Claire joined the Department of Geography and Environment in 2009, having previously held lectureships in Human Geography at the universities of Leicester (2001-2008) and Swansea (1998-2001). She holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Liverpool.
Working at the interface of Human Geography, African Studies and Development Studies, Claire's early research developed a geographical critique of the concept of civil society that confronted assumptions about the spatiality and makeability’ of African civil society. Drawing on ideas from postcolonial studies this work recast the discussion of civil society in Africa in terms that emphasized the diverse social and political work done by civil society actors such as NGOs and home associations.
Recent research has been concerned with the relationship between the African diaspora and the African continent. This research places Africa at the centre of questions about diaspora. Claire recently completed a four-year ESRC-funded research project, graded ‘outstanding’, which examined the development work undertaken in Africa by diaspora communities in Britain. This involved a study of four transnational home associations from Cameroon and Tanzania (with Ben Page, UCL; and Martin Evans, University of Chester). The book based on the project, Development and the African diaspora: place and the politics of home is published by Zed Books. is published by Zed Books.
Claire is currently working on new research on the middle classes, domestic architecture and suburban space in Tanzania.
Claire is a member of the Editorial Working Group of Review of African Political Economy, a member of the International Advisory Board of Antipode, a member of the Advisory Board of Critical African Studies, and an Editorial Board Member of the Development Geography Section for Geography COMPASS.
Full list of publications (pdf).