Rethinking the Social Sciences with Sam Moyo

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Rethinking the Social Sciences with Sam Moyo

This book brings together renowned scholars from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to celebrate the lifelong and seminal contribution of Professor Sam Moyo to the social sciences. Sam Moyo was a Zimbabwean scholar whose intellectual trajectory was part and parcel of the emergence of a critical scholarship in political economy from the 1970s onwards based on the realities and intellectual traditions of Africa and the Third World. His work influenced the global research agenda on diverse issues related to Africa and the South. He was a protagonist in the renewal of the pan-Africanist tradition of political economy from the 1990s onwards, and actively defended the importance of research on land and agrarian questions at a time when such issues were being suppressed. He went on to become a leading force in the creation of a South–South dynamic in research collaboration in the 2000s, in defence of the epistemic sovereignty of the South. Professor Moyo conducted research on a wide variety of issues, including structural adjustment, agricultural production and productivity, peasant farming, labour markets, land-use change, environmental change, social movements, the scramble for land and natural resources, and the evolving national questions in the South. The contributors to this book address this whole range of issues raised by Moyo, based on their own research and in the spirit of dialogue with brother Sam.

Professor Sam Moyo (1954–2015) was born in Zimbabwe under Rhodesian rule, and received his higher education in West Africa, Canada and the United Kingdom. Moyo was heir to the generation of pan-Africanist scholars who laid the intellectual cornerstone of a liberated Africa and built solidarities among the peoples of the Third World. He received his training during the apex of this movement in the late 1970s, and became a pillar of resistance to structural adjustment programmes in the ensuing years. Moyo defended the gains in Africa while remaining firm in his commitment to the aspirations of national liberation and development. His central concerns were the land and agrarian questions in Africa and the South. He spearheaded research on a wide range of issues, including structural adjustment, agricultural production and productivity, peasant farming, labour markets, land-use change, environmental change, social movements, the scramble for land and natural resources, and the evolving national questions in the South. His single most important contribution was to the analysis of the radical land reform programme in Zimbabwe since 2000. His larger mission was no less than the transformation of the social sciences, by building autonomous capacities for research, teaching and publication in Africa and the South, and maintaining the liberation traditions vibrant and relevant to social struggles. Among his many achievements, Sam Moyo was founder and executive director of the African Institute for Agrarian Studies (AIAS) in Harare since 2002, served as vice-president (1995–98) and president (2008–11) of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), and was founding editor-in-chief of the tri-continental periodical publication Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy, launched in 2012.

Paris Yeros

Paris Yeros is professor of international economics and coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in World Political Economy at the Federal University of ABC (UFABC), São Paulo, Brazil. He has been visiting fellow at universities and institutes in Brazil, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He has published on land and labour relations and the agrarian and national questions in Africa, Latin America and the South. He is editor of Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy.

Praveen Kumar Jha

Praveen Kumar Jha is Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP) and an adjunct professor at the Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies (CISLS), School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, India. He has been a visiting fellow at a number of universities and institutions in Germany, China, Switzerland, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and has collaborated in research programmes with UN agencies, including ILO, UNICEF, UNDP and FAO. He has published widely on labour and agrarian relations, the economics of education and public finance. He is editor of Agrarian South:Journal of Political Economy.

Walter Chambati

Walter Chambati is executive director of the Sam Moyo African Institute for Agrarian Studies, Harare, Zimbabwe. He received a BSc (Hons) in agricultural economics from the University of Zimbabwe, a Master’s degree from the University of Witwatersrand, and a PhD from the University of South Africa. He has been Future Agriculture’s Consortium Research Fellow (2011) and visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University (2018). His research interests include land reform in Zimbabwe, and rural labour relations and agricultural development in Africa. He is associate editor of Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy.