Skip to main content
Dr Portia Roelofs

Dr Portia Roelofs

Lecturer in Politics

Biography

Dr Roelofs has degrees from Oxford, SOAS and LSE. She has held post-doctoral fellowships at the LSE and St Anne’s College, Oxford. She has been a visiting researcher at the Universities of Maiduguri and Ibadan, Nigeria. She is co-convenor of the Political Studies Association special group on Global Development Politics and sits on the editorial board of the African Arguments book series. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Visit my personal website here.

Office hours

Semester two - 23/24

Monday: 11.00 - 12.00

Friday: 10.00 - 11.00

In-person or online. Booking required. Please e-mail for booking link.

Research

Dr Roelofs’ research lies at the intersection of development studies, African politics and political theory. Her work brings a critical approach to questions of governance, democracy and accountability, and problematises the political-economies that shape knowledge production in these fields.

Dr Roelofs’ forthcoming book Good governance in Nigeria: Rethinking accountability and transparency in the twenty-first century draws on in-depth qualitative fieldwork in southwest Nigeria to propose new, socially-embedded conceptions of accountability and transparency. She has convened workshops and panels on ideas, ideology and values in African politics.

Dr Roelofs’ ongoing research explores new frontiers of privatisation, looking how new configurations of public and private actors, and states and markets, are shaping governance whether in the UK, Nigeria or beyond. This research focuses on two themes: the role of management consultants in government and public-private partnerships (PPPs).

She also has interests in the politics of public sector reform, parties and ideology, elite social networks, the politics of knowledge production, and the possibilities for decolonising the study of politics and development.

Teaching

2023/24 academic year

Semester 1:

  • 6SSPP358 Politics of Trade
  • 5SSPP266 Introduction to Climate Policy

Semester 2:

  • LISS377 Knowledge Production in and about Africa

Previous years:

  • 6SSPP392 Political Effects of Climate Change
    6SSPP375 Race and Racism in Political Theory

PhD supervision

Current PhD students:

Tobechukwu Nneli - Diaspora Social Media Use and State Legitimacy in Nigeria

Dr Roelofs is not generally accepting PhD proposals at this time.

Publications

Good governance in Nigeria: Rethinking accountability and transparency in the twenty-first century (Cambridge University Press, 2023).
Reviewed in Democratization and Journal of Modern African Studies.

Urban renewal in Ibadan, Nigeria: World class but essentially Yoruba. African Affairs, 2021 (open access) 120 (480)

The death of political possibility? Reading State and Society in Nigeria 40 years on. Review of African Political Economy, 2022.

Contesting localisation in interfaith peacebuilding in Northern Nigeria. Oxford Development Studies, 2020. (Open access via this link.)

Making pandemic politics transparent: lessons from Nigeria, Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy (2020) Vol 28 (3).

Flying in the univer-topia: white people on planes, #RhodesMustFall and climate emergency, Journal of African Cultural Studies, 2019.

Beyond programmatic versus patrimonial politics: Contested conceptions of legitimate distribution in Nigeria. Journal of Modern African Studies, 2019, 57 (3).

Transparency and mistrust: Who or what should be made transparent? Governance, 2019, 32 (3)

Research

dan-freeman-G4E6PcOt4Ps-unsplash
Global South Research Group

The Global South research group brings together scholars engaged in research on international political and economic trends, non-European perspectives, and south-south comparisons.

Environment-thomas-richter-unsplash
Environment and Public Policy

The Environment and Public Policy Group

Tower_Bridge_Sunset_HERO
Political Theory Research Group

The political theory group covers many topics and approaches, and affirms the central importance of political economy to political theory.

News

Staff and students honoured at annual awards

Outstanding students and staff from across the School of Politics and Economics (SPE) were honoured at an awards ceremony.

SPEaward23John

Research

dan-freeman-G4E6PcOt4Ps-unsplash
Global South Research Group

The Global South research group brings together scholars engaged in research on international political and economic trends, non-European perspectives, and south-south comparisons.

Environment-thomas-richter-unsplash
Environment and Public Policy

The Environment and Public Policy Group

Tower_Bridge_Sunset_HERO
Political Theory Research Group

The political theory group covers many topics and approaches, and affirms the central importance of political economy to political theory.

News

Staff and students honoured at annual awards

Outstanding students and staff from across the School of Politics and Economics (SPE) were honoured at an awards ceremony.

SPEaward23John