IGDC Visiting Fellow
Darrin McDonald’s research focuses on the political-economic factors moulding variable development performance among states in sub-Saharan Africa.
Darrin completed his PhD with the Department of Politics at the University of York in 2022 with his thesis Stability and Neo-Patrimonial Developmentalism in Gabon: A Comparative Analysis of Equatorial Africa. This focused on the importance of (in)stability and formal-informal institutional arrangements to variable development performance among the states of Gabon, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Chad, and Central African Republic (CAR). He has since undertaken work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate on a POST Fellowship – House of Commons International Trade Committee project analysing the political economy of the UK’s post-Brexit trade policy and the specific spatial imaginaries involved therein. Darrin has served as the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Country Expert on the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) since 2018, publishing biannual reports evaluating the political, economic, and social development of this country through assessing progress toward improved governance, democratisation, and economic transformation.
In 2021, Darrin co-founded with domestic partners PS & Associates, an agricultural cooperative organisation in the Republic of Congo populated by local experts and focused on generating positive impact for the Pool region of Congo. Darrin’s ongoing research outputs focus on specific patterns in central African development including comparative development drivers and outcomes, Gabon’s entry into the Commonwealth, Chad’s ongoing political uncertainty, and CAR’s adoption of cryptocurrency; issues surrounding the UK’s trade policy including its interactions with developing countries; and other emerging challenges under the remit of Development Studies, Comparative Politics, Political Economy, and International Relations.
Darrin joined the IGDC as a Visiting Fellow in March 2023 with a focus on knowledge exchange and dissemination of key findings on global and African development.