Dr Laura Mann

Dr Laura Mann

Assistant Professor

Department of International Development

+44 (0) 207 955 6744
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About me

Laura Mann is a sociologist whose research focuses on the political economy of markets and new information and communication technologies in Africa. Before joining the LSE as an assistant professor, she worked as a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and at the African Studies Centre in Leiden. She is on the Editorial Working Group of the Review of African Political Economy and is the book reviews editor for Africa. Currently she is working on two major projects: a book project examining the economic ideology of the Islamist movement in Sudan and a new research project examining the political economy of digital data value chains in agriculture (in the Rift Valley, Kenya and the Central Valley, California, USA). She is a research affiliate of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa.

If she could sum up her research interests in one question, it would be "under what conditions do people become recognizably valuable to their governments (both economically and politically)?

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

  • African Political Economy (particularly business-state relations)
  • Political Economy of Innovation and Growth (particularly in ICTs and agriculture)
  • Sudanese Politics and History
  • Islam, Islamism, Islamic finance and Economic Development
  • Higher Education in Africa and the Middle East
  • Knowledge Production about and in Africa
  • Surveillance and Critical Data Studies in Africa and the Middle East 

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.