Researching the politics of development



Dr Tim Kelsall



Tim Kelsall is a Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London, and and Research Director for the African Cities Research Consortium.  He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester. Between 2013 and 2015 he was the Cambodia team leader for ESID, working on growth, health and education projects. Currently he is coordinating ESID’s work on maternal health and working on a new typology of political settlements.


Tim’s research interests are in political anthropology, political economy of development, and African politics. In his work for ESID, he is interested in the politics of accumulation; the politics of social provisioning; as well as ESID’s conceptual framework.

ESID publications

Schulz, N. and Kesall, T. (2020). ‘The political settlements dataset: An introduction with illustrative applications‘. ESID Working Paper No 165. Manchester.

Kelsall, T. (2020). ‘Political settlements and the implementation of maternal health policy in the developing world: A comparative case study of Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda and Bangladesh‘. ESID Working Paper No. 138. Manchester.

Muy, T.-T., Kelsall, T., Khieng, S. and Chantha, C. (2016). ‘The political economy of education reform in Cambodia‘. ESID Working Paper No. 58. Manchester.

Kelsall, T. and Heng, S. (2014). ‘The political economy of inclusive healthcare in Cambodia‘. ESID Working Paper No. 43. Manchester.

Kelsall, T., and Heng, S. (2014). ‘The political settlement and economic growth in Cambodia‘. ESID Working Paper No. 37. Manchester.

Other recent publications

Kelsall, T. (2018). ‘Towards a universal political settlements concept: A response to Mushtaq Khan‘. African Affairs 117(469): 656-669.
Kelsall, T. (2013). Business, Politics and the State in Africa: Challenging the Orthodoxies on Growth and Transformation (London: Zed Books).
Kelsall, T. (2013). ‘Economic growth and political succession: A study of two regions’. Developmental Regimes in Africa Project, Working Paper 1 (London: Overseas Development Institute/DRA).
Kelsall, T. (2014). ‘Authoritarianism, democracy, and development’. State of the Art Paper 3 (University of Birmingham: Developmental Leadership Programme).

On the blog

Pep Guardiola’s lessons for the politics of development.

Other roles

Resource person to the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR).
Getty Images contributor.

Further information

View Tim’s publications on