School of Politics and International Relations

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


Senior Lecturer

Telephone: 020 7882 5832
Room Number: Arts One, 2.21
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-2pm & Thursday 10:30am-11:30am


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.

Research Gate Profile profile

Twitter: @clivesg

Blog: Colonial Interregnums/African Spaces



Undergraduate Teaching

I will be on sabbatical leave for the first semester of the 2018/19 academic year. When I return I will be teaching POL257 The International Politics of the Developing World.


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:

  • Whiteness, racial anxiety and shifts in perceptions of international order;
  • Theorising core categories in Politics and International Relations within an Anarchist intellectual tradition, including citizenship, subjectivity and revolution.

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)

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. (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. 3

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

Book Chapters

Gabay, C. (2010) ‘De-naming the beast: the multiple publicities of the Global Call to Action against Poverty’ in Barnett, C. Mahony, N. and Newman, J (eds) Rethinking the Public: Innovations in Research, Theory and Policy, (Bristol: Policy Press) pp. 127-143

Gabay, C. (2009) ‘Anarchy, Decentralization and Autonomy at the Seattle anti-WTO protests’, in Jun, N (ed) New Perspectives on Anarchism, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books) pp. 121-133



Current PhD Students:

Farai Chipato

Felix Mantz

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

  • Race and International Relations/International Order
  • Contemporary readings of early 20th Century radical political theory and praxis, particularly focussed on libertarians and utopians
  • Anti-colonial political traditions/analysis

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.