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Dr Niheer Dasandi

Senior Research Associate

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Niheer Dasandi is a Senior Research Associate working with the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP). His research broadly focuses on the political economy of development. Prior to joining DLP, Niheer completed a doctorate in political science at UCL in July 2013. Before this, he spent two years working for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Niheer has previously taught the undergraduate module, International Development and Public Policy, and the postgraduate module, Political Economy of Development in the department. He will also be co-teaching the Politics of Global Development module as part of UCL’s new International Summer School.

Research Interests

I focus on three core research areas: politics of development, international political economy of development, and public attitudes to development. My research is methodologically plural, using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods.

My current working papers are available here.

There are a number of specific areas of research I am currently working on:

  • The politics of institutional change and policy reform. This includes research on the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats and how this shapes reform in developing countries. I am especially interested in the politics of private sector reform in developing nations – this includes research projects focusing on Myanmar and Rwanda with David Hudson and Caryn Peiffer.
  • The politics of development aid donors. This research looks at how donors engage with politics in developing countries.
  • State preferences and the General Debate of the United Nations. I am working on a research project that examines how state preferences impact outcomes in world politics using new measures of state preferences derived from countries’ statements in the UN General Debate using quantitative text analysis – with Slava Mikhaylov and Alex Baturo.
  • The relationship between international inequality and development. This follows on from my PhD research and includes work with Alex Braithwaite, and David Hudson that follows on from an ESRC Small Grant called Mapping the Structure of International Inequalities and the Poverty-Conflict Nexus that we held.
  • The Governance and IPE of development. My research broadly looks at issues linked to the global governance of international development. I am also editing a book collection with David Hudson, entitled the Handbook of the International Political Economy of Development, which will be published with Edward Elgar.
  • Public engagement with international development. I have also conducted research using experimental analysis to understand how the framing of development appeals impacts public engagement with global poverty and development – with David Hudson, Jennifer Hudson, and Susan Gaines. I have also examined public engagement with development by considering the use of social media in development campaigns – with David Hudson, Jennifer Hudson and Yannis Theocharis.


Journal Articles
  • “Does Poverty Cause Conflict? Isolating the Causal Origins of the Conflict Trap” (with Alex Braithwaite & David Hudson), Conflict Management and Peace Science, 2015, forthcoming. [Read more]
  • ”Governing the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Interactions, Infrastructures and Institutions” (with Jeff Waage et al.), The Lancet Global Health, 2015, 3(5): e251-e252. [Read more]
  • “Tweeting Alone? An Analysis of Bridging and Bonding Social Capital in Online Networks” (with Javier Sajuria, Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson, David Hudson & Yannis Theocharis), American Politics Research, 2015, 43(4): 708-738. [Read more]
  • “International Inequality and World Poverty: A Quantitative Structural Analysis”, New Political Economy, 2014, 19(2): 201-226. [Read more]
Book Chapters
  • “Case Study on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Education: Reflections on Interlinkage and Governance” (with Susannah Mayhew, Elaine Unterhalter, Niall Winters & Nigel Poole) in Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development, edited by J. Waage & C. Yap. London: Ubiquity Press (2015), pp.89-107. [Read more]
  • “Post-2015 Development Agenda Setting in Focus: Governance and Institutions” (with David Hudson & Tom Pegram) in Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development, edited by J. Waage & C. Yap. London: Ubiquity Press (2015), pp.63-76. [Read more]
  • “The Global Governance of Development: Development Financing, Good Governance and the Domestication of Poverty” (with David Hudson) in The Handbook of the International Political Economy of Governance, edited by Anthony Payne & Nicola Phillips. Edward Elgar (2014), pp.238-258. [Read more]
Selected Working Papers/ Other Publications
  • “The Curious Case of Indian Autocracy: An Analysis of Agency and Institutional Change”. [Read more].
  • “Thinking and Working Politically: From Theory Building to Evidence Building” (with Heather Marquette & Mark Robinson). DLP Research Paper (2016), Developmental Leadership Program. [Read more].
  • “The Donor’s Dilemma: Thinking Politically About Difficult Choices” (with Lior Erez). DLP Research Paper 35 (2015), Developmental Leadership Program. [Read more].
  • “Key Health and Conflict Related Indicators in Liberia and Sri Lanka” (with Anna Hanchar & Fiona Samuels). ODI Background Report (2015), Overseas Development Institute. [Read more].
  • ”What Do Middle Indian Middle Class Attitudes to Poverty Tell Us About the Politics of Poverty Reduction?” DLP Research Paper 33 (2015), Developmental Leadership Program. [Read more]
  • “The Politics-Bureaucracy Interface in Development: Impact on Reform”, DLP State of the Art Paper 2 (2014), Developmental Leadership Program. [Read more].
  • “Using Action Research and Learning for Politically Informed Programming” (with Michael O’Keefe, John T. Sidel, Heather Marquette, Chris Roche & David Hudson), DLP Research Paper 29 (2014), Developmental Leadership Program. [Read more].
  • “Poverty Reductionism: The Exclusion of History, Politics, and Global Factors from Mainstream Poverty Analysis”, British International Studies Association (BISA) IPEG Papers in Global Political Economy Series, July 2009. [Read more].

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4978,

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Page last modified on 22 dec 15 13:19

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