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Dr Mahvish Shami

shami-m-113x148Assistant Professor,
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow (2012-2015)


Dr Shami joined LSE in 2006 as a PhD student and became a member of staff in September 2011. Her PhD focused on how agrarian power relations can be altered in favour of the rural poor. In particular, she looked at patron-client relationships established between peasants and their landlords. While historically, landlords' exploitative powers are argued to stem from the level of inequality in the rural economy, Mahvish's research shows that it is the interaction of inequality with isolation that limits peasants exit options and thereby creates a monopolist/monopsonist landlord. Her work thereby demonstrates that in the short to medium term connectivity can go a long way to improving peasants' welfare.

Mahvish has been a visiting research fellow at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, and worked as an external consultant for the World Bank. After completing her PhD she spent a year doing Post-Doctoral research at the Institute of Food and Resource Economics at Copenhagen University. Her current research builds on her doctoral thesis by exploring the types of collective action projects peasants undertake in villages with varying levels of connectivity.

Research interests

  • Clientelism
  • Interlinked Markets
  • Collective Action
  • Spatial Inequality
  • Political Economy of Development

Recent publications

  • Shami, M. 2012. 'Collective action, clientelism and connectivity,' American Political Science Review, Forthcoming.
  • Shami, M. 2012. 'The impact of connectivity on market interlinkages; Evidence from rural Punjab,' World Development 40(5), 999-1012.
  • Faguet, J.P. and M. Shami. 2008. 'Fiscal Policy and Spatial Inequality in Latin America and Beyond,' World Bank Policy Research Working Paper.

Working papers

  • Shami, M. 2010. 'The Impact of Market Exposure on Public Goods Provision' Institute of Food and Resource Economics Working Paper, University of Copenhagen. (Revise and re-submit from Economic Development and Cultural Change).

Contact Details:

  • Email: m.shami@lse.ac.uk
  • Fax: +44 (0)20 7955 6844
  • Room: CON8.17, Connaught House (on leave until mid-2016).