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Dr Sophie Harman, BSocSci (Hons) Politics, MA (Research) International Political Economy, PhD Politics (Manchester)


Tel: 020 7882 5917
Location: Arts One, 2.20A


Sophie Harman

Office Hours: On sabbatical 2016/17

Sophie is a member of the School’s International Relations team. Since graduating from the University of Manchester she has held posts in the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, University of Warwick, and the Department of International Politics, City University. She joined QMUL in September 2012 and has since developed teaching provision in Global Health Politics and Africa and International Politics.

Sophie’s work focuses on the international institutions and funding streams that go towards global health initiatives, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and HIV/AIDS. Her work straddles research on international development, global governance and international political economy.

She is an active member of the Global Health Politics research community through her roles as co-convenor of the BISA Global Health working group, ISA Global Health Section Executive Membership, and advisory work to international agencies such as WHO, the European Parliament and UNAIDS. She is also Visiting Professor, HEARD, University of KwaZulu-Natal.


Undergraduate teaching:

On research leave 2015 - 2017

Postgraduate teaching:

*On research leave 2015 - 2017


Research interests:

I conduct research in the global politics of health and development. I specialise in the international politics of actors involved in governing global health from the World Bank to UN agencies to private philanthropists such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; how they interact with each other and the states and civil societies they are said to support. I am interested in how health financing and interventions are used as broader tools of political reform, particularly in countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

My research background is in International Political Economy which continues to inform my thinking about issues of global health. My recent research has focused on the Ebola response in Sierra Leone and its implications for the state, gender in global health and civil-military involvement in global health.

Between September 2015 - 2017 I will be working on a new project ‘Expired on the Shelf’ which will explore the issues and risk associated with access to treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania through the medium of film and a graphic novel. I will also be writing a book to accompany the project. The project is supported by an AXA Insurance Outlook Grant.

Below are two videos I have made on health reform in Africa and performance-based financing:


Global Health Governance (Routledge Series on Global Institutions) Abingdon: Routledge (2012)

The World Bank and HIV/AIDS: Setting a Global Agenda Abingdon: Routledge (2010)

The Global Politics of Health Reform in Africa: Participation and Performance (Palgrave MacMillan, January 2015)

Edited Books
(co-edited with Franklyn Lisk) Governance of HIV/AIDS Responses: Making Participation and Accountability Count  Routledge Abingdon: Routledge (2009)

(co-edited with William Brown) African Agency in International Politics Routledge (2013)

(co-edited with David Williams) Governing the world? The practice of global governance Routledge (2013)

Journal Articles
(with Amy Barnes and Garrett W. Brown) 'Understanding global health and development partnerships: Perspectives from African and global health system professionals' Social Science & Medicine (June 2016)

'Norms Won’t Save You: Ebola And The Norm Of Global Health Security' Global Health Governance (2016)

‘Ebola, Gender and Conspicuously Invisible Women in Global Health Governance’ Third World Quarterly (2016)

‘The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Legitimacy in Global Health Governance’ Global Governance (2016)

(with Barnes, A. and Brown, GW). ‘Locating health diplomacy through African negotiations on performance-based funding in global health.’ Journal of Health Diplomacy, 2015, Vol.1, Issue 3.

’15 years of ‘War on AIDS’: what impact has the global HIV/AIDS response had on the political economy of Africa?’ Review of African Political Economy 42 (145): 467-476

(with Lucy Ferguson) ‘Gender and Infrastructure in the World Bank’ Development Policy Review (forthcoming 2015)

(with David Williams) ‘Development in Transition’ International Affairs (June 2014)

(with Simon Rushton) ‘Leadership in Global Health Governance’ Global Health Governance (June 2014).

(with James Scott) ‘Beyond TRIPs: Why the WTO’s Doha Round is Unhealthy’ Third World Quarterly (2013, 34:8).

(with William Brown) ‘In from the margins? The changing place of Africa in International Relations’ International Affairs (2013, 89:1).

‘Governing Health Risk by Buying Behaviour’ Political Studies (2011, 59:4)

‘Searching for an Executive Head? Leadership and UNAIDS’ Global Governance (2011, 17(4)

‘The Dual Feminisation of HIV/AIDS’ Globalizations (2011, 8:2)

‘Fighting HIV/AIDS: Reconfiguring the state?’ Review of African Political Economy (2009, 36:121)

‘Bottlenecks and benevolence: how the World Bank is helping communities to ‘cope’ with HIV/AIDS’ Journal of Health Management (2009, 11:2, 279-313)

‘Introduction: New Directions in International Relations and Africa’ with William Brown, Stephen Hurt, Donna Lee and Karen Smith Roundtable (2009, 98:402, 263-267)

‘The World Bank: Failing the Multi-Country AIDS Program (MAP): Failing HIV/AIDS’ Global Governance (October-December 2007, 13:4, 485-492)

Chapters in book
‘Innovation and the perils of rebranded privatisation: the case of neoliberal global health’ A. Payne and N. Phillips (eds) Handbook of the International Political Economy of Governance (forthcoming, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014)

‘Critical reflections on global health policy formation’ G.W. Brown and G. Yarney (eds) Handbook of Global Health Policy (Wiley Blackwell, 2014)

‘Global Health Governance’ in R. Wilkinson and T. Weiss Global Governance and International Organisation (Routledge, 2013)

‘International Health Governance’ in Oxford Bibliographies in International Relations. Ed. David Armstrong. New York: Oxford University Press, (2013).

‘Women and the Millennium Development Goals: too little too late too gendered’ R. Wilkinson and D. Hulme (eds) Beyond the Millennium Development Goals (forthcoming, Routledge, 2012)

‘The World Bank and Global Health’ in O. Williams and A. Kay The Crisis of Global Health Governance: Challenges, Institutions and Political Economy  Basingstoke: Palgrave (2009)

‘The Causes, Contours and Consequences of Multi-Sectoralism within the HIV/AIDS response’ Governance of HIV/AIDS Responses: Making Participation and Accountability Count Abingdon: Routledge (2009)

Book Reviews
‘International Security, Conflict and Gender: ‘HIV/AIDS is another war’ International Feminist Journal of Politics (2013, 15:1)

‘AIDS, Illness and African well-being’, Journal of Modern African Studies (2009, 47:1)

‘AIDS, South Africa, and the Politics of Knowledge’, Journal of Modern African Studies (June 2008, 46:2)

Policy Papers
UNDP Governance and HIV/AIDS: Operational Policy & Implementation Framework (UNDP, November 2006).

UNDP E-Discussion on Governance of HIV/AIDS moderator (November-December 2006)

PhD Supervision

I have supervised two PhDs to completion and have acted as an internal and external examiner in several UK and international institutions.

I welcome research supervision in the following areas:

  • Global Health Politics
  • Africa and International Politics
  • Feminist International Political Economy

Public engagement


  • Associate Editor, Global Society
  • Editorial Board Member, International Studies Perspectives
  • Forthcoming Editor, Review of International Studies (January 2016)

Professional Associations

  • Co-convenor of BISA working group on Global Health (with Stefan Elbe and Adam Kamradt-Scott)
  • Executive Committee member of ISA Global Health Section
  • Member Academic Panel ESRC Seminar Series Committee (February 2014 - )
  • Trustee and Executive Committee member of the British International Studies Association (BISA) (2010-2012)
  • Judge, BISA Nicholson Prize, 2013

Visiting Professor

External Examiner

  • TD223 International Development, Open University (2012 - )
  • DD313 International Relations, Open University (2014 – 2015).


  • Policy Consultant. World Health Organisation, Health Promotion. (2013 - ).
  • Policy Consultant. Bureau of Development Policy, HIV/AIDS Group, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2007 - 2008 )


  • Contributor: The Independent, The Guardian, The Conversation, Open Democracy, The Lancet
  • Expert Opinion: The Economist, Vox, Voice of America, Associated Press


  • Founding trustee of Trans Tanz (UK Reg. Charity No. 1117510; Tz Reg. Society No. 14756), a charity that provides transportation to healthcare facilities for people living with HIV/AIDS in rural Tanzania. For further information please visit

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