Dr Jörg Wiegratz

Dr Jörg Wiegratz


I work on the political economy and moral economy of neoliberalism in Africa and elsewhere, with a particular focus on the topics of neoliberal moral restructuring/change, economic fraud & anti-fraud measures, and commercialisation. I am on the editorial board of the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE), and coordinator of the roape.net blog series on Capitalism in Africa and Economic trickery, fraud and crime in Africa. I was ROAPE editor for Briefings & Debates (2018-2021) and deputy editor of roape.net (2019-2021) and was part of the editorial team of the project ‘Capitalism in my City’ (in collaboration with Africa Is A Country and Mathare Social Justice Centre, 2020-2021). I currently also coedit a blog series on Pressure in the City.

I joined POLIS in August 2012. Previously, I taught at the Universities of Bath and Sheffield. At POLIS, my roles include module leader for ‘North-South Linkages’ (UG level two), and ‘Africa in the Contemporary World’ (MA level).

From 2004 to 2007, I worked as a researcher and consultant in Uganda, for the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Government of Uganda’s Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GIZ). I have also been a Resource Person at Makerere University and a Visiting Scholar at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Kampala.

From the mid-1990s onwards, I worked for a few years in journalism too, for German Press Agency, North German Broadcasting, and Schweriner Volkszeitung.

I hold a PhD in Politics (Sheffield), a MA in International Political Economy (Warwick), and a MA in Economics (Cologne). I have studied as well at Indiana University (Bloomington) and the University of Münster.

Since 1999, I have received funding and other support from various organisations for the purpose of study, research and publication.

The organisations include the following ...

CIES (International Centre for Sports Studies)
European Association of Anthropologists, Nordic Africa Institute, Fritz Thyssen Foundation (workshops)
British Academy/Leverhulme Trust (Small Research Grant)
Sir Ernest Cassel Educational Trust Fund
University of Leeds (POLIS Strategic Research Investment Fund, ESSL Summer Research Internships Scheme)
Review of African Political Economy (conference organisation, research, publication)
The British International Studies Association (conference bursary)
Makerere University (I@MAK project, book publication)
University of Sheffield (PhD studentship)
Government of Uganda/European Union (Uganda Programme for Trade Opportunities and Policy, research)
German National Recruitment Office - Bureau International Organisations’ Personnel (UNIDO internship)
Foundation of German Business (undergraduate and postgraduate study)
Grammar School and Foundation Fund Cologne (postgraduate study)
University of Cologne (visiting student at Indiana University)
My research in the media:
Chasing Africa's tax dodgers

Everyday Life: Book review on ‘Neoliberal Moral Economy' NTV Uganda

German scholar reveals the dark sides of the global system (in Lithuanian)

Trickery, capitalism and something in common between Europe and Africa (in Lithuanian)

Oil in Uganda: 'Address power imbalances for oil sector to thrive

Daily Monitor article: Confronting neoliberal business culture in Uganda
Installment 1
Installment 2
My students' writing:
MA student Angus Elsby publishes assignment and gains global coverage
Elsby (2020) Creaming off commodity profits: Europe’s re-export boom and Africa’s earnings crisis in the coffee and cocoa sectors

MA Global Development alumnus, Phoebe Holmes, writes for Africa is a Country
Chasing Fraud and Profit

Investigating anti-fraud measures in the Global South

PIN Students ‘’Working in Development’’ Talk Series – Working in Uganda

Insight into a Washington D.C International Development internship

North-South Linkages – from the classroom to the ‘real world’


Uganda: The dynamics of neoliberal transformation

Neoliberal Moral Economy Capitalism, Socio-Cultural Change and Fraud in Uganda

Neoliberalism and the moral economy of fraud

Uganda's Human Resource Challenge: Training, Business Culture and Economic Development.

Workshop: Moral Dimensions of Economic Life in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia (University of Oxford, 2019)

Workshops: The Moral Dimensions of Economic Life in Africa (Nordic Africa Institute/Uppsala & University of Cologne, 2018)

Workshops: ROAPE's Connections workshops (Dar es Salaam & Johannsburg, 2018)

Workshop: Neoliberalism, Fraud and Moral Economy (University of Leeds, 2014)

Teach in: Ideology after the Crash (University of Leeds, 2013)

Conference: BISA-IPEG: IPE and the New Normal - Open Conflict After the Crash (University of Leeds, 2014)

Research interests

I research neoliberalism as a political-economic and cultural phenomenon. This work to-date has explored aspects of neoliberalism especially neoliberal moral economy/moral restructuring, economic fraud/trickery, anti-fraud measures, and commercialisation. This focus reflects my interest in matters of cultural political economy, everyday IPE, and the political economy of global and local development. The empirical focus of my work is Uganda, and more recently Kenya too.

More specifically, I am interested in studying processes related to the emergence and consolidation of neoliberal market societies. Here, I focus for example on the moral climate and respective changes in neoliberal economy and society, and the related politics of moral order in capitalism. I study how aspects of political economy and moral economy are intertwined and interact and thus constitute political moral economies. In the past I have investigated the changing moral economies of earning a living in Uganda for example.

<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 Politics
  • MA International Political Economy
  • MA Economics

Professional memberships

  • IIPPE Working Group on Neoliberalism
  • European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control

Student education

I teach on the following modules:

  • Making of the Modern World
  • North South Linkages
  • Global Inequalities and Development
  • Africa in the Contemporary World
  • Contemporary Development Issues
  • State and Politics in Africa
  • Contemporary Africas: Politics, Society and the Environment

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Global Development

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>