SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Keston K. Perry

BA Hons (UWI, Trinidad) MSc (Distinction) (Newcastle)
  • Overview
  • Research


Keston Perry
Mr Keston K. Perry
Email address:
Thesis title:
Coalitions, capacity and capitalist development: the political dynamics and governance of technological change with specific reference to Trinidad and Tobago
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Keston is a PhD candidate in International Development at SOAS, University of London. As a young scholar, he believes that research, apart from making a contribution to policy or academia, should have beneficial impacts for practitioner communities and the wider society. His research interests include science technology and innovation, science-industry coalitions, governance and development policy, innovation dynamics in small states, and the political economy of small states development. In April 2015, he was appointed as a member of the Advisory Panel for the 2016 Caribbean Human Development Report by Ms Jessica Faieta, Assistant Secretary General of the UNDP Latin America and Caribbean Bureau. In his previous role, he served as Programme Coordinator of the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation (CCI) in the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development in Trinidad and Tobago. In this role he pioneered government's flagship project, idea to innovation. Keston has also completed short-term consultancy assignments for the several UN agencies, including UNAIDS, UNFPA, UN Women and UNIC. He holds a Master's degree (Distinction) from Newcastle University, UK, in Innovation Management and Bachelor's (First class honours) in Communications and International Relations from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad.


PhD Research

In my PhD, I am investigating the institutional and political dynamics of science, technology and innovation (STI) policy in developing countries, drawing empirical insights from a small resourced-based economy, Trinidad and Tobago. I intend to develop a governance framework based on the political settlements theory that incorporates macro and micro-level dimensions in the emergence, design and implementation of STI policy. The framework maps the various country actors, including political, bureacratic, transnational and economic, given their relative bargaining power, and critical state agencies' governance capacities in STI policy as part of its development strategy.


  • Governing science and industry collaborations in the South: from networks of power to developmental coalitions - accepted for the International Conference on the Transformation of Research in the South: policies and outcomes, January 2016, Paris, France


  • Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) International Conference on Growth and Development, May 2014, Sheffield, UK
  • GLOBELICS Academy 2015 - PhD School on Innovation Systems and Economic Development, June 2015, Tampere, Finland
  • International Conference on the Transformation of Research in the South: policies and outcomes, January 2016, Paris, France


  • Industrial Development and Policy Cluster - Department of Economics
  • Caribbean Postgraduate Network
  • Development Studies Association


Development economics; Science Technology and Innovation policy; Institutional political economy; Returnee entrepreneurship and innovation in developing economies.