Both an academic and a journalist, Joseph Hanlon moved from a PhD in physics at Tufts University to the staff of New Scientist to being BBC and Guardian stringer in Mozambique (1980-84). More detailed research and book writing followed as he moved into development studies. Other projects included serving as coordinator of the Commonwealth Independent Expert Study on Sanctions Against Apartheid South Africa (1989-90) and Policy Advisor for the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel developing country debt (1998-2000). He became a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE in the International Development Department in 2008. He is also a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Open University.
Forty years of writing and research on Mozambique has given Dr Hanlon an unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the development and political economy of the country. His most recent project was coordinating 460 correspondents to provide the most comprehensive reporting on the 2018 local elections and 2019 national elections. He had reported on all of Mozambique's multi-party elections and his scientific background means that he does the most detailed statistical analysis of the elections and has used these to demonstrate fraud and misconduct, which forced changes in the electoral laws. His writing on Mozambique is diverse - the most recent investigative project was on the heroin trade and his most recent book is Chickens and beer: A recipe for agricultural growth in Mozambique. Other recent writing has included oil and gas, the Cabo Delgado insurgency, and cyclone and floods. Although concentrating on Mozambique, academic work has extended into a number of related issues: debt, civil
war, neighbouring states, and climate change.
He publishes two newsletters (available free) - the Mozambique Political Process Bulletin since the peace process in 1993 - and these are widely read and cited. In books, academic articles, and newsletters Hanlon has chronicled a range of dramatic transformations: from socialism to capitalism, from a country with few known resources to a country dependent on extractive industries, and from exemplary honesty to endemic corruption.
Mozambique Political Process Bulletin - General Elections 2019 (issues 1-97)
Mozambique Political Process Bulletin - Local Elections 2018 (issues 1-83)
Mozambique News Reports & Clippings (issues 1-563 from 2000)
Mozambique annual chapter in Africa Yearbook - Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara
(Abbink, Jon; Elischer, Sebastian; Mehler, Andreas and Melber, Henning eds.) Volumes 1-17, 2004-
2021. Leiden: Brill.
"Collapsing electoral integrity in Mozambique" (2021) Journal of African Elections, Vol. 20, No. 1
"The Uberization of Mozambique's heroin trade" (2018), LSE International Development working paper
109, and "Heroína continua sendo uma das maiores exportações", Mozambique Public Integrity
Centre (CIP) anti-corruption working paper.
"Local media observation of Mozambique elections" (2018, with Adriano Nuvunga), Journal of African
Elections 17(1) pp 72-90, based on "Local media monitoring of Mozambique elections", presented at
the LSE Africa Summit 2017, 31 March 2017
"Following the donor-designed path to Mozambique’s US$2.2 billion secret debt deal," (2017) Third
World Quarterly, 2017, 38(3) pp. 753–770.
"Fraud at polls: can journalists and statisticians check? The Mozambican experience", LSE Public
Lecture 16 March 2016, Joseph Hanlon and Johan Ahlback.
"Por um modelo alternativo e funcional de gestão eleitoral em Moçambique", (2020) in D do Rasario, E
Guambe & E de Salema, Policy Brief No. 3, EISA, Maputo.