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Max Gallien is a political scientist specialising in the politics of informal and illegal economies, the political economy of development and the modern politics of the Middle East and North Africa.

Max is an IDS Research Fellow in the governance cluster and with the International Centre for Taxation and Development (ICTD) where he leads the research programme on informality and taxation with Vanessa van den Boogaard, alongside the ICTD’s capacity building programme.

He recently completed his PhD, titled “Smugglers and States: Illegal Trade in the Political Settlements of North Africa” at the London School of Economics, where he taught on the political economy of international development. He also taught on the political economy of the Middle East at King’s College, and has been advising government departments and embassies in both the UK and North Africa.


  • 2020–present
    Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex