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Professor Brian Raftopoulos


Professor Brian Raftopoulos is a leading Zimbabwean scholar and activist. Formally an Associate Professor of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, he moved to Cape Town at the end of March 2006 and is currently the Director of Research and Advocacy in the Solidarity Peace Trust, an NGO dealing with human rights issues in Zimbabwe. He has published widely on Zimbabwean history, labour history, historiography, politics, and economic issues.  At present, Prof. Raftopoulos is also Mellon Senior Research Mentor at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape and he serves on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies. In addition, he has been a leading civic activist in Zimbabwe throughout the last decade. He was a member of the founding Task Force of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) 1998-2000, the editor of the NCA journal Agenda from 1999-2001, as well as the first Chair of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition from 2001-2003.

Research Interests:

  • Labour History.
  • Constructions of Nationalism.

Selected Publications:


  • With Alois Mlambo (Eds), Becoming Zimbabwe: A History from the pre-Colonial Period to 2009. Jacana Press. Johnnesburg, Weaver Press, Harare, 2009, 260pp.
  • With Karin Alexander (Eds), Reflections on Democratic Politics in Zimbabwe, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, 2006, 64pp.
  • With Tyrone Savage (Eds), Zimbabwe: Injustice and Political Reconciliation, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, Weaver Press, Harare, 2004, 296pp.
  • With Amanda Hammar and Stig Jensen (Eds), Zimbabwe’s Unfinished Business: Rethinking Land, State and Nation in the Context of Crisis, Weaver Press, Harare, 2003.
  • With Lloyd Sachikonye (Eds), Striking Back: The Labour Movement and the Post-Colonial State in Zimbabwe, 1980-2000, Weaver Press, Harare, 2001, 316pp.
  • With Tsuneo Yoshikuni (Eds), Sites of Struggle: Essays in Zimbabwe’s Urban History, Weaver Press, Harare, 2001, 278pp.
  • With Ian Phimister (Eds), Keep on Knocking: A History of the Labour Movement in Zimbabwe, 1900-97, Baobab Books, Harare, 1997, 164pp.

Journal Articles.

  • The MDC, Neo-liberalism and the challenges of Post-colonial change in Zimbabwe,’ Openspace, Vol 3, Issue 1, December 2009, pp62-5.
  • With Shari Eppel, ‘Desperately Seeking Sanity: What Prospects for e new beginning in Zimbabwe?” Journal of East African Studies, Vol 2, Issue 3, 2008, pp1-33.
  • ‘Rebuilding Zimbabwe: What Prospects?’ South African Labour Bulletin, Vol 31, No 4, Oct/Nov, 2007, pp36-38.
  • ‘The Zimbabwean Crisis and the Challenges for the Left,’ Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol 32, No 2, June 2006, pp203-219.
  • ‘Nazione, razza e storia nella poltica dello Zimbabwe’, Afriche e Orienti, Anno, VII, n4/2005, 1/2005, pp. 161-172.
  • ‘La Crisi in Zimbabwe: un’ introduczione’ Afriche e Orienti, Anno v, N2 2003, pp 10-29.
  • ‘Briefing: Zimbabwe’s 2002 Presidential Election’, African Affairs, 101, 2002, pp413-426.
  • ‘De L’emancipation Du Movement Syndical a L’Affirmation du MDC,’ Politique Africaine, No 18, Mars 2001, pp26-50.
  • With Ian Phimsiter, “ ‘Kana Sora ratswa ngaritswe’: African Nationalists and Black Workers-The 1948 General Strike in Colonial Zimbabwe,” The Journal of Historical Sociology, Vol 13, September 2000, pp289-324.
  • ‘Problematising Nationalism in Zimbabwe: An Historiographical Review,’ Zambezia, The Journal of Humanities at the University of Zimbabwe, Vol 26, No ii, 1999, pp115-134.
  • ‘Nationalism and Labour in Salisbury 1953-65’, Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol 21, No.1, March 1995, pp. 79-95.
  • ‘Gender, Nationalist Politics and the fight for the City: Harare, 1940-1950’s,’ Southern African Feminist Review, Vol 1, No.2, Sept/Oct 1995, 00.30-45.
  • ‘Beyond the House of Hunger: Democratic Struggles in Zimbabwe: Part One’, Review of African Political Economy, No 54. July 1992, and ‘Part Two’ No 55, November 1992.

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