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Frank Borge Wietzke

Frank Borge Wietzke

Associate Professor

Master's in International Development Co-coordinator

PhD Support Programme Coordinator


Borge Wietzke is an Associate Professor at IBEI. Originally trained as a political scientist (University of Leipzig and Science Po Paris), he has a PhD in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. Borge also has extensive policy experience with the World Bank, the United Nations (Unicef) and national governments, where he has held staff and consulting positons in areas related to program evaluation, social protection, decentralization, and development finance.

Borge's recent research explores the drivers and consequences of recent 'middle class' growth in developing countries, including the political behaviours and redistribution preferences of the 'new middle classes'. His research is informed by earlier historical analysis of the colonial origins of wellbeing inequality and institutional development in developing regions like sub-Saharan Africa. Borge's work typically combines econometric techniques with careful contextual and political-economy analysis. Borge's research has appeared in journals like World Development, Democratization, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Development Studies, and the Socio-Economic Review.

Background and education

  • (2010) PhD International Development, London School of Economics
  • (2001) Diploma (Master’s equivalent) in Political Science and International Relations, University of Leipzig, Germany
  • (1998) Certificate, International Relations, Institute d'Etudes Politiques, Paris


Research interests

  • Poverty, growth, inequality
  • Institutions and Economic History
  • Political economy of development

Selected publications

  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2024.Perceptions of social class in Africa. Results from a conjoint experiment.World Development,Volume 178Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2023.Power and Conviction. The Political Economy of Missionary Work in Colonial-Era Africa.Cambridge University Press. Series: Elements in the Politics of Development.Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2021.Implications of the Covid-19 Pandemic for Economic and Demographic Research.Covid-19 and the Global Demographic Research Agenda,73Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2020.Poverty, Inequality, and Fertility: The Contribution of Demographic Change to Global Poverty Reduction.Population and Development Review,46(1):65-99.LinkLogo open access
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2019.Poverty reduction and democratization – new cross-country evidence.Democratization,26 (6):935-958LinkLogo open access
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2019.New Middle Classes Reshape the Developing World.Current History,118(804):16-21LinkLogo open access
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge; Sumner, Andy

    2018.The Developing World’s “New Middle Classes”: Implications for Political Research.Perspectives on Politics,16 (1):127-140LinkLogo open access
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2015.Pathways from Jobs to Social Cohesion.World Bank Research Observer,30, issue 1:95-123Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2015.Who is Poorest? An Asset-Based Analysis of Multidimensional Wellbeing.Development Policy Review,33, issue 1:33–59Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2015.Long-Term Consequences of Colonial Institutions and Human Capital Investments: Sub-National Evidence from Madagascar.World Development,66:293–307Link
All publications