Researching the politics of development



Professor Sam Hickey



Sam Hickey is Professor of Politics and Development at the University of Manchester, and Joint Director of Research at the ESID research centre. He is also Research Director at the Global Development Institute, where ESID is based.


Sam’s research interests include the links between politics and development, including issues of state capacity and elite commitment; natural resource governance; social exclusion and adverse incorporation; citizenship participation and NGOs; the politics of social protection and social justice.
Within ESID, Sam is coordinating and researching on a project that will investigate the implications of oil for governance and inclusive development in Ghana and Uganda. He is also working on a project exploring the politics of securing higher levels of capacity and commitment to delivering improved quality schooling, through a comparison of Bangladesh and Ghana. Finally, he is providing support for a project on women’s political empowerment exploring the link between women’s political inclusion in developing countries and the successful adoption and implementation of policies aimed at gender equity.

ESID publications

Hickey, S., Bukenya, B. and Matsiko, H. (2021). ‘Pockets of effectiveness, political settlements and technopols in Uganda: From state-building to regime survival‘. ESID Working Paper No. 172. Manchester.

Lavers, T. and Hickey, S. (2020). ‘Alternative routes to the institutionalisation of social transfers in sub-Saharan Africa: Political survival strategies and transnational policy coalitions‘. ESID Working Paper No. 138. Manchester.
Hickey, S. and Seekings, J. (2020). ‘Who should get what, how and why? DFID and the transnational politics of social cash transfers‘. ESID Working Paper No. 131. Manchester.
Hickey, S. and Izama, A. (2019). ‘The politics of governing oil after ‘best-practice’ reforms: Can ‘pockets of effectiveness’ survive within Uganda’s political settlement? ‘. ESID Working Paper No. 128. Manchester.
Hickey, S. (2019). ‘The politics of state capacity and development in Africa: Reframing and researching ‘pockets of effectiveness’. ESID Working Paper No. 117. Manchester.
Bukenya, B. and Hickey, S. (2019). ‘The shifting fortunes of the economic technocracy in Uganda: Caught between state-building and regime survival? ESID Working Paper No. 121. Manchester.
Nazneen, S., Hickey, S. and Sifaki, E. (eds.) (2019). Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South: The Politics of Domestic Violence Policy. Routledge. OPEN ACCESS.
Hickey, S. and Hossain, N. (eds.). (2019). The Politics of Education in Developing Countries: From Schooling to Learning.  Oxford University Press. OPEN ACCESS.
K. Pruce and S. Hickey (2017). ‘The politics of promoting social protection in Zambia‘. ESID Working Paper No. 75. Manchester.
S. Hickey and B. Bukenya (2016). ‘The politics of promoting social cash transfers in Uganda‘, ESID Working Paper No. 69. Manchester.
S. Hickey, A.-G. Abdulai, A. Izama and G. Mohan (2015). ‘The politics of governing oil effectively: A comparative study of two new oil-rich states in Africa‘, ESID Working Paper No. 54. Manchester.
S. Hickey, with B. Bukenya, A. Izama and W. Kitizo (2015). ‘The political settlement and oil in Uganda‘, ESID Working Paper No. 48. Manchester.
T. Lavers and S. Hickey (2015). ‘Investigating the political economy of social protection expansion in Africa: at the intersection of transnational ideas and domestic politics‘, ESID Working Paper No. 47. Manchester.

S. King and S. Hickey (2015). ‘Beyond elite bargains: building democarcy from below in Uganda‘, ESID Working Paper No. 45. Manchester.

A.-G. Abdulai and S. Hickey (2014). ‘Rethinking the politics of development in Africa? How the “political settlement” shapes resource allocation in Ghana‘, ESID Working Paper No. 38. Manchester.

S. Hickey, K. Sen and B. Bukenya (eds.) (2014). The Politics of Inclusive Development: Interrogating the Evidence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
F. Golooba-Mutebi and S. Hickey (2013). ‘Investigating the links between political settlements and inclusive development in Uganda: towards a research agenda’, ESID Working Paper No. 20. Manchester.
S. Hickey (2013). ‘Thinking about the politics of inclusive development: towards a relational approach‘, ESID Working Paper No. 1. Manchester.

Other recent publications

Hickey, S. (2013). ‘Beyond the poverty agenda? Insights from the new politics of development in Uganda’, World Development, 43: 194-206.
Hickey, S. (2012). ‘Beyond ‘poverty reduction through good governance’: the new political economy of development in Africa’, New Political Economy, 17(5).
Hickey, S. (2010). ‘The government of chronic poverty: From exclusion to citizenship?’, Journal of Development Studies special issue on this topic, 46(7).

Further information

View Professor Sam Hickey’s staff profile.