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Portia Roelofs

Portia Roelofs

Clayman-Fulford Junior Research Fellow in Politics and Political Thought
St Anne's College

Dr Roelofs works at the intersection of politics, development studies and political theory. Her research explores themes of governance, accountability and ideology, with a geographic focus on Nigeria.

Her doctoral thesis focused on the celebrated 'Lagos Model' of governance that has transformed states in southwest Nigeria since the early 2000s. Drawing on in-depth qualitative fieldwork, it demonstrated how dominant conceptions of good governance as endorsed by donors like the World Bank are challenged by notions of popular accountability. She is currently exploring these ideas in her book project, titled 'What Nigeria can teach us about good governance'.

Dr Roelofs' post-doctoral project continues this interest in ideology, governance reform and political economy, focusing on the development of public-private partnerships.

She has conducted fieldwork in Nigeria's northeast (Borno and Adamawa) on local governance, resilience and climate adaptation.


Journal articles

Book chapters:

Working Papers:

  • Roelofs, P. Neopatrimonialism 2.0: the role of large grant-funded research centres in paradigm maintenance. Presented at CPAID/CRP Seminar November 2018. Available on request.
  • Roelofs, P. Accountability as Accessibility: Technocratic, popular and populist conceptions of governance in Nigeria and beyond. Available to download.

Other publications: