Dr Niheer Dasandi

Dr Niheer Dasandi

International Development Department
Birmingham Fellow in Politics and Development

Contact details

International Development Department
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Niheer Dasandi is a Birmingham Fellow in Politics and Development. His research broadly looks at the politics of development and international political economy. More specifically, his research focuses on the politics of reform processes in development countries, which includes an ongoing research project looking at recent reforms in Myanmar. His research also considers the relationship between development and rights, and how this relationship is influenced by international and domestic politics. Niheer's research more generally examines the transnational drivers of development. He is currently involved in a research project that seeks to better understand state preferences in world politics by applying text analysis to UN speeches.

Niheer's research is based on a methodologically plural approach, drawing on a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods. His research has been published in leading academic journals.


  • PhD in Political Science, University College London, 2013
  • MSc in International Public Policy, University College London, 2006
  • BSc (Hons) in Mathematics with Economics, University College London, 2005


Niheer joined IDD in October 2016 as a Birmingham Fellow. He previously worked with the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) based in the Department of Political Science, University College London (UCL). Prior to this, he completed a PhD in Political Science at UCL in 2013, where he also worked as a Teaching Fellow. Niheer has previously worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006-2009).

Niheer's work has included close collaboration with policymakers at the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, and Oxfam. His research draws on a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches, and he has conducted fieldwork in Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Myanmar, and Uganda.

Postgraduate supervision

Niheer is interested in supervising PhD dissertations in the following areas:

  • Politics of reform in developing countries
  • Links beteween development, democracy, and human rights
  • Politics of development assistance
  • International political economy of development

He is interested in supervising projects that employ qualitative and/or quantitative methodological approaches.


Research interests

  • The politics of reform processes in developing countries
  • Links between development, democracy, and rights
  • The politics of development assistance
  • Transnational drivers of development
  • State preferences in world politics
  • Global governance

 Current projects

  • The politics of economic reform in Myanmar
  • The donor’s dilemma: development assistance and human rights violations
  • Using UN General Debate speeches to understand state preferences in world politics


Journal Articles

Dasandi, N., and Erez, L. (2017), ‘The Donor’s Dilemma: International Aid and Human Rights Violations’, British Journal of Political Science, forthcoming.

Watts, N. et al. (2017) ‘The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: From 25 Years of Inaction to a Global Transformation for Public Health’, The Lancet, forthcoming.

Dasandi, N., and Esteve, M. (2017), ‘The Politics-Bureaucracy Interface in Developing Countries’, Public Administration and Development, 37(4): 231-245. 

Baturo, A., Dasandi, N., and Mikhaylov, S. (2017) ‘Understanding State Preferences with Text As Data: Introducing the UN General Debate Corpus’, Research and Politics, 4(2): 2053168017712821.

Braithwaite, A., Dasandi, N., and Hudson, D. (2016) ‘Does Poverty Cause Conflict? Isolating the Causal Origins of the Conflict Trap’, Conflict Management and Peace Science, 33(2): 45-66.

Waage, J., et al. (2015) Governing the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Interactions, Infrastructures, and Institutions, The Lancet Global Health, 3(5): e251-e252.

Sajuria, J., vanHeerde-Hudson, J., Hudson, D., Dasandi, N., and Theocharis, Y. (2015) Tweeting Alone? An Analysis of Bridging and Bonding Capital in Online Networks, American Politics Research, 43(4): 708-738.

Dasandi, N. (2014) ‘International Inequality and World Poverty: A Quantitative Structural Analysis’, New Political Economy, 19(2): 201-256.

Book Chapters

Dasandi, N., Hudson, D., and Pegram, T., (2015) “Governance and Institutions”., In: Waage, J., and Yap, C. (eds.) Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development. (London: Ubiquity Press), pp. 63-76.

Hudson, D., and Dasandi, N. (2014) “The Global Governance of Development: Development Financing, Good Governance, and the Domestication of Poverty”., In: Payne, A., and Phillips, N. (eds.) Handbook of the International Political Economy of Governance. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 238-258.

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