Prof Michael Walls
Professor of Development Politics and Economy
Development Planning Unit
Faculty of the Built Environment
- Joined UCL
- 23rd Feb 2004
Research, consultancy and teaching interests lie in the related areas of development management and governance, including: gender and the political settlement; state formation in developing countries; post-conflict reconstruction; state-led development and approaches to regulation of the market to promote equitable development; livelihoods in informal economies – especially African cities; frameworks for understanding and measuring development and wellbeing; and the ethical foundations for development intervention. Michael has established a particular focus on the Somali areas and Ethiopia within the Horn of Africa.
2019-present: Professor of Development Politics and Economy, Programme Co-Leader DEVP0012 Society and Market: private agency for development
2012-2019: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer
2005-2012: Lecturer, BENVGDA4 Development in Practice
- FHEA, |
- University College London
- MSc, Development Administration and Planning | 2003
- University of Auckland
- BA, Art History | 1989
- University of Auckland
- B.Com, Management | 1985
Michael is Professor of Development Politics and Economy at UCL's Development Planning Unit (DPU) and Programme Leader for the MSc in Development Administration and Planning. He has twelve years' experience in senior management in the private sector and lectures in 'market-led approaches to development' (a module titled 'Society and Market: Private Agency for Development'). For seven years, he was responsible for teaching development management at DPU ('Development in Practice').
For some fifteen years, he has focused on the Somali Horn of Africa, and most particularly on the evolving political settlements in Somaliland and Puntland. As well as undertaking research on state formation and political representation, he has been a part of the coordination team for international election observations to Somaliland elections in 2005, 2010 and 2012 and led an observation mission for the 2016 Voter Registration process. He was then Chief Observer, leading the International Election Observation Mission for the 2017 Presidential Election in Somaliland. Michael remains actively involved in a number of Somali-related groups, including the Anglo-Somali Society, Somaliland Focus (UK) and Kayd Somali Arts and Culture Ltd.
Michael is also involved in research into livelihoods and informality in African cities, and was Co-Investigator on a project looking at Economic Knowledge in the context of the informal economy in Zaria, northern Nigeria. He is now Co-Investigator on a research project looking at Complex Land Markets in Uganda and Somaliland, entitled Spatial Inequality in Times of Urban Transition.