Clare Cummings


Personal profile


Currently, my research examines how power relations and institutions function across political boundaries, with the aim of developing a cultural political economy approach to understanding how transnational institutions influence environmental justice in the global South.

My PhD research studied the politics of institutional change. This involved developing an alternative approach to political settlements analysis and demonstrating its value through application to cases of institutional change in the governance of mining in El Salvador and the protection of minority group rights in Nepal.

Previously, my research centred on understanding service delivery challenges from a political economy perspective in a number of countries in East and West Africa. My work also contributed to developing the 'Thinking and Working Politically' and 'Politically Smart, Locally-led' agenda within development programming. Together, this research informed NGO and donor interventions in numerous countries, including Nigeria, Niger, Tanzania and Nepal.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Social Science, Understanding power, culture and institutional change: an alternative approach to political settlements analysis, Global Development Institute

1 Sept 201928 Mar 2023

Award Date: 28 Mar 2023

Master in Science, Tax reform in Lagos State: Identifying the role of ideas, institutions, and interests in political change, The University of Manchester

Sept 2018Sept 2019

Award Date: 8 Oct 2019

Master in Science, Contesting the governance of slum resettlement, University of Amsterdam

Jan 2011Jan 2012

Award Date: 1 Jan 2012

External positions

Associate, The Policy Practice

Nov 2021 → …

Research Associate, ODI

2018 → …

Areas of expertise

  • JA Political science (General)
  • JF Political institutions (General)
  • PC Romance languages

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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