School of Politics and International Relations

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Michaela Collord

Assistant Professor,



I joined Nottingham as an Assistant Professor in September 2021. Prior to this, I was a Junior Research Fellow in Politics at New College, University of Oxford. I also completed my PhD in politics at Oxford.

Expertise Summary

My research comprises three overlapping strands:

(1) The political economy of authoritarian rule and authoritarian political institutions (parties and legislatures)

(2) Authoritarian strategies for urban dominance, urban informal labour markets, labour organizing and cooperatives

(3) The history and politics of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly east Africa

My PhD and book (forthcoming) examine variation in ruling party cohesion and legislative assertiveness across Africa's dominant party regimes. Comparing Uganda and Tanzania with further reference to Kenya and Rwanda, I show how contrasting institutional outcomes result, in part, from differences in the distribution of power across economic and political elites. These elite power dynamics are, in turn, shaped by different state-led development strategies. I further examine the implications of a more assertive legislature, particularly regarding accountability, interest group representation, and distributive outcomes. This research combines descriptive statistics with a primarily qualitative, comparative historical approach.

My new project still focuses on dominant party regimes but recentres on the politics of authoritarian dominance in rapidly expanding cities. More specifically, it examines the collective action strategies informal workers use to overcome political and economic marginalisation. This project fits within an emerging literature examining both worker self-organising in urban informal economies and authoritarian state strategies of co-optation and control.

Alongside these projects, I have engaged in collaborative work on a range of related themes including the political economy of party competition and party system development, authoritarian succession politics, presidential coalition building.

I have conducted fieldwork in Uganda, Tanzania and Benin.

Teaching Summary

I provide teaching for the following undergraduate modules:

  • Intro to Comparative Politics
  • Political Parties and Party Systems Around the World
  • Politics Placement

Recent Publications

School of Politics and International Relations

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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