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Dr Ben Lampert

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in International Development
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Polis, Phil, Econ, Dev, Geog
  • Development
  • ben.lampert

Professional biography

Ben is a human geographer, with a BA from the University of Oxford and an MSc from the University of Bristol. He spent a year as a Commonwealth Scholar in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Canada, before undertaking his PhD research in the Department of Geography at University College London.

Since completing his PhD studies in 2010, Ben has been based in the Development Policy and Practice Group at The Open University, first as a Research Fellow and currently as Lecturer in International Development.

Research interests

Ben’s research interests are primarily in the fields of migration, development and African studies. He is particularly interested in the relationship between human mobility and development, especially in terms of how migrants and diaspora communities contribute to processes of change in their countries of residence and origin. He has explored this relationship principally in African contexts and has held a particular research interest in Nigeria since teaching at a university there in 2000. His MSc research examined the everyday practices of British colonial civil servants in Nigeria and his PhD research analysed the role of London-based Nigerian diaspora organisations in development in Nigeria.

Ben’s current work explores the nature and development outcomes of increased Chinese migration to Africa. This work builds on research conducted with Professor Giles Mohan on the 2-year ESRC-funded project ‘The social and political impacts of South-South migration: A comparative analysis of Chinese migrant integration in West Africa’. Focussing on case studies of Chinese migrants in Ghana and Nigeria, the work being developed from this project is centrally concerned with the social, political and economic impacts of the greater Chinese presence in Africa, particularly in terms of the challenges and opportunities it presents to African development. 

Teaching interests

Ben teaches on the Postgraduate Development Management Programme. Within this, he chairs the presentation of module T877 Development: context and practice and is part of the production team for the new module T878 Capacities for managing development.

Ben welcomes PhD research proposals in the fields of migration, development and African studies, particularly in relation to the development role of migrants and diasporas, the politics of development in Nigeria, and the implications of the ‘Rising Powers’ for African development.

Ben is currently supervising the following PhD students:

Daniel Amankona, ‘The Social and Environmental Impacts of Large Chinese Investment Projects in Africa: The Case of Ghana’ (with Prof. Giles Mohan and Dr. Kevin Collins)

Jamila Elhag Hassan, ‘Transnationalism of the Sudanese Diaspora in London’ (with Prof. Giles Mohan)

Chantal Radley, ‘The Chilean Diaspora and the Making of Chilean Development: UK-Based Chileans, Transnational Identities and Relationships to Home’ (with Prof. Giles Mohan and Dr. Parvati Raghuram)


Editorial: China’s impacts on Africa’s development (2016-06)
Park, Yoon Jung; Lampert, Ben and Robertson, Winslow
African Review of Economics and Finance, 8(1) (pp. 3-11)
Collective transnational power and its limits: London-based Nigerian organisations, development at ‘home’ and the importance of local agency and the ‘internal diaspora’ (2014-04)
Lampert, Ben
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40(5) (pp. 829-846)
Sino-African encounters in Ghana and Nigeria: from conflict to conviviality and mutual benefit (2014)
Lampert, Ben and Mohan, Giles
Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 43(1) (pp. 9-39)
Negotiating China: reinserting African agency into China-Africa relations (2013-01)
Mohan, Giles and Lampert, Ben
African Affairs, 112(446) (pp. 92-110)
Diaspora and development? London-based Nigerian organisations and the transnational politics of socio-economic status and gender (2012)
Lampert, Ben
Development Policy Review, 30(2) (pp. 149-167)
Diaspora and development? Nigerian organizations in London and the transnational politics of belonging (2009-04)
Lampert, Ben
Global Networks, 9(2) (pp. 162-184)
Chinese Migrants and Africa's Development: New Imperialists or Agents of Change? (2014-06-12)
Mohan, Giles; Lampert, Ben; Tan-Mullins, May and Chang, Daphne
ISBN : 9781780329161 | Publisher : Zed Books | Published : London
A transformative presence? Chinese migrants as agents of change in Ghana and Nigeria (2018-10-25)
Lampert, Ben and Mohan, Giles
In: Giese, Karsten and Marfaing, Laurence eds. Chinese and African Entrepreneurs: Social Impacts of Interpersonal Encounters (pp. 147-169)
ISBN : 978-90-04-38742-3 | Publisher : Brill | Published : Leiden
Negotiating China: Reinserting African Agency into China-Africa Relations (2017-05-25)
Mohan, Giles and Lampert, Ben
In: Cheeseman, Nic; Whitfield, Lindsay and Death, Carl eds. The African Affairs Reader: Key Texts in Politics, Development and International Relations (pp. 336-353)
ISBN : 9780198794295 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
Les migrants chinois, acteurs de changement au Ghana et au Nigeria: une présence transformatrice ? (2016)
Lampert, Ben and Mohan, Giles
In: Giese, Karsten and Marfaing, Laurence eds. Entrepreneurs africains et chinois. Les impacts sociaux d’une rencontre particulière (pp. 207-236)
Publisher : Karthala | Published : Paris
Making Space for African Agency in China-Africa Engagements: Ghanaian and Nigerian Patrons Shaping Chinese Enterprise (2015-09)
Lampert, Ben and Mohan, Giles
In: Gadzala, Aleksandra W. ed. Africa and China: How Africans and Their Governments are Shaping Relations with China (pp. 109-126)
ISBN : 978-1-4422-3775-9 | Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield | Published : Lanham
Chinese migrants in Africa: bilateral and informal governance of a poorly understood South-South flow (2013)
Mohan, Giles and Lampert, Ben
In : Regional Governance of Migration and Socio-Political Rights: Institutions, Actors and Processes (14-15 Jan 2013, Geneva, Switzerland)