Dr. Amaka Vanni


Dr. Amaka Vanni’s research interests lie at the intersection of international economic law (IEL), law and development, global political economy and global governance. Dr. Vanni’s research adopts critical analysis, empirical methods and sociolegal approach in her examination and study of IEL, particularly intellectual property. As a result, her work focuses on the constitutive power of international economic law, norms and practices to affect social relations and everyday life, especially in the developing world where this impact is felt more starkly. Her work is also attentive to how various actors (both state and non-state) and local culture interact with IEL. Dr. Vanni’s award winning book ‘Patent Games in the Global South: Pharmaceutical Patent Law-Making in Brazil, India and Nigeria’ (Hart, 2020) provides fresh theoretical insights into global intellectual property regimes with focus on the role of history, social networks and how relationships between a variety of actors shape the framing of, and subsequently the responses to, national implementation of international patent law.  Further publications focus on pharmaceutical patent and access to medicines, philanthro-capitlism and the growing influence of global donor organisations, IP and technology start-ups in emerging markets. 

Dr. Vanni obtained her PhD and LLM degrees in International Economic Law from the University of Warwick, where her doctoral thesis was awarded the 2018 SIEL–Hart Prize in International Economic Law. She has BA(Hons) in International Relations and Politics from Keele University, where was awarded the Vice-Chancellor Partial Scholarship (2004-2007). Dr. Vanni joined the University of Leeds Law School in September 2020 and currently teaches the undergraduate and postgraduate modules in intellectual property law. She is the current President of the African International Economic Law Network (AfIELN), and also a contributing editor of Afronomicslaw.org, the leading blog on the International Economic Law landscape as it relates to Africa and the Global South.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • LLM International Economic Law
  • BA International Relations and Politics

Professional memberships

  • Society of International Economic Law.
  • African International Economic Law Network
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Business Law and Practice
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice