Carl joined the University of Manchester in August 2013 as a Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy, after four years in the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, and a year in the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University. He has conducted research in South Africa, Tanzania and the USA, and has held visiting researcher positions at The MacMillan Centre for International and Area Studies and the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University; the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg; Stellenbosch University; and the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban.
He is a co-editor of the journal African Affairs (from 2015-), which is published by OUP for the Royal African Society. It is is the top ranked journal in African Studies, and is an inter-disciplinary journal with a focus on the politics and international relations of sub-Saharan Africa.
He is also an Associate Editor of the journal International Relations, and is on the editorial board of the journal Review of International Studies. From 2011-2015 he was convenor of the BISA Africa and International Studies working group.