Dr David Jackman

Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

David’s research interests lie in the political economy of crime and violence in South Asia. He focuses particularly on Bangladesh, where he has worked and researched since 2010. His doctoral ethnography explored the urban political order of Dhaka city through groups of labourers living on the streets of the country’s largest market. Analyses of gangsters, labour politics and destitution have been published in Development and ChangeThe European Journal of Development Research, and Environment and Urbanization. This study continued through an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), examining the cases of municipal sweepers and street level extortion rackets, and is currently being worked into a book.

Recent projects under the Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) Research Centre analyse the significance of capital cities to authoritarian states, and contemporary changes in political coalitions and intra-state power in Bangladesh. Work from this has been published in Modern Asian Studies and Contemporary South Asia. David has also worked as a programmes manager and consultant in the development sector in Bangladesh, holds an MSc from the London School of Economics, and PhD from the University of Bath.

In the media
When states disarm societies: consolidating violence in Bangladesh
Consolidating power and shifting coalitions in Bangladesh
Cities and dominance: urban strategies and struggles in authoritarian transitions

David taught across the MPhil in Development Studies from 2019-2021, has a number of MPhil thesis supervisees and offers a Masters option course on the ‘Nexus of Violence, Crime and Politics in the Global South’.

Research Students supervised

Journal articles and special issues

Jackman, David (2022) 'Beggar bosses on the streets of Dhaka', Journal of Contemporary Asia
Jackman, David (with Mathilde Maitrot) (2022) 'The Party-Police Nexus in Bangladesh', Journal of Development Studies
Jackman, David (with Mathilde Maîtrot) (2021) 'Allies among Enemies: Political authority and party (dis)loyalty in Bangladesh', Modern Asian Studies
Jackman, David (2020) 'Students, movements, and the threat to authoritarianism in Bangladesh', Contemporary South Asia
Jackman, David (2018) 'Violent intermediaries and political order in Bangladesh', The European Journal of Development Research 31 (4) 705-723
Jackman, David (2017) 'The decline of gangsters and politicization of violence in urban Bangladesh', Development and Change 50 (8) 1214-1238
Jackman, David (2017) 'Are ‘the destitute’ destitute? Understanding micro-inequalities through the concept of defiled surpluses', Environment and Urbanization 29 (1) 251-266


Jackman, David (2019) 'Towards a relational view of political violence'. In Riaz, A. Nazneen, A. Zaman, F. (eds) Political Violence in South Asia , Routledge
Jackman, David (2019) 'Identifying the political drivers of quality education: a comparative analysis'. In S Hickey, N Hossain (eds) The politics of education in developing countries: from schooling to learning. , Oxford University Press
25 October, 2021
David Jackman awarded Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship
17 March, 2021
New article co-authored by David Jackman examines inter-party alliances among local leaders in Bangladesh
19 January, 2021
New article by David Jackman explores role of student movements in Bangladesh
05 May, 2020
'Ghost towns and crackdowns: The politics of urban Covid-19 control'. David Jackman and Tom Goodfellow explore the range of strategies for urban control used by political elites in response to COVID-19, from violent coercion and overt violence to ‘generative’ interventions that aim to consolidate support
Research interests:

political violence, labour, crime, South Asia