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Dr Graham Harrison

Associate Professor


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Associate Professor in the School of Government and International AffairsRoom 110, Elvet Hill House 


Graham completed his PhD in 1999. After further fieldwork, he published ‘The Politics of Democratisation in Rural Mozambique’ which explored the ways in which multi-party democracy was embedded in rural zones of northern Mozambique. He went on the visit Mozambique regularly, publishing on the political economy of liberalisation and corruption.

In 2003, Graham explored the impact of the World Bank on aid-dependent states, focusing on Tanzania and Uganda. The main outcome of this was the book ‘The World Bank and Africa: The Construction of Governance States’. His interest in neoliberalism as a mode of intervention that constructs political relations was generalised out into the book ‘Neoliberal Africa: The Impact of Global Social Engineering’. This included further fieldwork into northern Tanzania’s local governance.

From 2010, Graham’s work moved into a more historical focus on the ways in which Africa has been represented in British public culture. This began with a case study of Make Poverty History and subsequently produced the book ‘The African Presence: Representations of Africa in the Construction of Britishness’. He has also published on UK party policy in relation to Africa.

From 2016, Graham has been interested in the normative aspects of economic development. This interest began with research in Rwanda, a case of rapid economic growth accompanied by controversy in relation to human rights and democracy. This produced three articles and fed into a larger book project. The book ‘Developmentalism: The Normative and the Transformative’ will be published by Oxford University Press in summer 2020.

Graham moved to Durham University in 2019 and is currently developing new research on political theory and African politics and development policy.


Graham has been lecturing for 25 years and is excited to be developing a range of new activities in his new post. His teaching interests revolve around global political economy, especially in relation to development and post-colonial states. He is currently developing teaching in three areas: the political economy of poverty, empire, and global governance.


Authored book

  • (2013). The African presence. Representations of Africa in the construction of Britishness. Manchester University Press.
  • (2010). Neoliberal Africa: The Impact of Global Social Engineering. Zed Press.
  • (2004). The World Bank and Africa. The Construction of Governance States. Routledge.
  • Harrison, Graham (2002). Issues in the Contemporary Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa. Palgrave.
  • (2000). The Politics of Democratisation in Rural Mozambique Grassroots Governance in Mecúfi. Edwin Mellen Press.

Journal Article

  • Harrison, Graham (2019). Authoritarian neoliberalism and capitalist transformation in Africa: all pain, no gain. Globalizations 16(3): 274-288.
  • Harrison, Graham (2018). Post-wristband blues: The mixed fortunes of UK development campaigning under austerity and the Conservatives. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 20(2): 409.
  • Harrison, Graham (2017). Rwanda and the Difficult Business of Capitalist Development. Development and Change 48(5): 873-898.
  • Harrison, Graham (2016). Onwards and Sidewards? The Curious Case of the Responsibility to Protect and Mass Violence in Africa. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 10(2): 143.
  • Harrison, Graham (2016). Rwanda: an agrarian developmental state? Third World Quarterly 37(2): 354.
  • Harrison, Graham (2013). Campaign Africa: Exploring the Representation of Africa and its Role in British Identity. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 15(4): 528.
  • Harrison, G. (2010). The Africanization of poverty: A retrospective on 'Make poverty history'. African Affairs 109(436): 391.
  • Harrison, Graham (2008). From the global to the local? Governance and development at the local level: reflections from Tanzania. The Journal of Modern African Studies 46(2): 169.
  • Harrison, Graham (2005). The World Bank, Governance and Theories of Political Action in Africa. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 7(2): 240.
  • Harrison, Graham (2005). Economic faith, Social project and a misreading of African society: the travails of neoliberalism in Africa. Third World Quarterly 26(8): 1303.
  • Harrison, Graham (2001). Bringing political struggle back in: African politics, power & resistance. Review of African Political Economy 28(89): 387.
  • Harrison, Graham (2001). Administering market friendly growth? Liberal populism and the World Bank's involvement in administrative reform in sub-Saharan Africa. Review of International Political Economy 8(3): 528.
  • Harrison, Graham (2001). Post‐Conditionality Politics and Administrative Reform: Reflections on the Cases of Uganda and Tanzania. Development and Change 32(4): 657.
  • Harrison, G. (2001). Peasants, the agrarian question and lenses of development. Progress in Development Studies 1(3): 187.
  • Harrison, Graham (1999). Mozambique between two elections: A political economy of transition. Democratization 6(4): 166.

Supervision students