and Obidairo, Simeon and Ayinla, Seye and Oredola, Habeeb (2019) Anti-corruption agencies as debt recovery agents: the unintended consequences of anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria. London: ACE SOAS Consortium: Working Paper, no. 17.

Khan, Mushtaq and Roy, Pallavi (2019) Digital identities: a political settlements analysis of asymmetric power and information. London: SOAS-ACE.

Roy, Pallavi and Onwujekwe, Obinna and Odii, Aloysius and Agwu, Prince and Orjiakor, Charles T and Ogbozor, Pamela and Hutchinson, Eleanor and McKee, Martin and Obi, Uche and Mbachu, Chinyere and Balabanova, Dina (2019) Exploring health-sector absenteeism and feasible solutions: evidence from the primary healthcare level in Enugu, South East Nigeria. London: ACE SOAS Consortium: Working Paper, no. 14. [Unpublished]

Khan, Mushtaq and Andreoni, Antonio and Roy, Pallavi (2019) Anti-corruption in adverse contexts: strategies for improving implementation. London: SOAS-ACE.

Khan, Mushtaq and Andreoni, Antonio and Roy, Pallavi (2019) Illicit Financial Flows: theory and measurement challenges. London: Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Research Consortium Working Paper 06.

Onyema, Emilia and Roy, Pallavi and Oredola, Habeeb and Ayinla, Seye (2018) The EFCC and the politics of (in)effective implementation of Nigeria’s anti-corruption policy. London: Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Research Consortium.

Roy, Pallavi and Khan, Mushtaq (2017) Nepal’s Political Settlement and Inclusive Growth: Not Quite Business as Usual. . [Unpublished]

Roy, Pallavi (2017) Anti-Corruption in Nigeria: A political settlements analysis. SOAS University of London: Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Research Consortium Working Paper 02.

Khan, Mushtaq and Andreoni, Antonio and Roy, Pallavi (2016) Anti-Corruption in Adverse Contexts: A Strategic Approach. London: SOAS. [Unpublished]

Roy, Pallavi (2012) Pakistan A Crisis of Legitimacy and Liberalization 1980-2010. London: SOAS.

Roy, Pallavi (2011) Tamil Nadu: Growth in the Time of Clientelism. . [Unpublished]

Opinion Pieces / Media / Blogs

Roy, Pallavi (2021) Rethinking anti-corruption: The need for politically located data.

Roy, Pallavi (2021) Outside/In: Caste and Race: The criminalization of protests.

Khan, Mushtaq and Roy, Pallavi (2020) Rethinking anti-corruption for COVID-19.

Roy, Pallavi (2019) The IMF, World Bank and SDGs.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 08:18 Europe/London.