Dr Erica Pani

Dr Erica Pani

Assistant Professor (Education) of Local Economic Development and Planning

Department of Geography and Environment

Room No
CKK 4.16
Office Hours
Book via Student Hub
English, Italian, Swahili
Key Expertise
Economic Geography; Methods; Local Economic Development

About me

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.

Research areas:

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.

selected publications

Articles in Refereed Journals

  • Manara, M. and Pani, E. (2023) ‘Institutional work: how lenders transform land titles into collateral in urban Tanzania,’ Journal of Economic Geography, 23(6): 1213-1236.
  • Manara, M. and Pani, E. (2023) ‘Incremental land tenure formalisation: interim property rights in urban Tanzania’, Land Use Policy, 129 (June) 106654
  • Manara, M. and Pani, E. (2023) ‘Institutional hybrids: local leaders and the formalisation of property rights in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’, Geoforum, 140 (2023) 103722
  • Holman, N., Mace, A., Zorloni, D., Navarrete, P., Karlsson, J., and Pani, E. (2022) ‘Race-based readings of safety in public space in Milan, the challenge for urban design,’  European Urban and Regional Studies, 30(3): 282-296.
  • Holman, N., Mossa, A. and Pani, E. (2018) ‘Planning, value(s) and the market: An analytic for ‘what comes next?’’ Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 50(3): 608–626.
  • Pani, E. (2017) ‘Economic geographies of value revisited’, Geography Compass, 11(9): 1-13.
  • Pani, E. and Holman, N. (2014) ‘A fetish and fiction of finance: Unravelling the subprime crisis’, Economic Geography, 90(2): 213-235.
  • Works in Progress
  • Navqi, M., Pani, E., Mace, A. and Holman, N. ‘Muslim women’s perceptions of safety in public space’, (submitted February 2024 to Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space)
  • Pani, E. Justice deficits in climate-risk adaptation: Perpetuating informality in flood-risk adaptation policies, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania,’ (Target Journal, World Development or Transactions)

Other Publications

  • Pani, E., Dimment, M., Mshana, M. and Manara, M. (2024) ‘Justice deficits in climate-risk adaptation: the case of flood-risk responses in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’, LSE Blogs. Read blog
  • Manara, M. and Pani, E. (2022) ‘Property rights in Tanzania: the tensions of land ownership in informal settlements’ LSE blog. Read blog
  • Pani, E. (2018) ‘Governing Inclusive Finance: Towards a Manifesto for Change’, Re-Imagining Economies Project, Report. Newcastle University. Read report
  • Pani, E. (2015) Book Review, On South Bank: The Production of Public Space, by Alasdair J.H. Jones (2014), Journal of Urbanism, 9(1): 97-98.
  • Pani, E. (2014) Book Review, Remaking London: Decline and Regeneration in Urban Culture, by Ben Campkin, Geographical. Read review
  • Pani, E. and Wills, J. (2013) Poplar Neighbourhood Community Budget: Learning and Evaluation Report. Department for Communities and Local Government: London
  • Pani, E. (2012) ‘Transforming the riverside: the stories behind the re-development of London’s South Bank’, Discovering Britain: A Series of Guided Walks, Royal Geographic Society (with IBG): London. Read article
  • Pani, E. (2009) ‘Learning, knowledge transfer and innovation: why gender matters in local and regional economic competitiveness’, Queen Mary Working Paper Series, School of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London.