Dr Roelofs works at the intersection of politics, development studies and political theory. Her research explores themes of governance, accountability and ideology, with a geographic focus on Nigeria.
Her 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. She is currently exploring these ideas in her book project, titled 'What Nigeria can teach us about good governance'.
Dr Roelofs' post-doctoral project continues this interest in ideology, governance reform and political economy, exploring the development of public-private partnerships.
She has conducted fieldwork in Nigeria's northeast (Borno and Adamawa) on local governance, resilience and climate adaptation. She has degrees from Oxford, SOAS and the London School of Economics and has been a visiting researcher at the University of Ibadan and IFRA-Ibadan.
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
Roelofs, P. Neopatrimonialism 2.0: the role of large grant-funded research centres in paradigm maintenance. Presented at CPAID/CRP Seminar November 2018. Available on request.
Roelofs, P. Accountability as Accessibility: Technocratic, popular and populist conceptions of governance in Nigeria and beyond. Available to download.
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