Sarah A. Brierley

Sarah A. Brierley

Assistant Professor

London School of Economics and Political Science

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

I study comparative politics and the political economy of development, with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. My research investigates state development, governance, corruption, and parties and campaigns in young democracies. In my book project, I investigate politicians’ decisions to professionalize the state and their strategies to enhance bureaucratic competence while retaining loyalty. Methodologically, I adopt a mixed-methods approach, combining 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 toward anti-corruption pledges and transparency reforms.

My research has been published or is forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Annual Review of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Science, among other outlets.


  • 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



  • GV4N2: Introduction to Comparative Politics and Conflict Studies