Researching the politics of development



Dr Sophie King



Sophie King is Research Fellow at the Realising Just Cities programme at the University of Sheffield’s Urban Institute.
Along with Diana Mitlin and Peter Kasaija, she has co-produced research for ESID into urban poverty reduction programming in Uganda in partnership with the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda and their support NGO, ACTogether Uganda.


Sophie’s research, and former practice, focuses on relationships between marginalised communities and local governments, most recently in relation to urban social movements. Her articles have been published in the Journal of Development Studies; the European Journal of Development Research; and Third World Quarterly. Her current work focuses on research as transformative practice and ‘seeing’ the inner city ‘from the South’.

ESID publications

King, S. and Kasaija, P. (2018). ‘State-movement partnership in Uganda: Co-producing an enabling environment for urban poverty reduction?ESID Working Paper No. 98. Manchester.
King, S. and Hickey, S. (2015). ‘Beyond elite bargains: building democracy from below in Uganda’. ESID Working Paper No. 45. Manchester.

Other recent publications

Hickey, S. and King, S. (2016). ‘Shaping social accountability: politics, power and social contracts‘, Journal of Development Studies, 52(8): 1225-1240.
King, S. (2015). ‘Increasing the power of the poor? NGO-led social accountability initiatives and political capabilities in Uganda‘, European Journal of Development Research, 27(5): 887-902.
King, S. (2015) ‘Political capabilities for democratisation in Uganda: good governance or popular organisation building?Third World Quarterly, 36(4): 741-757.

Further information

View Sophie’s profile on
Watch Sophie introduce her research on urban poverty in Uganda.
Watch Sophie talk about why local government are committed to reducing urban poverty in Uganda.