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Deval Desai

Research Associate

Politics and Governance

Portrait of Deval Desai

Deval Desai is Research Associate for ODI, and Lecturer in International Economic Law at the University of Edinburgh. He works on law and development, administrative law and regulation, state theories and practices in the Global South, and the role of knowledge and expertise in institutional reform processes. Deval previously held research positions at Harvard Law School and the Graduate Institute, Geneva.

Deval has extensive policy experience at the global level, as well as in India and East and West Africa. He has worked for a decade on legal and institutional reform, including with the World Bank’s Justice for the Poor team. He also advised the UN High-Level Panel on the post-2015 Agenda on rule of law issues. He has a particular interest and field experience in the extractives sector.

Deval has published widely on these issues across leading development and legal journals (including World Development, the Journal of Development Studies, and the Modern Law Review), and major publishers (including Cambridge University Press, Harvard University Press, and Oxford University Press). He was the inaugural International Visiting Fellow at the Bingham Center for the Rule of Law, and holds a BA from Oxford, and a masters and doctorate in law from Harvard.