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People Dr Oliver Owen

Research Fellow, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance

ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellow, Oxford Department of International Development

Prior to joining ODID, Olly studied for a DPhil at Oxford University’s Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, where he undertook an ethnographic study of the Nigerian Police Force. Before that, he worked in London and Lagos, first with West African civil society groups, and then as an investment risk analyst covering the West Africa sub-region. Prior to that, he took an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology in Cambridge, and an MSc in African Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has also worked as a journalist and consultant.

Olly's current research is a study of new transformations in revenue and fiscal governance in Nigeria, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. This three-year study looks at taxation relationships between the state and citizens, and how questions of social contract and political accountability are popularly understood. Alongside this, he continues a focus on policing structures and practices in Nigeria, and is working with stakeholders in this field within Nigeria to feed research into policy debates. He also continues other work related to longstanding interests in politics and governance in the West African sub-region and in political anthropology.

In 2015, Olly won an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Celebrating Impact Prize for his research on the Nigerian Police Force, coming second in the Outstanding Early Career Impact category.