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 moral restructuring and economic fraud. I am a member of the editorial working group of the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE); here, I am an editor of the Briefing & Debate section, and coordinate the roape.net blog series on Economic trickery, fraud and crime in Africa, and Capitalism in Africa.

I joined POLIS in August 2012. Previously, I taught at the Universities of Bath and Sheffield. At POLIS, my roles include module leader for ‘Making of the Modern World’ (level one), ‘North-South Linkages’ (level two), 'Global inequalities and development' (level four), and White Rose Doctoral Training Centre - International Development Pathway Leader for Leeds.

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 ...

  • 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)
  • 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:

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

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

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

Economic Trickery, Fraud and Crime in Africa

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’

Daily Monitor article: Confronting neoliberal business culture in Uganda


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.



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


Workshop: Neoliberalism, Fraud and Moral Economy

Teach in: Ideology after the Crash

IPE and the New Normal - Open Conflict After the Crash

The Moral Dimensions of Economic Life

Research interests

To-date, my research has explored aspects of neoliberalism especially neoliberal moral economy and moral restructuring, market society, economic fraud, cultural political economy, everyday IPE, global value chains, industrial development, human resource development and African development, predominantly with an empirical  focus on Uganda. 

In recent years, I have been particularly interested in studying processes related to the emergence and consolidation of neoliberal market societies in the various parts of the world, especially (but not only) in Africa. Here, I focus on the moral climate and changes in neoliberal economy and society, and the respective politis. I research neoliberalism as a political-economic and cultural programme of restructuring norms, values, orientations, and practices with special emphasis on the dynamics of moral restructuring.

I investigate the changing moral economies of earning a living, especially via fraudelent and hard practices. I study how aspects of political economy and moral economy are intertwined and interact and thus constitute political moral economies. I also explore aspects of the (cultural) political economy of anti-fraud measures, and the political economy of the operations (and revival) of cooperatives in a neoliberal context, for instance in Uganda.

<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

  • BISA Africa and International Studies Working Group
  • BISA International Political Economy Working Group
  • IIPPE Working Group on Neoliberalism
  • European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control
  • German Political Science Association (DVPW) Political Economy Working Group
  • German Association for African Studies
  • Working Group of German speaking Morality researchers

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

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Global Development

Current postgraduate research students

<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://essl.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>