Dr Laura Mann

Dr Laura Mann

Assistant Professor

Department of International Development

Connect with me

Arabic, English
Key Expertise
Political Economy, Knowledge Economy, African Development, Digitisation

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

Selected publications

  • Mann, Laura (Forthcoming) “Corporations Left to Other Peoples’ Devices: A Political Economy Perspective on the Big Data Revolution in Development” Development and Change

  • Mann, Laura and Mark Graham (2016) "The Domestic Turn: Business Processing Outsourcing and the Growing Automation of Kenyan Organisations", Journal of Development Studies. 52(4): 530-548.

  • Mann, Laura and Marie Berry (2016) "Understanding the Political Motivations that Shape Rwanda’s Emergent Developmental State", New Political Economy. 21(1): 119-144.

  • Graham, Mark, Casper Andersen and Laura Mann (2015) "Geographies of Connectivity in East Africa: Trains, Telecommunications and Technological Teleologies", Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 40(3): 334–349. 

  • Mann, Laura and Elie Nzayisenga (2015) "Sellers on the Street: the Human Infrastructure of the Mobile Phone Network in Kigali, Rwanda", Critical African Studies. 7(1): 26-46.

  • Mann, Laura (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.