Reader in Comparative Politics
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
My current energy-related research focuses on the role of oil and gas companies as pivotal actors in shaping the embryonic transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable sources of energy. From a background in the political economy of development with a focus on (Southern) Africa, my research has come to focus on linkages between extractive industries and socio-economic development. I am interested in how shifts in global energy markets affect prospects for development in natural resource-dependent states – especially the oil and gas exporting ones – across the developing world, as well as the economic, political and geostrategic consequences of the current energy transition for producer and consumer states more generally. A related aspect of my research concerns the nature of competition and collaboration between North American and European International Oil Companies (IOCs) and the National Oil Companies (NOCs) of the Global South, including the viability of unconventional oil and gas production (e.g., shale, ultra-deepwater and Arctic resources) in an environment where concerns about “stranded assets” are increasing due to intensifying efforts to achieve a global low-carbon transition. In this context I am also researching the notion of a transatlantic divide in terms of how North American and European IOCs engage with climate governance. Lastly, I am interested in the political and economic history of natural resources and oil, including the role of “Big Oil” in American politics.