Joint African Studies/South Asian Centre Seminar: Corruption

Conveners: Miles Larmer and Nayanika Mathur

Speakers: Africa: Rui Verde and Rafael Marques (Oxford and Maka Angola). S Asia: Malini Ranganathan (American University)


This special set of joint events run by Oxford’s African Studies and South Asian Studies Centres focuses on activism and researching activism. In celebrating the global South’s rich experience of popular challenges to injustice, inequality and repression, these seminars will hear presentations from leading civic activists, speaking alongside academics who have researched political and social issues and activist challenges to them. As well as highlighting the diverse and changing foci of activism in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the series will draw attention to the relationship between activist and academic work.


Malini Ranganathan is Associate Professor at the School of International Service and a faculty affiliate of the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies at American University in Washington, DC. A critical geographer by training, her research focuses broadly on the political economy and discourse of “land grabs” in urban India. She studies how caste, class, and environmental injustices are historically reproduced through land grabs, and how legal, slum, and anti-corruption activism challenges them. Her book titled “Corruption Plots: Stories, Ethics, and Publics of the Late Capitalist City,” coauthored with David Pike and Sapana Doshi, is forthcoming with Cornell University Press. She is also working on a second book manuscript on the political ecology of caste, land, and labor in Bengaluru, India.


Rui Verde was born in Lisbon in 1966, got a PhD in Law from the University of Newcastle, UK and a degree, also, in Law from the Universidade Católica de Lisboa, PT. Now, Rui is a Research Associate at the African Studies Centre, University of Oxford and a non-resident Researcher at the University of Johannesburg. For several years, he has been Chief-Legal Adviser of MakaAngola, the entity that promotes democracy, human rights and fights corruption in Angola directed by Rafael Marques, where is involved in several legal cases and activities regarding the fight against corruption and the promotion of human rights. He is also the legal adviser for Ufolo, an Angolan think-tank that promotes good governance. He has written extensively about Angola and talked recently in several academic conferences and seminars at the University of Oxford, Queen Mary U. London, Birmingham, LSE, etc. He is a regular contributor for the international media regarding Angola. Founder of the Angola Research Network and member of the Royal African Society and Chatham House; he is also Distinguished Professor, Indian Management Institute, Delhi. Previously, he taught Law and was a Professor of Law in Portugal and Angola, a Visiting Professor in Brazil and Kazakhstan, as well a Visiting Fellow at Newcastle University. Also taught in London.

Main recent books:

VERDE, R. (2021), Angola at the Crossroads. Angola at the Crossroads. Between Kleptocracy and Development. I.B. Tauris.

VERDE, R., (2018), Angola e Futuro, RCP Edições.


Rafael Marques de Morais is the executive-director of the Centro de Estudos Ufolo para a Boa Governação, and the founder of the anti-corruption watchdog Maka Angola. He has published numerous reports on corruption and the human rights situation in Angola, including the books Blood Diamonds, Torture and Corruption in Angola (Tinta da China, 2011), Misery and Magic Fuel Mayhem in Cafunfo (EAL, 2021), and The Ethnic Conflict in Cazombo (currently in print). He has been awarded eight prestigious international prizes for his work as a journalist and human rights defender. Rafael holds a BA (Hons) in Anthropology and Media from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford. 


Due to Covid-regulations only members of the University may attend in person, with a maximum audience attendance of 20 persons: unfortunately we will not be able to admit anyone once capacity has been reached. As a courtesy to others please wear a mask. Those attending in person are required to carry out a Lateral Flow Test shortly before the seminar and should only attend if the result is negative. As an alternative the seminar can also be accessed via Teams, where it is also open to members of the public.


To join the event online via Teams please click here.