Mitchell Watkins

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Research Consortium, SOAS

Welcome! I am currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Research Consortium at SOAS University of London. I received my PhD in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019 and specialize in the political economy of development. Prior to joining SOAS ACE, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University.

My research focuses on foreign aid and governance in developing countries. My work has been published in Governance, Review of International Organizations, and Climate and Development. My independent research examines the impact of Chinese development assistance on recipient country compliance with Western aid conditionality, the effect of foreign aid on pre-electoral fiscal manipulation of expenditures and taxation in developing democracies, and the impact of foreign aid projects on citizens’ trust in political institutions and actors. My collaborative research at SOAS ACE focuses on how to design feasible anti-corruption strategies in Bangladesh's and Nigeria's climate adaptation and energy sectors.