Research Staff

David Aled Williams

Principal Adviser (U4) and Senior Researcher (CMI)

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Political scientist focused on the politics of resource extraction and carbon governance

Williams' PhD is from the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. The thesis combined ethnography in Central Sulawesi and Jakarta with satellite and survey data, producing a political ecology of REDD+ in Indonesia. He was a visiting researcher at Tadulako University, Palu, Indonesia, during his PhD.

He is author of the monograph The Politics of Deforestation and REDD+ in Indonesia: Global Climate Change Mitigation (Routledge 2023). His research is published in The Journal of Development Studies, Energy Policy, Environmental Impact Assessment ReviewAnnual Review of Environment and Resources, and Energy Research and Social Science. He is also co-editor of two edited volumes (Edward Elgar Publishing): Corruption, Natural Resources and Development: From Resource Curse to Political Ecology and Corruption, Grabbing and Development: Real-World Challenges

Williams' main interest is in the uneven politics of natural resource-driven economic development, particularly corruption, neoliberal environmentalism, hypercapitalist growth, Indigenous Peoples' rights, green energy transitions and inequality. Geographically, his primary focus is Indonesia and Southeast Asia, but he has also had assignments across Africa and Latin America.

Williams has served as project lead/PI at CMI for longer-term research projects funded by Norad and USAID,  as well as shorter reviews and evaluations. He also coordinates U4's thematic work on Corruption and Anti-Corruption Efforts in Natural Resources and Energy Sectors

Williams was previously Senior Research Coordinator at Transparency International in Berlin where he was responsible for TI's first policy position and working paper series and worked on projects in Asia-Pacific. He also holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Kent (UK).

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