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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Clive Gabay, BA (Leicester), MA (Birkbeck College) PhD (Open University)


Reader in International Politics

Telephone: 020 7882 5832
Room Number: ArtsOne, 2.21
Twitter: @clivesg
Office Hours: Thursday 15:30-16:30 (in person or online) and Friday 10:30-11:30 (online)


I graduated in Politics from the University of Leicester and then went on to study for a Masters degree in Imperialism and Post-Colonial Societies at Birkbeck College, UoL, simultaneously working as a researcher for the UK Department for International Development. Following this I returned to do a PhD at the Open University, and in 2010 joined the School of Politics and International Relations at QMUL. Up until 2015/16 most of work concerned the international political economy of state-society relations and international development in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015 however I was awarded a two-year Arts and Humanities Research Leaders Fellowship (Early Career) to pursue a new line of research in critical race studies, which led to my latest book, Imagining Africa: Whiteness and the Western Gaze with Cambridge University Press. My work continues to explore questions of race and the international, specifically through the figure of the Arab Jew.

Research Gate Profile profile

Blog: Colonial Interregnums/African Spaces

Office hour joining link




Research Interests:

I have published several articles and two books on civil society globally and in Africa, as well as a number of articles on International Development Policy from a Foucauldian and post-structuralist perspective. More recently however my research agenda has evolved into two areas:

  1. Race, racism and whiteness
  2. Jewishness, settler colonialism and Arab Jews

Examples of research funding:


2015-2017 Historicising Contemporary Africa Rising Narratives, Arts and Humanities Research Council, £175,000

2014 After 2015: Development and its Alternatives, British Academy Conferences Award, £30,000

2012 A Double-Edged Sword: The Millennium Development Goals and Civil Society in Malawi, British Academy Small Research Grant, £7,500




Gabay, C. (2018) Imagining Africa: Whiteness and the Western Gaze (Cambridge University Press) Recipient of an honourable mention for the 2019 British International Studies Association Susan Strange Book Prize

Gabay, C. (2015) Exploring an African Civil Society: Development and Democracy in Malawi, 1994 2014 (Boulder: Lexington Books)

Death, C. And Gabay, C. Eds. (2014) Critical Perspectives on African Politics: Liberal Interventions, State Building and Civil Society (London, New York: Routledge)

Gabay, C. (2012) Civil Society and Global Poverty: Hegemony, Inclusivity, Legitimacy (London, New York: Routledge)

Journal articles

Gabay, C. and Plonski, S. (Forthcoming) ‘Refusing Citizenship/Studies: Disciplinary incommensurability and Indigenous refusal in Israel/Palestine and North America’, Citizenship Studies

Gabay, C. (2021) ‘What do you call it when Jeremy Corbyn walks into a Seder? Jewishness, Gustav Landauer (1870-1919) and ethical subject-formation’, Thesis Eleven, First View

Gabay, C. (2020) ‘Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better: IR Theory, Utopia and a failure to (re)imagine failure’, International Theory, First View, pp. 1 - 26

Gabay, C. (2020) ‘Exploring a European tradition of allyship with sovereign struggles against colonial violence: a critique of Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida through the heretical Jewish Anarchism of Gustav Landauer (1870-1919)’ Contemporary Political Theory, 19, pages251–273

Gabay, C. (2018) ‘Decolonizing interwar anticolonial solidarities: The case of Harry Thuku’ Interventions International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Online version:

Gabay, C. (2017) ‘The Radical and Reactionary Politics of Malawi's Hastings Banda: roots, fruit and legacy’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 43: 6, pp. 1119-1135

Gabay, C. and S. Ilcan (2017) ‘The affective politics of the Sustainable Development Goals: Partnership, capacity-building, and big data’, Globalizations, 17(2)

Gabay, C. and Death, C. (2015) ‘Doing Biopolitics Differently? Radical Potential in the Post-2015 MDG and SDG Debates’, Globalizations, 12:4, pp. 597-612

Gabay, C. (2014) 'Two ‘transitions’: the political economy of Joyce Banda's rise to power and the related role of civil society organisations in Malawi' Review of African Political Economy Volume 41, Issue 141, pp. 374-388

Gabay, C. Pugh, J. and Williams, A. (2013) ‘Reassertions of national interest: reflections on the UK Coalition Government's security-development nexus’ Geoforum, 44, pp. 193-201

Gabay, C. (2012) ‘The Millennium Development Goals and Neoliberal Engineering’ Third World Quarterly, 33:7, pp.1249-1265 Death, C. and Gabay, C. (2012) ‘Building States and Civil Societies in Africa: Liberal Interventions and Global Governmentality’, Journal of Intervention and State Building, 6:1, pp.1-6

Gabay, C. (2011) ‘Poverty eradication and the elimination of dissent: The Millennium Development Goals and civil society in Malawi’, Globalizations Vol. 8, No.

Berry, C. and Gabay, C. (2009), ‘Transnational political action and “global civil society” in practice: the case of Oxfam’, Global Networks, Vol. 9, No. 3, 339-358

Gabay, C. (2008) ‘Anarcho-cosmopolitanism: The universalisation of the equal exchange’, Global Society, Vol. 22, No. 2, 197-216


Current PhD Students:

I would be delighted to supervise doctoral theses in the following areas:               

  • Race and International Relations/International Order
  • Anti-colonial political traditions/analysis
  • The politics of Jewishness and/or antisemitism
  • non-Modern thought traditions, particularly in relation to Islamic and/or Jewish thought

Public Engagement

In a previous project I contributed to the development of accountability mechanisms within a large global civil society network, the Global Call to Action against Poverty ( More recently I have become a regular contributor to international news stories on contemporary events in Malawi, and political protests in Africa more broadly. I have also acted as a consultant for a BBC World Documentary on Gender in World Politics. I now sit on the board of the Diaspora Alliance, which exists to combat the instrumentalization of antisemitism by the right and far right.

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