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Dr Benjamin Chemouni

Dr Benjamin  Chemouni

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow / Isaac Newton Trust

Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College


Benjamin Chemouni is a JRF at Wolfson College and a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in POLIS. He also collaborates with the DFID and ESRC-funded Effective State and Inclusive Development Centre at the University of Manchester. Before joining Cambridge, Benjamin worked as an LSE fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he taught in the Department of International Development. Benjamin received his PhD from LSE in 2016.

Research Interests

Benjamin’s research is interested in the comparative politics of development, with a geographical focus on Africa. He explores the role of state-society relations and ideas in shaping policy-making. Most of his field research has been conducted in Burundi and Rwanda. He has published on a broad range of topics including public sector reform, decentralisation, and social policies. His current project focusses on the transition of rebel movements to ruling parties in Africa and its impact on public policies.

Key Publications

(2019), with Mugiraneza, A. “Ideology and interests in the Rwandan Patriotic Front: Singing the struggle in pre-genocide Rwanda.” African Affairs.

(2018) “The political path to universal health coverage: Power, ideas and community-based health insurance in Rwanda”, World Development,106, pp.87-98  

(2018) with Ridde V., Antwi A., Boidin B., Hane. F. and Touré L. “Time to abandon amateurism and volunteerism: addressing tensions between the Alma-Ata principle of community participation and the effectiveness of community-based health insurance in Africa”, BMJ Global Health. 2018; 3: e001056.  

(2017) "Taking stock of Rwanda’s decentralisation: changing local governance in a post-conflict environment." Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, vol.1, n°6, pp. 763-778.  

(2014) “Explaining the Design of the Rwandan Decentralisation: elite vulnerability and the territorial repartition of power”, Journal of Eastern African Studies, vol. 8, n°2, pp. 246-262.  

(2014)   "The Political Economy of the Fertilizer Subsidy Reform in Rwanda and Burundi", in Reyntjens F., Verpoorten M., Vandeginste S. (Eds.), L’Afrique des Grands Lacs: Annuaire, 2013-2014, pp. 483-506. Paris: L'Harmattan.


Other publication

(2019) The rise of the economic technocracy in Rwanda: A case of a bureaucratic pocket of effectiveness or state-building prioritisation? ESID working paper n°120. University of Manchester. 

(2017) The politics of core public sector reform in Rwanda. ESID working paper n°88. University of Manchester.