Sarah A. Brierley

Sarah A. Brierley

Assistant Professor

London School of Economics and Political Science

I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

I work in the field of comparative politics, with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. My research investigates state development, political corruption, and parties and campaigns in new democracies. In my book project, I ask why bureaucrats engage in corruption on behalf of politicians. I argue that public servants do so when politicians retain discretionary control over their careers. Methodologically, I combine data from surveys and experiments, with analysis of administrative data, and qualitative information from in-depth interviews.

In other ongoing projects, I investigate the influence of traditional leaders during elections, the role of party brokers, and public attitudes towards petty corruption.

My research has been published in the Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies, African Affairs, and the Journal of Contemporary African Studies.


  • Bureaucracy
  • Corruption
  • Party organization
  • Elections


  • PhD in Political Science, 2017


  • MSc African Studies, 2009

    University of Oxford

  • BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 2008

    University of Oxford


(2021). Combining Patronage and Merit in Public Sector Recruitment. Journal of Politics 83.1 (2021): 182-197.


(2020). Unprincipled Pricipals: Co-opted Bureaucrats and Corruption in Ghana. American Journal of Political Science 64: 209-222.



London School of Economics and Political Science



  • GV467: Introduction to Comparative Politics