Researching the politics of development



Dr Matthias vom Hau



Matthias vom Hau is an Associate Professor and Ramón y Cajal Researcher at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) and research associate with ESID. A sociologist by training, he has a PhD (2007) from Brown University and previously held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Manchester.


His work is centrally concerned with the relationship between identity politics, institutions and development, and has appeared in Theory and Society, The American Journal of Sociology, The Journal of Development Studies, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Nations and Nationalism, among others.
His most recent research critically re-examines the influential scholarship that establishes a negative relationship between ethnic diversity and the ability of states to provide public goods. Based on an analysis of indigenous movements and natural resource governance in Argentina, Chile and South Africa he pursues an alternative approach that traces the impact of ethnic mobilisation on state capacity by putting the analytical focus on collective action patterns by ethnic groups, pre-existing state structures, and the perceptions and interests of state officials.

ESID publications

Singh, P. and Vom Hau, M. (2014). ‘The ethnic diversity and public goods provision hypothesis revisited: Exploring the effects of ethnicity on state capacity’,  in B. Bukenya, S. Hickey, and K. Sen (eds.), The Politics of Inclusive Development: Interrogating the Evidence. New York: Oxford University Press.
Vom Hau, M. (2012). ‘State capacity and inclusive development: New challenges and directions‘. ESID Working Paper No. 2. Manchester
His current project, titled The impact of ethnicity on state capacity, aims to identify specific causal mechanisms that link ethnicity to state capacity.

Other recent publications

Vom Hau, M., Scott, J. and Hulme, D. (2012). ‘Beyond the BRICS: Alternative strategies of influence in the global politics of development’, European Journal of Development Research, 24(2).
Vom Hau, M. and Wilde, G. (2010). ‘”We have always lived here”: Indigenous movements, citizenship and poverty in Argentine’, Journal of Development Studies, 46(7).

Further information

View Matthias’ IBEI profile.