Dr Laura Mann

Dr Laura Mann

Associate Professor in International Development

Department of International Development

Connect with me

Arabic, English
Key Expertise
Political Economy, Knowledge and Technology, African Development, Digital

About me

Laura Mann is a sociologist whose research focuses on the political economy of development, knowledge and technology. Her regional focus is East Africa (Sudan, Kenya and Rwanda) but she has also worked on collaborative research on ICTs and BPO in Asia and has conducted fieldwork in North America as part of a project on digitisation within global agriculture.

Before joining the LSE as an assistant professor, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and at the African Studies Centre in Leiden, and received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh. She is on the Editorial Working Group of the Review of African Political Economy. She is a research affiliate of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa.

If she could sum up her current research interests in one question, it would be "Who captures the benefits of knowledge and technology within the global economy and what can be done to increase and widen control of those benefits?’

She is happy to supervise ID MSc. students working on topics such as:

  • The politics of economic transformation (particularly in Africa and the Middle East) 
  • Digitisation and global development/trade
  • Intellectual histories of development
  • Higher education, knowledge production and development
  • Islam, Islamism, Islamic finance and Economic Development
  • Sudanese Politics and History

You can see a full list of Dr Laura Mann's publications here

Selected publications

  • Mann, L. and G. Iazzolino (Forthcoming) “From Development State to Corporate Leviathan: Historicizing the Infrastructural Performativity of Digital Platforms within Kenyan Agriculture” Development and Change.

  • Kleibert, J. and L. Mann (2020) “Capturing Value Amidst Global Restructuring: Economic Development and Information and Technology Enabled Services in India, the Philippines and Kenya” European Journal of Development Research 32: 1057-1079. 

  • Foster, C., Graham, M., Mann, L., Waema, T., and N. Friederici (2018) “Digital Control in Value Chains: Challenges of Connectivity for East African Firms” Economic Geography94(1), 68-86.

  • Mann, L. (2018) “Corporations Left to Other Peoples’ Devices: A Political Economy Perspective on the Big Data Revolution in Development” Development and Change 49(1): 3-36.

  • Beresford, A., Berry, M. and L. Mann (2018) “Liberation Movements and Stalled Democratic Transitions: Reproducing Power in Rwanda and South African through Productive Liminality” Democratization 25(7): 1231- 1250.

  • Mann, L. (2014) “Wasta!: the Long Term Implications of Education Expansion and Economic Liberalization on Politics in Sudan” Review of African Political Economy 41(142): 561-578.