Erica is Director of the MSc Local Economic Development. She graduated with a PhD in Economic Geography from Queen Mary, University of London in 2016. She joined the Department of Geography and Environment at the LSE in September 2019, after gaining experience at the LSE, Queen Mary University of London, and Newcastle University.
In her research, Erica adopts a heterodox approach to economic geography and urban planning. Her primary goal is to uncover and apply new theoretical, conceptual, and political frameworks that pave the way for equitable economic systems. By critically examining the dynamic interplay between economic practices and societal needs, Erica's work seeks to challenge and redefine traditional notions of value and economic structures. Her distinctive approach emphasizes the significance of recognizing diverse values and the impact they have on shaping our communities and environments. Through this lens, she explores the potential for creating more inclusive and socially just urban spaces.
Erica’s teaching philosophy is rooted in the belief that education should be interactive and transformative. Her aim is to inspire students to think critically and reflectively, motivating them to question and expand their understandings of themselves and the world around them. With a focus on economic geography, research methods, local economic development, and planning, she employs a variety of engaging tools and activities to ensure a dynamic and enriching learning environment.
A Value Approach to Political Economy:
Adapting and reposing Roger Lee’s work on the Ordinary Economy, Erica’s PhD explored how processes of neoliberalization necessarily emerge in-and-through existing multiple and complex socio-spatial relations. Focusing on the marketisation of Higher Education in England, her PhD won the Royal Geographic Society Best PhD in the UK Economic Geography Research Group, 2016.
A Value Approach to Planning:
Collaborating with colleagues from the Regional and Urban Planning Studies Programme (RUPS) at the LSE, this work suggests that planning is entrenched in values and practices of value due to its fundamental role in planning for diverse material and social forms of society-economy.
Land Tenure Regularisation in Dar es Salaam:
This collaborative work with colleagues from RUPS and Economic Geography explores informal and formal institutions of land tenure security in Dar es Salaam. Every year, around 6 million people, world-wide, settle in slums. Thus, land tenure formalisation represents an increasingly urgent structural challenge to sustainable urban development and poverty reduction - particularly in developing contexts. As a rapidly growing city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam presents an interesting and important case for exploring and theorising how embedded informal institutions affect structural change and inclusive economic growth in a Global South context.