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Dr Clive Gabay, BA (Leicester), MA (Birkbeck College) PhD (Open University)


Senior Lecturer

Telephone: 020 7882 5832
Room Number: Arts One, 2.21


Office Hours: Tuesdays 2-3pm

Clive Gabay graduated in Politics from the University of Leicester and then went on to study for a Masters degree in Imperialism and Post-Colonial Societies at Birkbeck College, UoL, simultaneously working as a researcher for the UK Department for International Development. Following this he returned to do a PhD at the Open University, and in 2010 joined the School of Politics and International Relations at QMUL. In 2011 and 2012 he won British International Studies Association Conference Awards, the first of which funded a conference on liberal state-building in Africa, the second on protest in Africa. The first of these resulted in a co-edited book due out in 2014 with Routledge, called Critical Perspectives on African Politics: Liberal Interventions, State Building and Civil Society. He is also writing a book for Lexington due in 2015 on development and democracy in post-Cold War Malawi. The field-research for this book was enabled through a British Academy Small Research Grant, awarded in 2012. Clive will direct a major conference in September 2014 called After 2015: Development and its Alternative, hosted as part of the British Academy Conference scheme. 

Blog: Colonial Interregnums/African Spaces

Twitter: @clivesg

Undergraduate Teaching

POL244 The International Politics of the Developing World (Level 5)*
POL372 Africa and International Politics (Level 6)*

*I am on research leave during 2015/16


Research Interests:

My current interests fall into three main areas:

1) The historical and Eurocentric nature of contemporary debates about Africa’s rise (being pursued through a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council)
2) The decolonial methodology of late 19th century and early 20th century German-Jewish Anarchists
3) Foucauldian approaches to international development policy, in particular relating to the transition away from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals

Past projects include an analysis of international development policy, civil society and state building in Malawi (resulting in a number of published papers and a book due out with Lexington in 2015), and an analysis along similar lines but in a more global context, with a book published in 2012 with Routledge assessing a large global civil society network called the Global Call to Action against Poverty.

Examples of research funding:

2015-2017 Historicising Contemporary Africa Rising Narratives, Arts and Humanities Research Council, £175,000

2014 After 2015: Development and its Alternatives, British Academy Conferences Award, £30,000

2012 A Double-Edged Sword: The Millennium Development Goals and Civil Society in Malawi, British Academy Small Research Grant, £7,500



Gabay, C. Exploring an African Civil Society: Development and Democracy in Malawi, 1994 2014 (Boulder: Lexington Books)

Death, C. And Gabay, C. Eds. Critical Perspectives on African Politics: Liberal Interventions, State Building and Civil Society (London, New York: Routledge) 

Gabay, C. (2012) Civil Society and Global Poverty: Hegemony, Inclusivity, Legitimacy (London, New York: Routledge)

Journal Articles:

Gabay, C. (Forthcoming 2016) Of Homburg Hats and Banned Miniskirts: Hasting Banda as the racialized autocrat and implications for assessments of contemporary protest in Malawi, Journal of Southern African Studies

Gabay, C. and Death, C. (2015) Doing Biopolitics Differently? Radical Potential in the Post-2015 MDG and SDG Debates, Globalizations, 12:4, pp. 597-612

Gabay, C. (2014) 'Two ‘transitions’: the political economy of Joyce Banda's rise to power and the related role of civil society organisations in Malawi' Review of African Political Economy Volume 41, Issue 141, pp. 374-388

Gabay, C. Pugh, J. and Williams, A. (2013) Reassertions of national interest: reflections on the UK Coalition Government's security-development nexus? Geoforum, 44, pp.  193?201 

Gabay, C. (2012) ?The Millennium Development Goals and Neoliberal Engineering? Third World Quarterly, 33:7, pp.1249-1265 

Death, C. and Gabay, C.  (2012)  ?Building States and Civil Societies in Africa: Liberal Interventions and Global Governmentality?, Journal of Intervention and State Building, 6:1, pp.1-6 

Gabay, C. (2011) ?Poverty eradication and the elimination of dissent: The Millennium Development Goals and civil society in Malawi?, Globalizations Vol. 8, No. 3 

Berry, C. and Gabay, C. (2009), ?Transnational political action and ?global civil society? in practice: the case of Oxfam?, Global Networks, Vol. 9, No. 3, 339-358 

Gabay, C. (2008) ?Anarcho-cosmopolitanism: The universalisation of the equal exchange?, Global Society, Vol. 22, No. 2, 197-216

Book Chapters:

Gabay, C. (2010) ‘De-naming the beast: the multiple publicities of the Global Call to Action against Poverty’ in Barnett, C. Mahony, N. and Newman, J (eds) Rethinking the Public: Innovations in Research, Theory and Policy, (Bristol: Policy Press) pp. 127-143

Gabay, C. (2009) ‘Anarchy, Decentralization and Autonomy at the Seattle anti-WTO protests’, in Jun, N (ed) New Perspectives on Anarchism, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books) pp. 121-133

PhD Supervision

I would be delighted to supervise doctoral theses in the following areas:

  • Statehood and sovereignty in postcolonial Africa
  • State-civil society relations, including the relationship between civil society and agents/structures of global governance
  • The politics of International Development
  • African political thought

Current PhD students:

Jenna Marshall, Decolonial educational strategies and methodology in Barbados
Titilayo Ayoola, Participatory Rural Development in South West Nigeria

Public Engagement

In a previous project I contributed to the development of accountability mechanisms within a large global civil society network, the Global Call to Action against Poverty ( More recently I have become a regular contributor to international news stories on contemporary events in Malawi, and political protests in Africa more broadly. I have also acted as a consultant for a BBC World Documentary on Gender in World Politics.

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