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Richard Saunders

Archived Content

Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
Ross S639
Tel: (416) 736-2100 x88834

Research Intrests
Richard’s current research involves the political economy of ‘blood diamonds’ in Zimbabwe and more broadly, the evolving role of South African and regional mining capital in the southern African region. A key component of this work includes exploration of the capacity and innovation of local communities, social movements and states to contest and ‘discipline’ recent foreign direct investment in the minerals sector. As part of this work, Richard has been an active member of the Zimbabwe Blood Diamonds campaign in 2008-09, in co-operation with Zimbabwean, southern African and European civil society researchers and activists.

A second area of research, involving continuing collaboration with a group of African researchers working in five southern African countries, focuses on the issue of ‘sub-imperialism’ in the Sub-Saharan African context. Here the focus has been on host country changing responses to foreign investment in the context of neoliberal globalization, market re-regulation and the international financial crisis. This research explores the extent of foreign capital’s power and vulnerability in a multi-sector survey and the implications for new policy-making from below at national and regional level.

Recent publications in the area of resources, resistance and sustainability include:
Conflict Diamonds from Zimbabwe. Amsterdam: Fatal Transactions, 2009.

Co-editor, African Sociological Review (Special Issue: South Africa in Africa), Vol.12, No.1, December 2008; including the articles, “Crisis, Capital, Compromise: Mining and Empowerment in Zimbabwe” and “South African Corporations and post-Apartheid Expansion in Africa: creating a new regional space” (with Darlene Miller and Olojide Oloyede)
Mining and Crisis in Zimbabwe. Amsterdam: NiZA, 2007.

"Trade Union Struggles for Autonomy and Democracy in Zimbabwe", in Jon Kraus (ed), Trade Unions and the Coming of Democracy in Africa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

“Mugabe, Gramsci and Zimbabwe at 25” (with John S. Saul). International Journal, Vol.60, No.4, Autumn 2005
“Labor, the State and the Struggle for a Democratic Zimbabwe” (with Patrick Bond). Monthly Review, vol.57, issue 7, December 2005.

Richard teaches African political economy and Development in the Department of Politcal Science, with a particular focus on social movements, community resistance and state and market restructuring in contemporary southern Africa. He was a member of the Steering Committee and participated in the conference, “How Will Disenfranchised Peoples Adapt to Climate Change?, at York in Aril 2009.

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