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Visiting Research Fellowships 2019


Professor Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni

Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni is Professor, founding Head of Archie Mafeje Research Institute for Applied Social Policy (AMRI) and currently Acting Executive Director of the Change Management Unit (CMU) in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of South Africa (UNISA).  He is also the founder of the Africa Decolonial Research Network (ADERN) based in at the University of South Africa. He is a National Research Foundation (NRF) rated social scientist; a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); a Fellow of African Studies Centre (ASC) in the Netherlands; and a Research Associate at the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies at The Open University in the United Kingdom. 

Professor Ndlovu-Gatsheni has published over a hundred publications and his major publications include The Ndebele Nation: Reflections on Hegemony, Memory and Historiography (Amsterdam & Pretoria: Rosenberg Publishers & UNISA Press, 2009); Do ‘Zimbabweans’ Exist? Trajectories of Nationalism, National Identity Formation and Crisis in a Postcolonial State (Oxford & Bern: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2009); Redemptive or Grotesque Nationalism? Rethinking Contemporary Politics in Zimbabwe (Oxford & Bern: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2011); Empire, Global Coloniality and African Subjectivity (New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books, June 2013); Coloniality of Power in Postcolonial Africa: Myths of Decolonization (Dakar: CODESRIA, 2013); Nationalism and National Projects in Southern Africa: New Critical Reflections (Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa, 2013); Bondage of Boundaries and Identity Politics in Postcolonial Africa: The ‘Northern Problem’ and Ethno-Futures (Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa, 2013); Mugabeism? History, Politics and Power in Zimbabwe (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, August 2015); Decolonizing the University, Knowledge Systems and Disciplines (North Carolina, Carolina Academic Press, April 2016); The Decolonial Mandela: Peace, Justice and Politics of Life (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, March 2016);  Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo of Zimbabwe: Politics, Power and Memory (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017; and Epistemic Freedom in Africa: Deprovincialization and Decolonization (London & New York: Routledge, July 2018). 

Prof John Rapley

Prof Rapley is currently on sabbatical at JIAS from February until the end of May 2019. John Rapley has made a vocation of working, and living, at the frontier where theory meets practice. After beginning his career at Oxford University’s International Development Centre, he left for the developing world, where he spent the next two decades working as an academic, journalist and ultimately the co-creator and director of a policy think tank. Along the way, he has done fellowships and visiting professorships at universities on three continents and, upon returning to the UK, lectured at the University of Cambridge’s Centre of Development Studies. He now makes his home at St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge. The author of four books, dozens of scholarly articles, and over 1,000 newspaper and magazine features, he will work on two projects during his visiting fellowship at JIAS.

With Peter Heather, he is co-authoring The Lives of Empires (Penguin, 2020), which compares the history of the Roman Empire and the contemporary Western world to present a theory of imperial life-cycles. In tandem with this, he is writing a collection of short stories profiling the lives of ordinary people while they navigate this era of profound change, as the Western-dominated global order gives way to an emergent and as yet undefined one.

John Rapley

Dr Seán Mfundza Muller

Dr Seán Mfundza Muller is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics at the University of Johannesburg and Research Associate at the Public and Environmental Economics Research Centre (PEERC).

Among his broad research interests in economics are the use of econometric evidence (including randomised trials) to inform policy, public finance, development, economics of education, a variety of topics in microeconomics and a range of topics in the philosophy of economics and philosophy of science more broadly.

At JIAS he will primarily be working on a book manuscript pertaining to his interests in philosophy of science, economics and higher education. Related to this, he will also be working on conference papers pertaining to methodological and philosophical issues in microeconomics and a book chapter on the use of randomised trials in economics.

Presently, Seán also leads the PEERC participation in a European Union-funded project to improve public participation in legislatures, at national and provincial level, with specific emphasis on public finance oversight. This leverages his knowledge and experience acquired in the public sector – most notably the South African Parliamentary Budget Office. He is principal investigator of a URC-funded project to research the dynamics of South Africa’s urban property markets. In 2019 he was appointed an associate editor of Scientific African.

Seán holds PhD, MCom and BBusSc degrees in economics from the University of Cape Town and an MPhil Economics from the University of Oxford. During his studies he received support as a Woodrow Wilson Public Policy Partnership Fellow and Rhodes Scholar, as well as awards from the National Research Foundation and University of Cape Town. Passionate about integrity and inclusiveness of institutions, as well as intellectual pluralism, he is actively involved in debates about decolonisation and epistemic authority, and is a member of his departmental and faculty decolonisation committees.


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