Kofi Gunu

Research Topic:

Monetising Dependency: The Impact of Extraversion on IMF Participation in Sub-Saharan Africa, 2005-2019
International Relations Network
Nuffield College
DPhil International Relations

I am interested in the political economy of African international relations. My research focuses on African elites’ “extraversion strategies”: instrumental uses of foreign relations of seeming dependence for domestic political and personal gain. Specifically, I look at how governments’ perception of the vulnerability or otherwise of their extraversion portfolios influences the decision to participate in IMF programmes. I develop my arguments with a focus on the mid-2000s to the late-2010s, “the age of choice” in which African governments had the widest access to alternative sources of financing, such as China and the international capital markets.

I previously worked in the Vice President's office in Ghana as a National Service Fellow, supporting the Ghanaian government in building a more robust partnership with China. I also served on the Asia Technical Committee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. Prior to working within the Government of Ghana, I interned with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and with a US senator in Washington DC. I have also worked with Accra-based Africa Foresight Group. I hold an MA in global affairs from Tsinghua University in Beijing, where I was a Schwarzman Scholar, and a BA in political science with highest honours from Augustana University.


  • SAIS-CARI Fellow (2020) - Johns Hopkins University
  • Rhodes Scholarship (2019) - University of Oxford
  • Schwarzman Scholarship (2017) - Tsinghua University


My research interests include:

  • International organisations,
  • Political economy and international political economy,
  • Environment and Climate Change
Kofi Gunu


Review of China goes Green: coercive environmentalism for a troubled planet by Yifei Li and Judith Shapiro, Journal of Political Ecology 27 (December 2020).