Personal profile


Professor Gordon Crawford joined Coventry University in October 2015 as a Research Professor in Global Development in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. He has a BA in Sociology, MA in Development Studies, and PhD in Politics from the University of Leeds. Previously he researched and taught on Development Studies programmes at the University of Leeds from 1993, and became Professor of Development Politics in 2008. He was founding director of the Centre for Global Development at Leeds. His research has involved work in Southern Africa, Indonesia, Nepal, and, most notably, in Ghana. He is currently an editorial team member of Africa Spectrum, and a former co-editor of Democratization. Prior to an academic career, he worked in welfare rights and community development activities in the UK, as well as in adult education.

Area of Expertise:

Economic and social rights, democratisation in sub-Saharan Africa, decentralisation, political economy in Ghana

Research Interests

Human rights; Food sovereignty; Global development; Struggles for social justice; Democracy and democratisation

Vision Statement

My research focuses on the nexus of human rights, democracy and development, especially in countries of the Global South where issues of inequality and deprivation remain most intense. I am interested in people’s struggles for the rights that they are often denied. While liberal democracy may provide a more favourable context for social justice struggles than autocratic ones, I am especially interested in struggles to deepen democracy through innovations in participatory democracy. Neo-liberalism has intensified poverty and inequalities globally over the last three decades and social movement struggles to challenge its hegemony and to achieve social transformation are crucial.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

gold Earth & Environmental Sciences
human rights Social Sciences
development Social Sciences
power Social Sciences
democracy Social Sciences
miner Social Sciences
Ghana Social Sciences
sanction Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2014 2017

Aid sanctions and political conditionality: continuity and change

Crawford, G. & Kacarska, S. 10 Mar 2017 In : Journal of International Relations and Development. (in press), p. (in press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

human rights

Conflict, collusion and corruption in small-scale gold mining: Chinese miners and the state in Ghana

Crawford, G. & Botchwey, G. 9 Feb 2017 In : Commonwealth & Comparative Politics. 55, 4, p. 444-470 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Ghana – Big Man, Big Envelope, Finish: Chinese Corporate Exploitation in Small-Scale Mining

Crawford, G., Agyeyomah, C. & Mba, A. 8 Feb 2017 Contested Extractivism, Society and the State: Struggles over Mining and Land. Engels, B. & Dietz, K. (eds.). UK: Palgrave Macmillan UK, p. 69-99

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access

Scoping Study on ActionAid Nepal’s Community-Led Reconstruction Programme

Morrison, C., Phnuyal, B. & Crawford, G. 2017

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

Undermining Western democracy promotion in Central Asia: China’s countervailing influences, powers and impact

Crawford, G. & Sharshenova, A. 29 Sep 2017 In : Central Asian Survey. 36, 4, p. 453-472 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

financial assistance

Activities 2011 2014

  • 4 Participation in conference

Third International Conference on Participatory Democracy

Crawford, G. (Keynote Speaker)
18 Dec 201419 Dec 2014

Activity: Participation in conference

Summer School on the ‘Politics and Economics of Aid’

Crawford, G. (Keynote Speaker)
24 Jun 20135 Jul 2013

Activity: Participation in conference

Transforming Post-Conflict Societies: Everyday Violence and Access to Justice

Crawford, G. (Participant)
22 May 201223 May 2012

Activity: Participation in conference

Transformative Justice after Mass Violence: The Role of Non-Governmental Actors

Crawford, G. (Participant)
12 May 201113 May 2011

Activity: Participation in conference