Adam Harris

Adam Harris, Associate Professor in Development Politics in the Department of Political Science at University College London.

Adam is an associated researcher at the Centre for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg. He received a Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University in the Spring of 2015. He was a post-doctoral research fellow with the Governance and Local Development (GLD) Program at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, from 2015-2017.

Adam's research focuses on development, ethnic, and African politics. His research has been published in the Journal of Politics, International Organization, Comparative Political Studies, World Development, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Development Policy Review, Politikon, among others. In his book Everyday Identity and Electoral Politics: Race, Ethnicity, and the Bloc Vote in South Africa and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2022), he seeks to understand why some voters (up to 52% of African voters) do not vote along ethnic lines. The book argues that the degree to which ethnic group membership influences political preferences is determined by one’s position in her ethnic group, which is in turn determined by her ethnic attributes (her ethnic distance). You can find a Governance Uncovered episode with Adam on his book here.

Adam has also conducted research on ethnic identifiability, ethnic and immigrant prejudice, the determinants of political protests, the resource curse, service delivery in weakly institutionalized states, the effects of urbanization and social institutions on governance, communal land rights, and the effects of foreign aid in recipient countries. He uses quantitative methods, survey data, and experimental methods to research these various topics. He has spent time over the past 15 years living and conducting research in South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, and Zambia. His research has been supported by the United States National Science Foundation, New York University, Columbia University, the GLD Program at the University of Gothenburg, the Swedish Research Council, and the British Academy.