Sean Fox

Department of International Development (ID) foxsean






Sean joined the department as a Teaching Fellow in 2007. Since then he has managed the consulting project component of the MSc degree in Development Management. He was a PhD Research Fellow with the DfID-funded Crisis States Research Centre from 2006-2010. Sean's thesis, ‘Urbanization and African Development’, explores the history and political economy of urban development in Sub-Saharan Africa utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods. He has worked as an adviser on urban poverty and development issues for UN-Habitat, CARE International, Oxfam GB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Sean earned a BA in Economics and a BA in Literature from the University of California Santa Cruz, and an MSc in Development Management from the LSE.

Research interests

  • Urbanization and urban development;
  • conflict and violence;
  • fragile states;
  • population dynamics;
  • political economy of institutions and governance;
  • decentralisation;
  • African development.


  • Beall, J. and S. Fox (2009) Cities and Development. London: Routledge.
  • Fox, S. (2012) ‘Urbanization as a Global Historical Process: Theory and Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa’, Population and Development Review, (forthcoming June, 2012).
  • Fox, S. & K. Hoelscher (2012) ‘Political order, development and social violence’, Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 49, No 3. (forthcoming, May 2012).
  • Fox, S. & J. Beall (2012) ‘Mitigating conflict and violence in African cities’, Environment and Planning: C (forthcoming 2012).
  • Beall, J., Fox, S. & H. Gazdar (2010) Policy Directions: Cities and Fragile States, Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics & Political Science, London, UK.
  • Beall, J. & S. Fox (2007) ‘Urban Poverty and Development in the 21st Century: Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable World’. Oxfam Research Report.
  • Hanlon, J. & S. Fox (2006) ‘Identifying Fraud in Democratic Elections: a case study of the 2004 presidential elections in Mozambique’. Crisis States Research Centre Working Paper (Series 2) No. 8. London School of Economics & Political Science, London, UK.

Conferences & Presentations

  • Urban Conflicts Conference, Queen's University Belfast, May 2011. Invited panellist on the World Bank WDR 2011 sponsonsored roundtable on Cities, Conflict and Development.
  • International Political Science Association / European Consortium of Political Research, Sao Paulo, February 2011. 'Political Order, Social Development and Social Violence'.
  • UN-Habitat, Nairobi. "Cities and Fragile States" (June 2010).
  • 60th Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Edinburgh. "The Political and Economic Origins of Africa's 'Urban Crisis'" (March 2010)
  • Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford,. "On the origins and consequences of slums" (March 2008)
  • World Bank Urban Symposium. "Blue Cities: Encompassing Governance, Urban Integration and Economic Performance" (May, 2007).
  • Royal Institute of British Architects. "Cities and International Development" (March 2007)

Contact details