Dr Roelofs is an associate researcher at DPIR, where she is co-investigator on the John Fell Fund supported project "Management Consultants and New Frontiers of Governance in Nigeria" working with Prof Ricardo Soares de Oliveira. Her work sits at the intersection of politics, development studies and political theory.
Dr Roelofs' doctoral thesis focused on the celebrated 'Lagos Model' of governance that has transformed states in southwest Nigeria since the early 2000s. Drawing on in-depth qualitative fieldwork, it demonstrated how dominant conceptions of good governance as endorsed by donors like the World Bank are challenged by notions of popular accountability. Her book, Good governance in Nigeria: Rethinking accountability and transparency in the 21st century, links the debates surrounding the Lagos Model to wider questions of technocracy, populism and democracy (forthcoming 2022/23 with Cambridge University Press)
Dr Roelofs has an ongoing interest in the evolution of the relationship between the state and private actors and changing conceptions of good governance and corruption.
She has conducted fieldwork in Nigeria's southwest (Oyo and Lagos) and northeast (Borno and Adamawa).
From July 2022 Dr Roelofs will be Lecturer in Politics at King’s College London. She previously held a Junior Research Fellowship in Politics and Political Thought at St Anne’s College (2019-22) and was an LSE Fellow in International Development (2017-19).
- Roelofs, P. 2022. The death of political possibility? Reading State and Society in Nigeria 40 years on, Review of African Political Economy.
Roelofs, P. 2021. Urban renewal in Ibadan, Nigeria: World class but essentially Yoruba, African Affairs.
- Roelofs, P. 2020. Contesting localisation in interfaith peacebuilding in northern Nigeria, Oxford Development Studies
- Roelofs, P. 2019. Beyond programmatic versus patrimonial politics: Contested conceptions of legitimate distribution in Nigeria. Journal of Modern African Studies
- Roelofs, P. 2019. Transparency and mistrust: who or what should be made transparent? Governance
- Roelofs, Portia. 2014. “Framing and Blaming: Discourse Analysis of the Boko Haram uprising, July 2009” in Boko Haram: Islamism, politics, security and the state in Nigeria, ed. Pérouse de Montclos, M-A. African Studies Centre, Leiden / IFRA-Nigeria
- Renewal - How Nigerian debates about transparency can help public scrutiny of the UK’s Covid 19 response
- Convivial Thinking - COVID-19, Racism and the Climate Crisis
- Jacobin (2019) The Nigerian Activist Whose Death Shamed Shell
- Journal of African Cultural Studies: Ethical Collaborations?! (2019) Flying in the univer-topia: white people on planes, #RhodesMustFall and climate emergency
- Democracy in Africa (2019) Should politicians give money to the poor in Nigeria?
- Africa@LSE (2018) Book Review: Creed and Grievance: Muslim-Christian Relations and Conflict Resolution in Northern Nigeria
- LSE Impact Blog (2017) Clickbait and impact: how academia has been hacked with Max Gallien
- GIZ (2017) Civil Society, Religion and the State: Mapping of Borno and Adamawa