Dr Isaac Haruna Ziaba

Dr Isaac Haruna Ziaba

LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methods

Department of Methodology

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Key Expertise
Comparative method; Thematic analysis; Africa; Mining; Electoral processes

About me

“Conventional knowledge postulates that neoliberalism shapes developing countries’ repression of indigenous artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM). However, such generalizations obscure differences in how regimes relate to ASM and thus provoke the use of qualitative investigative tools to explore and explain variation in regime-ASM relations.”

Isaac Haruna Ziaba is an LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methods in the Department of Methodology. He completed his PhD in the LSE’s Department of International Development in 2022. Before completing his PhD, Isaac taught the MY421 and DV202 classes and worked as an Occasional Research Assistant for The Journal of Development Studies. He is a reviewer for the Review of African Political Economy and The Extractive Industries and Society journals. He previously interned with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Ghana. He also worked with the Institute for Democratic Governance, Ghana, where he led a project team to implement the Institute’s flagship project on civic empowerment of cocoa communities.

Research Interests

Isaac’s research interest is in the politics of natural resource governance, with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. His PhD is multiple case studies that reveal how Ghanaian and Tanzanian regimes’ incentives and constraints shape their varying responses to artisanal miners. This case study allows him to draw generalizable cross-case conclusions that have implications for understanding the governance of artisanal miners in other developing countries. Isaac conducted ten months of fieldwork, collecting primary data via semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and observations. He supplemented the field data with primary documents and secondary data, including electoral data.

Isaac’s PhD inspires his current research projects, one of which would explain variation in Chinese mining capital investment in Africa. He is also working on a project examining how artisanal miners adapt amid state-induced repression. With a Political Science background, Isaac does have broad research interests in multi-party governance reforms, electoral reforms and processes, social movements, and conflict prevention.