Researching the politics of development



Professor Brian Levy



Brian Levy  is Professor of the Practice of International Development, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC and Academic Director, Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town. Brian leads the ESID South Africa research team.


Brian’s research covers an extensive range of topics, including the interactions between public institutions, the private sector and development in Africa, East Asia and elsewhere. He is currently working on three ESID projects: ‘The political economy of agency-level performance in South Africa‘;  ‘The provision of basic education in South Africa: institutional and political challenges‘; and ‘The politics of state-business relations‘.

ESID publications

Hirsch, A. and Levy, B. (2018). ‘Elaborate scaffolding, weak foundations: Business-government relations and economic reform in democratic South Africa‘, ESID Working Paper No. 105. Manchester.
Levy, B. and Shumane, L. (2017). ‘School governance in a fragmented political and bureaucratic environment: Case studies from South Africa’s Eastern Cape province‘, ESID Working Paper No. 84. Manchester.
Levy, B., Cameron, R., Hoadley, U. and Naidoo, V. (2016). ‘The politics and governance of basic education: A tale of two South African provinces‘, ESID Working Paper No. 67. Manchester.
Levy, B. and  Cameron, R. (2016). ‘The potential and limits of performance management: Improving basic education in the Western Cape‘, ESID Working Paper No. 62. Manchester.
Hoadley, U., Levy, B., Shumane, L. andWilburn, S. (2015). ‘Leadership, stakeholders and learner performance in four Western Cape schools‘, ESID Working Paper No. 61. Manchester.
Levy, B., Hirsch, A. and Woolard, I. (2015). ‘Governance and inequality: Benchmarking and interpreting South Africa’s evolving political settlement‘, ESID Working Paper No. 51. Manchester.
Levy, B. and Walton, M. (2013). ‘Institutions, incentives and service provision: bringing the politics back in’. ESID Working Paper No. 18. Manchester.


Levy, B., Cameron, R., Hoadley, U. and Naidoo, V. (2018) The Politics and Governance of Basic Education: A Tale of Two South African Provinces. Oxford University Press.
Levy, B. (2014). Working with the Grain: Integrating Governance and Growth in Development Strategies. Oxford University Press.

Further information

Visit Brain Levy’s website and read his blog.
See Brian Levy’s staff profile at the University of Cape Town Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance.