Thomas teaches on the ‘Democracy and Public Policy’ and ‘Globalisation, Business and Policy’ modules at IDS, where he obtained his PhD in 2021. He has taught at the University of Sussex School of Business and at King’s College London’s Department of European and International Studies, and previously worked as policy advisor in the Brazilian government. He also works as a consultant for United Nations (UN) and bilateral aid organisations.
He has undertaken field research in five South American and four African countries, negotiated in international policy arenas, worked on South-South cooperation projects, and published articles and reports based on those experiences. As part of his consultancy work, he recently co-drafted a report evaluating the Swiss Development Cooperation’s (SDC) decade-long programme to strengthen rural communities’ land use rights in Mozambique. He is currently working on a study for the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on its partnership with Farmers Organisations (FOs) in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He previously co-edited a special issue of UNDP/IPC-IG’s Policy in Focus and published on Brazil-Africa relations, including a co-written book chapter on Brazil’s cooperation in African agriculture and an in-depth report for French think tank IFRI.
His research is situated at intersections between international political economy, critical agrarian studies, and participatory democracy, with regional specialisations in Latin American and African studies. His recently concluded doctoral thesis comparatively examines two regional agrarian organisations – the Confederation of Family Producer Organisations of MERCOSUR (COPROFAM) in South America, and the Network of Peasants and Agricultural Producer Organisations of West Africa (ROPPA) – in their strategies to influence public policies through negotiations with governments. It does so by tracing their discursive efforts to unite different class fractions and territorial constituencies in land, labour, and trade policy processes since the 1990s. A reworked version of the thesis is due to be published by Brill in 2024 as a book under the title Reclaiming Regional Integration.